Friday, February 1, 2019

Two Lane Gems Vol. 2 {Review with Insight from Author Theresa Goodrich}

Two Lane Gems Vol. 2 by Theresa Goodrich Takes Readers on the Great American Road Trip

Two Lane Gems Vol. 2 Takes Readers on the Great American Road Trip

You are dreaming about it and have your spots picked out. You are ready to pack up that car and hit that road for destinations known and unknown. You are ready for a great American road trip! However, today is not quite the day to start that trip -- yet. Fortunately, Two Lane Gems Vol. 2 by Theresa Goodrich will transport you on a road trip from Chicago to the Oregon Coast and back. Through the journey, you will experience well known sites including Yellowstone, Mount Rushmore, the Columbia River Gorge and Crater Lake. You will also visit other gems like stunning Smith Falls in Nebraska, a 1909 wooden carousel in Spokane, an Amish store looking for Bug Soother in Iowa and King’s Saddlery and King Ropes & Museum in Wyoming packed full of saddles of all designs, spurs, wagons and more.
Throughout the book, Theresa unfolds these discoveries on the road while introducing us to tourists, family members, friends, historians, rangers and more people she meets on the road. Theresa adeptly brings each experience alive so you can feel for a moment that you are there. However, she reveals just enough to make your curious and start your own explorations.

A stunning discovery from Two Lane Gems in Nebraska -- Smith Falls!
A stunning discovery in Nebraska -- Smith Falls!
While reading, I was touched many ways. So many of the stories related somehow to my life whether tied to my family history or a spot that I explored or a site I would typically visit or somewhere entirely new and enthralling. This is the story of America. America is a country with many people, many cultures, many stories and many natural treasures. Theresa unfolds her discoveries in a way where you experience them with her. How much more real can you get than sleeping at Sage Creek Campground in South Dakota with bison around?

Camping with the bison at Sage Creek Campground in Two Lane Gems by Theresa Goodrich
Camping with bison in Sage Creek Campground!
Two Lane Gems is incredibly personal. We are there with Theresa and her husband and travel companion Jim through their joys and delights as well as when real life situations present themselves while they are on the road. I am not going to give anything away because I really want you to read this book, but I loved that Theresa threaded some not-so-happy experiences that truly popped up during their journey. This made the trip even more real to me as a reader. I have often been on the road when one of life's unpleasantries popped up. To see that presented instead of a glossed over image of travel to me was a breath of fresh air.  Of course, there are plenty of sentimental and silly moments as well. Two Lane Gems Vol. 2 is a very well-rounded book.

I was able to talk to Theresa a little bit about her book and learn more about the trip and the planning that went into it.  Theresa and I both want to encourage you to get out there and explore. We have so many treasures awaiting. Take each moment as gift and be present with each place you visit. Here is a little a bit of what went into this epic journey:

What brainstorming methods went into planning such a large trip?

First, Theresa started her planning with some type of ending point. Here, she would use the midpoint of the trip, the Oregon Coast, as an ending point. She recommends using Roadtrippers to see how long it is to get place to place and see what places are around. She focuses on National Parks and Monuments. She also uses a lot of personal connections like family and friends on route as well as those with particular insight into an area. For example, for the Nebraska leg of this trip Theresa connected with Gretchen Garrison who is the author of Detour Nebraska. She also uses Trello to help organize.

What methods do you find useful in documenting anecdotes from others you meet on the road?

Theresa makes it a point of being present in every conversation. While studying journalism, Theresa learned interviewing skills which she incorporates. She often jots down notes in the car right after a conversation. She will go over them with Jim to see if there is something she missed. She has found that she remembers more when writing, it brings her back to the moment. She also takes TONS of photos --- 9,000 in 35 days. She will also take video. Going through the photos and videos help bring back to life that moment.

Prayer Clothes at Devils Tower signify a sacred place. Image courtesy of Theresa Goodrich.
Prayer Clothes at Devils Tower signify a sacred place. Image courtesy of Theresa Goodrich.
Visiting Devils Tower was a very spiritual experience for you. Can you share a little more about that experience?

Devils Tower is a sacred monument that holds particular cultural significance for over 20 Native American tribes. From a ranger talk, Theresa learned that the tribes call the monument Bear’s Lodge, Home of the Bear, Aloft on a Rock, Tree Rock, Great Gray Horn or Brown Buffalo Horn. In 1906, Teddy Roosevelt signed the Antiquities Act to help protect Native American sites from looting. He designated Devils Tower as the first National Monument. While walking the Tower Path encircling Devils Tower, Theresa encountered prayer clothes and bundles tied to trees. This experience was profoundly spiritual for Theresa as she embraced the history at Devils Tower and the intimacy of sharing a sacred place. She encourages us to feel the presence and history where you are. The prayer clothes are meaningful. They represent someones hopes, dreams or sorrows. Take a moment to acknowledge the significance and intimacy of the experience.

Did you map out new journeys on the trip?

Theresa and I bonded other the fact that there really are so many incredible places to see all over the USA. While visiting Oregon, the Historic Columbia River Highway was closed and she would definitely like to return there. While Theresa and Jim did explore some Lewis and Clark sites on this journey, she would love to follow their trail more closely. She would also like to return to explore Whitefish, Montana, Cody, Wyoming and more. Theresa also has future plans to travel to the East Coast up to Acadia National Park and travel the Pacific Coast Highway.


Theresa Goodrich from her book signing at The Golden Triangle in Chicago
Theresa Goodrich from her book signing at The Golden Triangle in Chicago. Image courtesy of Theresa Goodrich.
Are you ready to join the great adventure?

You can order Two Lane Gems Vol. 2 or the initial Two Lane Gems that started it all from Theresa Goodrich's Two Lane Gems website. I also recommend following Two Lane Gems on Facebook as well as The Local Tourist. Did I mention Theresa Goodrich is a local author? I highly recommend joining her Facebook Group The Local Tourist Chicago for a wealth of knowledge on Chicago to-dos.

Theresa does have a local book signing coming up at 7PM at Three Embers on Lincolnshire on February 26. RSVPS are required.: today: https://www.facebook.com/events/1193357097507219/

**Disclosure: I did receive a digital copy of Two Lane Gems Vol. 2 to bring you this review. No other compensation was received. All opinions are 100% my own.

Two Lane Gems Vol. 2 Review with Insight from Author Theresa Goodrich

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