To celebrate Independence Day this year, I thought it would be interesting to talk about the road trips I’ve taken in the past few years. Because what’s more American than cruising down our amazing highway network to explore our great country? I got the inspiration for this post from an article I saw earlier today on Jalopnik, and I thought I’d expand upon that thought here, to bring some life back to this ghost town of a blog.
I’ve been fortunate enough to have taken a few road trips in my short life so far. The first one was only months after I got my driver’s license. I drove to upstate New York with my band in my dad’s 2003 Toyota Sienna, hitting up Rochester, Syracuse, Buffalo, and Jamestown. It was a lot of driving and I was the only driver, but it wasn’t too bad because I had a bunch of friends in the van. We played one show in some random community center in Rochester, and then we played a show in an indoor skate park in Jamestown. Those were some great times, and I still have great memories of that little tour.
The next road trip was several years later, in my recently purchased (and crashed) 2003 Hyundai Elantra. I had just gotten the radiator and brakes fixed a few days before the trip. I loaded up everything I owned into that little car, including my guitars, my computer, my clothing, my girlfriend, and all her clothing. Somehow it all fit. I split the roughly 2,600 mile trip into 5 days, driving roughly 8-9 hours a day each day. I saw so much open space in the country; it makes me wonder why everybody squeezes into these tight cities. It was awesome to see the weather change in a matter of days, from freezing cold in the north to a wonderful summer in the south. I drove through New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona. I remember speeding down the mountains of Flagstaff hoping that my brakes wouldn’t fail. I was so excited when I reached the Phoenix city limits. That little Hyundai did the whole trip without a single complaint. It even got respectable gas mileage after it all. It died two weeks later; I guess it gave its last breath to get us across the country.
My most recent road trip was a month or two ago, in my 2013 Hyundai Elantra GT. It was a quick little weekend trip to San Diego via the I-8. It was a lot of fun speeding through the desert, flooring that tiny little four-banger to get it up the mountains. San Diego was quite a bit more hilly than I remember when I visited as a kid. Nonetheless it was quite pleasant to see the city and the ocean again. I had a pretty good time there, and the trip back was perfect.
My next road trip will be in my new (to me) 2001 BMW 540ia, which I’m fixing up right now. You’ll hear more about it later. Once it’s perfect, I’m going to drive down the Pacific Highway in it. I’m planning to go all the way up the west coast, as I’ve never done that before.
If you have a car and some free time, get out there and explore the country! It would be downright un-American not to.