I’m in Chicago now, but I spent the last few days driving here from Los Angeles by myself. It’s been almost 4 years since I last drove across the country. That may not seem like a long time, but I used to drive across the country every 4 months, so it feels like it’s been awhile for me. I strongly encourage every single person to take a cross-country road trip at least once in his or her life. We live in such a large and diverse country. I don’t think most people realize how vast and open it is out there. You’re left with just you and your thoughts for hours on end. That’s a scary thought for some people, but I learn something new about myself each time I make the trip. Throw on some good tunes and get lost in the spirit of travel. And if you get a chance, try making the trip by yourself, with some friends, and with some family members. I’ve done it each way and each one is a different experience. Here are some highlights for me.
The vastness of the desert never seems to impress me. It’s so open and you realize that you’re looking hundreds of miles in any direction with nothing ahead of you. Taking I-15 North through Nevada, you pass through the very northwestern tip of Arizona. It’s literally a few miles, but I always love driving through there. Them you get to Utah, which may be one of the most beautiful states in this country. There are a lot of crazy people living in Utah, but geographically it’s quite stunning. It’s vast and baron at times, then lush and green. You have mountains and rocks, plateaus and valleys, all unique and stunning in their own ways. It’s amazing to think of how these rock structures get to be the way they are. Makes you feel very small and insignificant.
I stopped in Denver for a night. I always love visiting that city. A clean city with good vibes and good people. It also doesn’t hurt that I have friends there who love to take me out drinking and show me a good time. Shout out to Morgan. The rest of the drive from Denver to Chicago is pretty boring. You take I-80 through one of the worst states, Nebraska, and then Iowa. Sorry if you live in Nebraska, but that place is just boring. Iowa is nothing but cornfields and rolling green hills. Always reminds me of an old movie where a couple is driving a car, but they’re not really driving the car, there’s just a background on loop playing behind the stationary car. That’s Iowa to me, the same background on loop. I also feel compelled to listen to Slipknot every time I go through there.
Here’s a taste of some of my favorite jams from the trip.
Tom Petty – Wildflowers
New Found Glory – Sticks and Stones
Brand New – Deja Entendu
Collective Soul – Greatest Hits
Third Eye Blind – Blue
Matchbox 20 – Exile on Mainstream
The Killers – Sam’s Town
Bruce Springsteen – Born To Run
Dashboard Confessional – The Places You Have Come To Fear The Most