Good afternoon (PST) all, my name is Jerry. The small town boy with the modest-sized town attitude. Pleased to make your acquaintance.
When I was recruited for this trip a few short weeks ago it was immediately apparent that I must involve myself with this project. How could one pass this up? Take time off of work at the busiest time of the year in order to move at manageable speeds through the ‘real America’ whilst piloting a BMW for the first time — OK, interested. Not to mention doing so with one of your closest friends through an area of the United States I am least familiar. Shortly thereafter I was giving my duties as entertainment officer and ‘fake Mr. Slow’ and began my preparations.
As designated entertainment officer I have my work cut out for me. I suppose I would be considered an amateur road-tripper. My last great voyage was the 2007 February/March Toronto, ON to Seattle, WA. Needless to say moral was low and only mildly influenced by the sips of red bull.
There are several factors already working in our favor:
1) The southern root is key. Chances are the only inclement weather we will encounter will take place in the first few hundred miles.
2)A comfortable automobile designed to be driven piloted by two experienced drivers.
3)Access to a world of gadgets that, despite hurtling along the freeway, keep you as connected as ever.
My first order is to provide baked goods as a snack source. As a nod to all the Americana we are sure to encounter I am providing brown-sugar, toffee-pecan, and molasses cookies as well as homemade granola bars. Fiber is important. Other quality goods will be purchased along the way as I research the most intriguing of road-side rest stops. Whether we dine at the Medieval Times in Dallas or stop by the airplane shaped gas station in Powell, TN for mystery meat, our bellies will remain full.
One of the most important and difficult components will be the music. The soundtrack to our experience is going to be part of the memories themselves and drive us through some of the lulls that come with road fatigue. Selection itself is a delicate matter. There are two developed and distinctly different listening interests I will have to provide for. The first order of business, dump all notions of Top 10s, desert island discs and really any flat out favorite. You must instead provide a pulse and whether that is background music for a spirited discussion, a driving beat for heavy traffic or something with strong melody and lyrics for when you just want to stare out the window. Preparation is key.
The final inspirational component will be words. The tomes that have influenced several of my own road-trips always provide wisdom and inspiration along the way. The most obvious of these favorites are the Dharma Bums and On the Road both by Jack Kerouac. One of my favorite road-trip novels given to me by my mother is Blue Highways by William Least-Heat Moon. I am most excited to reread this story on our trip as there should be some lovely parallels to compare with our own. I must now sign off and work my last shift before final preparations commence.