Flavorwire posted on 10 Literary Road Trips recently. I'd hop in a car and travel the path of the Grapes of Wrath, or float down the Mississippi to relive Huck Finn. (The Gilgamesh trip, eh, not so much.)
It made me think about what path(s) I'd take to follow my YA reading in real life. Here's an inefficient cross-country trip I'd take (Assuming that I'd won a gas card for life, or something. And also owned a car.):
Ashokan reservoir: Why not take a little detour before heading south and see where NYC gets its water? Travel + Leisure recently proclaimed the flooded towns of the Catskills as one of the World's Eeriest Abandoned Places (here). While gassing up in the Catskills, I'd watch out for the manipulations of Imaginary Girls's Ruby.
Appalachia, aka District 12: I get it that present day Appalachia does not equal District 12 of Panem. That doesn't mean that I don't want to see the place that inspired the Hunger Games setting.
Chicago: I didn't realize it until now, but Chicago and its wonderful burbs is quite the popular YA setting. Let's review some of the amazing books set in the Windy City and the surrounding area:
Divergent: a chilling dystopian Chicago that makes great use of the Loop's architecture and the El.
Will Grayson, Will Grayson: from Evanston to downtown. Major bonus points for scenes at the Hideout.
And Then Things Fall Apart: Set in the NW suburbs and a pitch-perfect slice of suburban Chicago life.
Crossing California: Not technically YA, but tells the story of teens living in the incredibly diverse Rogers Park neighborhood.
I'd take a couple Giordano's pies with me for the road.
Wyoming Badlands: Flyover country says who? I'd love a chance to linger in the land of wild winds and perhaps catch a glimpse of Mandarin Ramey from Like Mandarin.
Bay Area: Outside of San Francisco, I'd try to find Clover, CA or at least a town like it--one where The Sky Is Everywhere. Then I'd finish my journey by heading to San Francisco and following in the footsteps of Lola and [her] Boy Next Door (and Anna and St. Clair, too).
This is such an incomplete itinerary. What stops am I missing?
Pretty sure it's a sign you are officially old if you are familiar with the "See the USA in your Chevrolet" commercials/jingle.