Stylized line drawing of mark playing the flute

Bloganuary: Think back on your most memorable road trip.

There are actually two!

The first was when I was 12. My dad and I spent about 6 weeks camping driving in a circle around a big portion of the US. We swung down through the Southwest and made it as far East as Kentucky. Then we swung North and made our way through the Dakotas, Montana, and back down into Nevada. We saw a ton of cool things, a lot of which I missed because I had my nose buried in a book. We stopped in a bookstore in every town that had one so I could get more books. Somewhere is the giant pile of books I accumulated.

The second was the summer of 1995. I flew out to Kentucky and my (then) girlfried (now, wife) and I drove her car back to Portland, OR so she could have it at school. I was shocked that I was allowed to do it but we had so much fun.

We spent our first night in Selena, Kansas and had dinner at Dairy Queen (along with the entire rest of the town, it seemed). We stayed at the Budget King who's sign slowly decayed over the time we were there, first becoming the 'Budget ing' and finally 'Budget ng'.

This was pre-Web, pre-cell phones (at least ubiquitous ownership of them). She had AAA car service and they had a thing where you could call them and tell them about your trip. Then, they would send in the regular mail, a route with a bunch of maps and recommended places to stop along the way.

We spent 2 nights in Boulder, CO with her aunt an uncle. It was here that we bought a couple of Adam Sandler sketch-comedy cassette tapes that we listened to obsessively (it was a nice break from doing Mad Libs or reading out loud to each other).

The next night was in Wendover, NV which, at the time (maybe it's gotten better), was one of the most depressing towns I've ever been in. It was right on the Nevada/Utah border and was mainly there so people in Utah had a close place to gamble and buy real alcohol. The town had a shitty motel (that we stayed in), a Rainforest Buffet with a tiny casino, and a trailer park where most people in town lived.

From there, we turned North and made our way back to Oregon.