I read this as a kid. I remember really liking it but not much else.
This Is a reread. I couldn't remember details so I reread it to reaffirm my 4 star rating. The rating stands. I enjoy Post-apocalyptic stories and the different paths they can follow. This is post nuclear and leans toward some of the scifi effects of radiation: lingering hot-pockets, mutations, altered weather, etc.
The US is split into different nations with most of the population on either coasts. The middle is essentially a dead no-mans land called Damnation Alley. Planes can't fly, the land roams with mutant animals and deadly weather, and the is no radio communication.