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This book is available for download with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device. Multi-touch books can be read with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device. Books with interactive features may work best on an iOS device. iBooks on your Mac requires OS X 10.9 or later.


Backbone of America is an interactive photographic essay capturing the story of a unique motorcycle journey across historic US Highway 50 from the Harley-Davidson™ Factory in Missouri to California. Writing about HWY 50, Blue Highways, author, William Heat Moon, says “for the unhurried, this little-known highway is the best national road across the middle of the United States.”  The route offers a compelling cross section of our nation that Time magazine devoted nearly an entire issue in 1997 calling the story the “Backbone of America”.  HWY 50 passes through literally hundreds of time worn small towns, most still remaining untouched by box stores and fast food.  From Kansas, following the Arkansas River along the historic Santa Fe Trail, climbing over the Colorado Plateau, into the Great Basin, across the Loneliest Road in America, into California, the route shares vanishing Americana. 

The essay contains photographs and interactive galleries of landscapes, historical locations, points of interest, and the colorful individuals who make up the character of the West.  Interactive highway maps provide the reader an opportunity to pin point locations along the route.  A daily journal documents the people, places, and thoughts of the road. Each chapter contains a list of motels and local cafes found to be authentic Americana experiences.  Backbone of America tells the story of the classic American road trip.  

"The steel's barely cooled before Carlan Tapp steers a fresh Low Rider from
the H-D factory in Kansas City onto Highway 50. From there, it's everything
from Dodge City to Lake Tahoe as he captures a fading, rough 'n' tough
America in stunning black and white."  HOG® Magazine


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Customer Reviews

Backbone of America

This iBook is excellent on so many levels. The black and white photography is superb! A great story of riding a Harley over 2000 miles through rural America from Kansas to California. I have not traveled a long distance on a Harley or traveled on Highway 50. After reading and viewing this book, I would love to do both. This book was a joy to read and pleasure to view the photographs.

Backbone of America

Carlan Tapp is a marvelous photographer and storyteller, and when he combines both talents we are treated to the magic of this book. His images are technically superb, detailed, and always contribute to the story. I have driven the loneliest road in Utah and Nevada and this book instantly whisked me back to that adventure. I consider Carlan one of my mentors and one of my friends, and I am delighted to recommend this book to you.

Backbone of America by Carlan Tapp

Not only are Mr. Tapp’s photographs wonderful but they are absolutely THE best hook to get us all out there onto Americas' blue roads…to see all of this lovely country. Having driven on Hywy 50 thru Nevada I can attest to the pull these open roads have. Carlan has a touch for the ‘hometown’ in all of us and his writings, perspectives and love for this venture come through on every page. Enjoyed every moment of this ‘journey’.

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View in iTunes
  • $8.99
  • Available on iPad, iPhone and Mac.
  • Category: United States
  • Published: Mar 10, 2015
  • Publisher: Carlan Tapp
  • Seller: Carlan Tapp
  • Print Length: 70 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Version: 1.0
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iPad with iBooks 2 or later and iOS 5 or later, or an iPhone with iOS 8.4 or later, or a Mac with OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings