BALLINGER - Award-winning author Stew Magnuson set out in 2009 to chronicle the past and present along this historically rich highway, traveling its length in May 2010 with the idea to publish a book about what he discovered. With that he penned "The Last American Highway," and he will present a multi-media event at the Carnegie Library at noon on Thursday, Oct. 26.

BALLINGER - Award-winning author Stew Magnuson set out in 2009 to chronicle the past and present along this historically rich highway, traveling its length in May 2010 with the idea to publish a book about what he discovered. With that he penned "The Last American Highway," and he will present a multi-media event at the Carnegie Library at noon on Thursday, Oct. 26.

U.S. Route 83 is like no other highway in Texas. It extends from its northernmost border at Oklahoma, passes through the ranchlands and oil patches of the Panhandle, hits a big speed bump in Hill Country, then follows the Rio Grande Valley all the way to Brownsville.

Magnuson will give a multi-media presentation about the history and joys of traveling Highway 83 during the Ballinger presentation on the book.

Like Highway 83 itself, it was a long road that took nearly eight years, but it ended on this year with the publication of "The Last American Highway: A Journey Through Time Down U.S. Route 83 in Texas."

Magnuson calls The Last American Highway in Texas a hybrid history-travel book.

“Every town has a story to tell,” he says. A massacre in Menard marked the beginning of the end for the Spanish Empire in America. Wellington is where the notorious criminals Bonnie and Clyde sent their car careening into the Red River. On a ranch just east of Brownsville, Ranger “Rip” Ford led the charge at the final battle of the Civil War.

Magnuson uncovers the stories of the famous, the infamous and the forgotten as he explores a road like no other in America.

The Last American Highway in Texas is available on Amazon.com and bookstores and gift shops along the highway.

Over the past eight years, Magnuson has carved out a place as the foremost expert on the fifth longest federal highway that runs 1,885 miles from the Canadian border to Mexico. He founded and administers the Fans of Route 83 — The Great Plains Highway page on Facebook, which now has more than 3,600 members. His usroute83.com website serves as a place for travel tips for those who want to explore the road. He writes the Highway 83 Chronicles blog about current events.