Great Travel Books: Road Fever by Tim Cahill

Road Fever by Tim Cahill

Coming at you from 1987, Tim Cahill’s Road Fever is worth waiting over 25 years to read. Starting at the tip of South America, Road Fever takes the reader on a frantic trip up the Pan American highway all the way to Prudhoe Bay, Alaska in under twenty five days (which set a still standing record). Along with professional driver Gary Sowerby, he battles hairpin turns up winding mountain roads (where one unfortunate driver passes them and then passes on via a thousand foot drop) and endless border crossings manned by nervous, heavily armed teenagers who really enjoy pointing their automatic weapons at confused drivers. Just last summer we went on our own road trip, a six thousand mile or so seven week plus cruise. No border hassles, but we did encounter a few bears. I will take that over crossing into Nicaragua any day.

And while we generally avoid the long drives, sometimes we just have to suck it up and spend a day or two driving. It was while on one of those drives that I had an epiphany about travel time. Travel time is a triangulation of regular time, miles spent, and the miles you hope to gain. You do of course age while traveling at top speed through the interstate, but you do so at a slower rate than everything outside your vehicle. At least that’s what I tell myself when I have to ignore my bladder just to steal a few more miles from the day. Noel

Always another road

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