When I wrote The Old U.S. 80 Highway Traveler's Guide (Phoenix-San Diego) in 1997, nothing else had been written on this worthy old road--the numbered version of The Broadway of America in the West. But Jeff Jensen has written a book that every old road aficionado will drool over with its highly detailed directions (including to some of the most remote sections and multiple alignments of the road), clean-looking maps, and colorful images. He also covers a good, lengthy swath of the old road from New Mexico to California. And the occasional typo here and there does little to distract from the good dose of contagious fun that bleeds through to readers who get their kicks exploring every nook and cranny of a nostalgic highway. Jeff is sure to provide "bail points" for those who don't want to go the distance, but don't write this book off as a piece of fluff. This is die-hard roadie material, designed for those who take their old roads seriously. As one who does, I am glad to have this book on my shelf and pleased to see another author take an interest in a road worthy of more than just one guide.
Although not as well known as Route 66 or the Lincoln Highway, U. S. Route 80 (aka "The Broadway of America," "The Bankhead Highway" and "The Ocean-to-Ocean Highway") once extended from Tybee Island, Georgia to San Diego, California, covering 2,500 miles and passing through eight states. Despite being rendered obsolete by the interstates, much of old U.S. 80 between Anthony, New Mexico and San Diego can still be driven on today and is waiting to be rediscovered by those highway enthusiasts (i.e. "roadies") looking for another forgotten highway to explore. To help them in this quest, Jeff Jensen has written the ultimate traveler's guide to Highway 80 through the American Southwest. Unlike some of the other historic highway tour books I have read, Jeff's meticulously researched guide has been written and organized with driving convenience in mind, giving travelers the option to explore as much (or as little) of old U.S. 80 as they wish. The book is organized as a series of short tours, which, taken as a whole, cover the entire distance between Anthony and San Diego, driving from east to west. Each tour section includes a detailed map showing U.S. 80's various alignments (which are conveniently color coded), information about what travelers will be seeing, historical facts about older alignments and bypassed segments, brief descriptions of not-to-be-missed roadside attractions and optional sightseeing opportunities within a given tour area, information about road conditions (particularly useful for those who wish to explore long-abandoned sections of the road that have fallen into disrepair), and "bail points," where travelers can return to the interstate. Each tour is lavishly illustrated with color images - photos, vintage post cards, old road map graphics, etc.Read more ›
Nobody knows the old US 80 / Bankhead highway corridor better than Jeff Jensen. I have been a Route 66 historian and roadside culture enthusiast for over 20 years, and I have never seen a guide to another highway as accurate and detailed as this one. Jeff has invested years of meticulous research and field work to create a guidebook that brings the wonders of the historic highway experience to everyone smart enough to buy it. I have explored old US 80 from Las Cruces to San Diego twice using Jeff's book, and I can tell you that this road ranks right up there with Route 66 when it comes to memorable road trips. Like most vintage roads, the trick is knowing how to find it and what to look for once you do. The "Broadway of America" has so many things to see and cool towns to explore it is a trip you can do over and over. Think about prowling around abandoned sites and ghost towns. Think about motoring through places like Bisbee, Tombstone, Tucson, Gila Bend, and Yuma, and seeing sites like old plank roadbed, a territorial prison, early abandoned two-lane concrete winding through the mountains, and the list goes on. It's all here folks, and even if you never make the trip, this book will take you there in your mind like no other. Giving this five stars is a no brainer.
I truly enjoyed reading this book for I, too, am interested in the history of the development of roads in America, especially the southwest. The details are enticing making me wish I could just drive the Broadway of America