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Roadtrip Essentials, what to do in the USA, road trip to the US
By: Jeff Booth (justin) 2012.01.09


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When real life starts biting a little too hard and the scenery from your car's windows hasn't changed in years, you know it's time for a road trip. Drop everything, grab your keys, a friend or two, and some of these things to make your journey smoother.

Books

On the Road, Jack Kerouac

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, Robert M. Pirsig

Offbeat Museums, Saul Rubin

Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov

A Hell of a Place to Lose a Cow, Tim Brookes

Eat Your Way across the U.S.A., Jane and Michael Stern

Music
  • On the Road Again, Willie Nelson: it's an undisputed classic, and you can put up with at least one country song.
  • Robert Johnson: for anywhere near the Mississippi Delta.
  • OK Computer, Radiohead: feels like flying down the highway.
  • Truckin', Grateful Dead: best when played passing 18-wheelers and giving truckers the infamous honking signal.
  • I Can't Drive 55, Sammy Hagar: just remember when you thought Van Halen was good and roll up the windows so no one can hear.
  • Chemical Brothers: great played in a Midwestern thunderstorm.
  • Legend, Bob Marley: never goes wrong, just don't let the backseat smoke get in your eyes.
  • The Doors: all the songs are twenty minutes long so one album gets you through a whole state.
  • Highway 66, Bob Dylan: the real poet laureate of the road (also play some Woodie Guthrie to get the old, old school style)
Junk
  • Kaleidoscope for making scenery more interesting (don't use while driving).
  • Magic 8 ball for making decisions on which exit to take.
  • Snow Globes of your destinations to stick on your dashboard. Add to your collection as you drive.
  • A big pillow so you can sleep comfortably while your friend drives across Kansas.
  • Markers & paper to write signs to flash at people in station wagons.
  • Microcassette recorder to capture those 3 a.m. talks about the meaning of life (and to secretly tape that gas-station clerk who knows he saw a UFO).
  • A pee bottle because sometimes there's a lot of miles between rest stops.
  • Cheese Puffs because no one will believe you were on a road trip if your steering wheel isn't orange.
  • Postcard stamps in your glove box. Your aunts will want postcards from the Corn Palace and Carhenge.
  • Running shoes because there's nothing like jogging through an empty, dusty Texas town at 5 a.m.
  • And if you really want a non-essential, squeeze a 150-pound St. Bernard named Maggie into the backseat. Better yet, let her sit on your lap!
Websites

Photo by Jeff Booth


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