This is a work of fiction, not a guidebook. While the geography of the United States of America in this tale is not entirely imaginary-- many of the landmarks in this book can be visited, paths can be followed, ways can be mapped-- I have taken liberties. Fewer liberties than you might imagine, but liberties nonetheless.
-- From the Caveat, and Warning for Travelers
American Gods is very much a road novel, so here's my attempt at keeping that straight, with Shadow's travel itinerary, of sorts. Maps were made with help from Rand McNally's Road Trip Planner, which is a lovely and free tool. However, it will only allow for 10 stops per trip, so I've had to break this down into multiple (rather arbitrary) legs. I've tried to keep this down to places where Shadow stopped, not just passed through or mentions (unless I thought they were somehow significant), because let's face it, there are enough cities as it is ^_^ And, as the aforementioned caveat makes clear, there are definitely spots on the map that I couldn't locate, or that aren't precisely where they were in the book. This is intended for reference purposes only, just to give a general idea.
Shadow begins in an unnamed prison. Not knowing where this is, I've officially begun his journey in St. Louis, where his flight to Eagle Point was redirected to. And since it's on this flight that he meets Wednesday, you could argue that it's where his actual journey begins. He meets Wednesday again in the town of Nottamun (pop. 1301), which I was unable to locate, and so is not on this map.
- Wednesday and Shadow then drive to Eagle Point, which is about 250 miles from Nottamun. Shadow tells Sam Fetisher that the Eagle Point he's from is in Indiana. However, according to all the maps I've searched, there is no Eagle Point, IN. There is, however, an Eagle Point, Wisconsin. Thus, that's where it is on the map. (Note: Neil emailed me to say that Shadow is from Eagle Point, IN, the one that doesn't exist. This one is just on the map as a placeholder.)
- Next, Shadow and Wednesday head for Chicago to visit the Zorya.
- After Chicago, they head to the House on the Rock, which is in Spring Green, Wisconsin.
- On his way to Cairo, Shadow picks up Sam Black Crow and drops her off in El Paso, Illinois.
- Still en route to Cairo, he stops for lunch in Red Bud, IL.
- Finally, he reaches his destination of Cairo.
- After Cairo, he heads to Lakeside, Wisconsin. In the "Caveat, and Warning for Travelers," Neil says he has "obscured the location of several of the places in this book: the town of Lakeside, for example." However, Lakeside came up in the atlas software, and it is described as being in Northern Wisconsin-- the farthest south and east of the UP you can still get pasties, according to Mabel. With that in mind, this certainly looks like a reasonable location for Lakeside. And if it's not the town it's supposed to be, well, it's a point of reference on the map at least.
- From Lakeside he heads to Madison.
- In Madison, he and Wednesday catch a flight to Las Vegas, Nevada, and here this map ends. In case you were wondering, Rand McNally calculates the total distance of this leg of the trip as 4,501 miles.
- After Las Vegas, Shadow returns to Lakeside.
- From Lakeside, he and Wednesday head for San Francisco to vist Eostre.
- ... and then back to Lakeside.
- They then drive west, spending some time Backstage, and then to the reservation with Wisakedjak and Johnny Appleseed. The town they drop John off in is called Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
- And then back to Lakeside (stopping "just outside St. Paul" on the way.)
- Next to an unnamed place in Rhode Island to visit "a woman who would not get out of bed, nor would she let Wednesday or Shadow look at her face." For the sake of having it on the map, I stuck her in Providence.
- Since there was no specific mention of a return to Lakeside, I've decided that they next went directly to Seattle, Washington, where Wednesday visited a "young woman with short red hair and blue spiral tattoos."
- And then to Dallas, Texas to meet with some unknown Albanian.
- Followed by Boulder, Colorado to meet with "five young Japanese women."
- Back to Lakeside, with this leg having a total distance of 13,962 miles (obviously, this is an estimate, especially given the uncertainties regarding the Badlands and Rhode Island. Still though, a long way ^_^)
- From Lakeside, Mr. Nancy and Czernobog take Shadow to Minneapolis, where they change cars.
- En route to the center of the US, they make a brief stop in Cherryville, Kansas, the birthplace of Louise Brooks. (This is, incidentally, her actual birthplace, however it is apparently not a big enough tourist draw to be in Rand McNally's database.)
- And then to outside Lebanon, KS, the center of the continental US.
- Next they drive to the World Tree, which is about an hour south of Blacksburg, Virginia. For purposes of this map, however, it's just in Blacksburg.
- After the World Tree, to Rock City, on Lookout Mountain, Georgia.
- Then to Ft. Pierce, Florida with Mr. Nancy.
- Next, back to Lakeside to deal with Hinzelmann.
- And to Madison, to bid farewell to Sam.
- Shadow next goes to Chicago, to make good on his deal with Czernobog.
- And finally, to Reykjavik, Iceland. (Which, rather blatantly not being a part of the continental United States, does not appear on this map.) This leg of the trip, minus Reykjavik, is roughly 5,008 miles.
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