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Posted by on Feb 4, 2014

Ramblings from the Road: Solo Road Tripping Back West


I get that an around-the-world trip is a major undertaking that is tough for people to pull off. But as I was driving from Chicago to California last week I was reminded again of what a beautiful country we live in and how people need to experience more of it. Like most people, my typical vacation involves getting on a plane and flying to a city and spending some time there. But travel by car is pretty damn fun and I saw some beautiful country in New Mexico, Arizona and then through the Mojave Desert in California. With a 75 mph speed limit in a lot of states, you can get places quickly. Think about a road trip for your next vacation.

White Sands National Monument in New Mexico. One of the most amazing places in the U.S.

White Sands National Monument in New Mexico. One of the most amazing places in the U.S.

That being said, I’m not sure I get the whole Route 66 thing. I criss-crossed it multiple times during my trek and saw a lot of people driving on it. Is it still popular because it’s famous? Or is it a nostalgic thing that reminds people of simpler times?

Other notes from the road:

Has anyone ever had a bran muffin that tasted good? If you said yes I’m calling bullshit. I don’t think it’s possible.

Driving by myself meant I could listen to whatever music I wanted. That meant more of The Who and less Neko Case (one of Jill’s favorites). I also downloaded a lot of music that wound up on various Top Album lists for 2013 through Spotify. Some new music I enjoyed included Andrew Cedermark, Majical Cloudz, Wooden Ships and Phosphorescent.

One of the highlights of the trip – trying to dodge tumbleweeds in Oklahoma, Texas and California. I did a poor job avoiding the first few I came across, but improved as the trip went on until running into two large boulder-sized tumbleweeds in California. Adding to the degree of difficulty is trying to avoid hitting the car next to you when swerving to steer clear of the tumbleweed.

Thank you Texas for posting signs on your highways reminding people that the left lane is for passing only. I had no problem with people hanging out in the left lane until I got into California. It seems like California drivers think they’re entitled to the left lane and can’t be bothered switching.

Paid $2.99 a gallon for gas in Oklahoma and Texas, then arrived in California, where it’s more than $3.60 a gallon. Ridiculous.

Hold on, I think my bran muffin is exacting some revenge on me for talking shit about it.