Didn't want you guys to think I've been purposefully neglecting this. Last Monday I had emergency surgery for detached retina. Not fun! Now I have to keep my head bowed down for two weeks while it heals. This on top of the cancer situation is getting a bit overwhelming (not to say gol'dern ridiculous). I swear there's a hidden expiration date on my birth certificate - and the clock it ticking.
In a weird way, it's making me lose patience and start thinking of just piling into the old Mercedes and heading out on the highway. Not smart, but it would be a great break from the craziness I'm going through here. Minor detail that I have only one usable eye at present, and no depth perception.
Tom in CT
You sound to me like a guy who intends to use what he's got, not bemoan what he hasn't. And BTW one of our most active road pros here gets by with one eye. It p***** me off because he can't fully appreciate my great 3D photos!
I have tried to imagine the trip as your parents might have taken it. Obviously they would have visited the big attractions along the way, and those haven't changed much. They are still there. The problem is what about the less important sights and places, the cafes, motels, and service stations.
I confess my road history interests go back to considerably before 1982, but I can envision a trip where you stayed at 1980's motels, ate at 1980's cafes, and the like. What you need are a few resources to identify them.
It should be easy to get a 1982 Rand McNally Atlas (as Denny suggested) and early 1980's AAA Tour Books on eBay or ABE. That would give you the 1982's routes and the names of motels, and even some restaurants from the period. I have some Duncan Hines guides and some Travelmat guides (they did those place mats you may recall) but they predate the 1980's (but not the 1960's). I have also seen several Best Western guides on eBay from the period. I bet with a little research you could plan a trip staying only in motels built before 1982, and often eat in restaurants of the period.
I just bid on some Reader's Disgust Driving America maps and guide books from the early 1980's. You can have then for free if I win them, and if I don't they should come up often in eBay.
Here is a possible organizing construct. Using the places you know your folks planned to visit, identify the connecting routes on a 1982 Rand McNally Atlas. Turn to the Readers Disgust maps and books for sights, and to the 1980's AAA Tour books to identify motels and restaurants. Use the internet to check if they still exist.
With some effort you could just about recreate the experience as they would have done, had they done it. All you have to do then is find service stations that sell gas at 1982 prices!
Just a few free thoughts which are worth every penny they cost!
(Oh, one last comment. Do keep the head down or they will have to install a buckle in the eye, and that can be no fun at all.)
Keep the Show on the Road