An introduction to Traveling the American Road

It’s a tradition seemingly older than the ribbons of pavement drawn across the country, the byways that incubated the road trip and inspired everything from Travels with Charley to, well, Road Trip.

Can the great American journey survive the era of $4-a-gallon gas-and an economy that’s still not fully recovered? I think so.

This summer, I’m taking to the country’s interstates, highways and back roads to prove it can, exploring both famous Americana and the little-known, roadside inns and road houses, national parks and parking lot flea markets, searching out the stories making so many places in America unique.

I’ll also be profiling the people confronting the change head on, whether they live in a city in recovery, a town facing an uncertain future or a Gulf Coast beach still negotiating the aftermath of the oil spill. From gas station worker to tech-savvy CEO, I intend to find out and to share their stories.

Jump in my digital passenger seat and maybe even in the real thing if you need to hitch a ride. Just don’t bring an axe. Or be some freaky hitch hiker. I’d like to keep all my limbs in place thank you very much.

I’ll be sharing the trip in blog posts and in videos right here. You’ll also find updates on Twitter, Facebook and Gowalla, a mobile check-in service where you can track my location in real time.

While traveling these American roads I’ll have meet-ups to swap stories and tips face-to-face with readers and followers. Even if you miss out on meeting, the entire journey will be chronicled here, in the great halls of AOL Travel’s Gadling.

You can follow the entire series at

Time to travel the great American road.