The Great American Road Trip
A page from our notebook
This month’s inspiration is dedicated to all of the fellow ramblers, wanderers, and pioneers at heart.
The United States has a rich and storied past, with a multitude of places worth exploring just a car ride away. We look for the escape of a road trip to gain solitude and peace of mind. Energized by the uncharted terrain, we feel the stress of daily life melt away, and in its place rediscover the joy of adventure and discovery. We cherish the present moment, relish in the chance to be silly with our chosen travel companions, and untether from the screens and discord with which we are confronted daily. It allows us to (re)connect with ourselves, our loved ones, and the world at large.
So we encourage you to grab your travel buddy, stock up on your favorite road snacks, and get ready to join us on our journey through the good ole’ US of A. We’ve reminisced about every journey big or small, whether heading across state lines or cross-country, and pulled together what, in our minds, makes The Great American Road Trip the incredible, irreplaceable experience that it is.
“Micro-cations are a great way to get creative with paid time off and increase the number of times you can travel per year, especially if trips are planned to wrap around weekends. In fact, the joy of planning a roadtrip can oftentimes be greater than the joy experienced on the adventure itself.” – Rebecca Slip
Planning & Preparation
Calistoga Motor Lodge & Spa – Napa Valley
“A travel partner is like a dance partner. Same rules apply, give the other space, and know when to change things up!”
Some of BB’s favorite road trip buddies include:
- Someone willing to go off-roading (both mentally and physically).
- Someone excited about the pit stops.
- Someone thrilled to turn off their phone & turn up the radio.
- Dads – they tell funny stories, laugh at our jokes, and tolerate our music.
- Flying Solo – a journey can be a great way to process a big life event.
- A fellow adventure seeker.
- Pets – the furry ones are always down for an adventure both on and off the road.
- Best friends who understand good podcasts and have great taste in roadside food.
- The loves of our lives.
Mapping The Destinations
Scenery we think you don’t want to miss:
- Drive across the country on the Northern route, and do it in the fall.
- Head anywhere west!
- ArcoSanti in Arizona, filled with experimental communities, forged bells, and round windows.
- A mountain peeking out from around the bend, or the light hitting an open field.
- Seattle, Portland, SF, Tahoe, Area 51.
- Blue Ridge Mountains, Cape Cod, Coastal Maine, or Storm King.
- The Badlands Wildlife Sanctuaries.
- Anywhere you can breathe fresh air – the mountains, a secluded beach, or a lake.
- Hiking along the Appalachian Trail.
- Montana, Sonoma, and the ski slopes of Utah.
- Start in the mountains of Montana, head west to the Pacific Northwest, then make your way down the Pacific coast.
- Anywhere with saltwater.
“Map out your future – but do it in pencil. The road ahead is as long as you make it. Make it worth the trip.” – Jon Bon Jovi
The Essentials: Supplies
Snacks (check!). Roadies (check!). Playlists (check!).
Our list of must-haves for any road trip:
- Itinerary, playlist, sparkling water, packed cooler, & multiple pairs of shades.
- Sunflower seeds, dried fruits, gum, fruit-flavored water, Chex Mix, Skittles, Twizzlers, and Peanut M&Ms.
- A variety of Snapple flavors in the cooler, and a deck of cards for the breaks.
- Always grab a milkshake to-go.
- Personal supply of hot sauce.
- Boozy ‘Fla-Vor-Ice’ pops (homemade) for my companions.
- Camp dinners can be outstanding if you know how to pack smartly – one pot pastas with premade sauces in containers that can pack flat. Pack it in, pack it out!
BB’s November Spotify Playlist
The Road Traveled – (61 Songs / 4 hrs and 12 minutes of Music)
A sampling of songs from our curated playlist, ready for your next adventure:
- ‘Tiny Dancer’ – Florence + The Machine
- ‘Godspeed’ – Frank Ocean
- ‘River’ – Leon Bridges
- ‘Line of Sight – Chet Porter Remix’ – Odesza, Wynne, Mansionair, Chet Porter
- ‘Instant Crush (feat. Julian Casablancas)’ – Daft Punk, Julian Casablancas
- ‘Ain’t No Sunshine (Studio Session)’ – India Carney
- ‘California Dreamin – Extended Mix’ – Frieschwimmer
- ‘Both Sides Now – Torch Songs’ – Years & Years
- ‘Empire State of Mind’ – Jay-Z & Alicia Keys
- ‘Dancing on My Own – Fred Falke Remix’ – Robyn, Fred Falke, Michael Woods
- ‘Gold Dust Woman – 2004 Remaster’ – Fleetwood Mac
Inspiration & Musings
Joan Didion. Hollywood – Julian Wasser, 1968
“The automobile is an American cultural symbol.”
– Raymond Loewy
Little Miss Sunshine – Jonathan Dayton, Valerie Faris (2006) | Almost Famous – Cameron Crowe (2000) | Thelma & Louise – Ridley Scott (1991) | City Slickers – Ron Underwood (1991) | Death Proof – Quentin Tarantino (2007) | Dumb & Dumber – Peter Farrelly (1994)
The movies that make us crave an American adventure:
- Psycho (1960)
- Bullitt (1968)
- Easy Rider (1969)
- American Graffiti (1973)
- Grease (1978)
- Diner (1982)
- National Lampoon’s “Vacation” (1983)
- Planes, Trains & Automobiles (1987)
- Thelma & Louise (1991)
- Lost Highway (1997)
- Death Proof (2007)
- Drive (2011)
- Rumble – The Indians Who Rocked The World (2019)
On the Road: An Artist Book of the Classic Novel by Jack Kerouac Poster (Gagosian), The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test by Tom Wolfe Taschen (Collectors Edition Book Case), Zen & The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (Original Manuscript) courtesy of the Smithsonian
Our favorite books about the “open road” and travel:
- Roughing It, Mark Twain
- Black Like Me, John Howard Griffin
- On the Road, Jack Kerouac
- Travels with Charley, John Steinbeck
- The Electric Kool-Aid Test, Tom Wolfe
- Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas, Hunter S. Thompson
- Learning from Las Vegas, Denise S. Brown, Robert Venturi
- Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, Robert M. Pirsig
- The Lost Continent, Bill Bryson