Two Lane Gems, Vol. 1: Turkeys are Jerks and Other Observations from an American Road Trip



Two Lane Gems, Vol. 1: Turkeys are jerks and other observations from an American Road Trip is a road trip romp from the Chicago area to San Diego and back. Theresa Goodrich grabs her laptop, her camera, and her journal and makes (asks, she means, asks) her husband, Jim, to drive 6,479.5 miles through thirteen states so she can fulfill a childhood dream.

Starting at the most important archaeological site in North America, their journey takes them through sand dunes, forests, plains, and mountains. They stayed in haunted hotels, a rustic cabin, charming bed and breakfasts, and the oldest motel in Arizona. They camped in canyons and deserts and were visited by deer and surrounded by turkeys (jerks). They met a World War II vet, learned how to grow a date, and had a beer in the lowest bar in the Western hemisphere with a bartender named Scheherazade.

They also:

  • made a wish at the Center of the World
  • toured an abandoned mountain lion zoo
  • rode a vintage train with a singing engineer
  • ate schnecks
  • touched goblins
  • did not get blown up by unexploded ordnance
  • did not kill each other

Two Lane Gems, Vol. 1 is an uplifting, inspirational, and often humorous love letter to America. From cliff dwellings to buried cars to more hoodoos than you can shake a switchback at, this tale follows their round-about journey to find the country's treasures.

Product Details

Local Tourist
Publish Date
April 01, 2019
8.5 X 0.74 X 11.0 inches | 1.88 pounds
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About the Author

Theresa L. Goodrich tells people where to go for a living. After graduating with a BA in Journalism she went straight to self-publishing, founding The Local Tourist in 2002. Fourteen years and an Emmy later, she launched Drive By Towns, a companion website focusing on "two lane gems." She's slightly obsessed with road trips, camping, and her husband. When she's not writing or on the road, she's cooking and planning her next adventure.


"If John Steinbeck earned a Nobel Prize in Literature shortly after publishing Travels with Charley, then Theresa should start planning a trip to Oslo, Norway, because Two Lane Gems is every bit the book Travels with Charley was. And then some. While the news is full of stories of divisiveness, Theresa and Jim stories from their travels along America's two lane highways feature real Americans, educate readers on the nation's past (warts and all), and inspire all of us to lift each other up. I can't wait to read the next installment!" Kristin

"Like William Least-Heat Moon, who wrote deeply researched investigations of America through a lens of deep earth maps (Blue Highways, and PrairyErth), Goodrich takes the reader on a quiet and stately drive across America, threading a narrative from small town to small town, always focussed on the hyper-local, on what is truly unique in each. " Family G

"More than a guidebook, Two Lane Gems is a vivid portrait of the American landscape. Slide behind the wheel to meet the characters who inhabit some of our country's most interesting destinations. Along the way, you'll also experience the quirkiness of these quintessential destinations and also meet a few fellow travelers along the way. It's an adventure that I highly recommend." Paula Brandon

"Beautiful, thoughtful, wonderful, and exquisitely written! A honest-to-goodness treasure trove of hidden (2 lane!!) gems. Makes you want to immediately get in your car and discover them too. Theresa and Jim are perfect road trip companions. Can't wait for Volume 2!" Katie M.