Michael Yessis of World Hum: Travel Dispatches from a Shrinking Planet asks this question amid a preview of the Independent Film Channel documentary "Wanderlust: On the Road with American Road Movies":
“Does the road still promise us an open sense of freedom and liberation as it did in so many great films? Or, has the adventure of the American road ultimately been reduced to the stuff of Hollywood lore?”
I spent five days of those days traveling with my dad. We planned a night in Las Vegas and a side trip to Monument Valley, but otherwise loosely followed Route 66, a road he’d driven several times before the government built the interstate system. The United States we saw is as vast and as interesting as ever, filled with roadside diners and fast-food chains, black-socked European tourists and big-haired waitresses, gaudy billboards and breathtaking red rock landscapes. Hollywood can spin out road movie after road movie — another one, Pixar’s Cars, comes out June 9 — but these cinematic journeys, as much as I love watching them, will never trump the experience of rubber hitting road, the feeling of unfolding a map and sensing the possibilities that lie along every thin black line. If you think Hollywood sapped all the adventure out of road trips, you need to get in a car and drive.
Amen, brother. Say it.