The Last Stop: Vanishing Rest Stops of the American Roadside
Leafing through the photos of Ryann Ford’s photo album, The Last Stop, you are itching to get in your car and take a long road trip visiting some of the rest stops in this book. Actually, you can take a virtual visit through Google Earth as exact latitudes and longitudes precisely define the locations. A nice foreword and introduction describe the brief history of our highway system, and establishment first of roadside parks, then the safety rest stops throughout the system. Ford photographed hundred-seventy-two rest stops, each with the name of the nearest community, highway number, exact location and a tiny state map with a brown dot for your orientation.
The large photographs are beautiful, bound in an oversized coffee table-styled book on high-quality glossy paper. There are no captions, and they are not needed. It seems Ford spent some time at each stop to photograph it in the best light of the day under the most pleasing weather conditions. The rest stops range from simple, basic through highly sophisticated, even unique, some adhering to “regional characteristics.” Many of these photos will soon be historically important as due to budget restraints some if not most will be demolished or abandoned.
Ryann Ford • Joanna M. Dowling, Introduction • Vince Michael, Afterword • Joe Ely, Foreword