If American road trips have a motto, it may be this: it was never the destination, it was the journey.
The interstate system that we know today that zips us quickly to our distant destinations was only in its infancy in the 1950s. The two-lane U.S. routes that zigzagged through city streets and meandered through the rural countryside was still the backbone of the American highway system. Unlike the purpose-built interstates, in the beginning the routes were often improved local and state roads. Although the highways were direct, they still wound through the American landscape, showing travelers sights – both man-made and natural – they had never seen before. How could they help but not pull over?