I tend to plan my travel around cities. Urban areas are my element and I feel at home. There's less planing required because everything is right in front of you. The problem is, lately I've been craving nature. I blame it on the recent U2 concert I went to here in Houston. It's the 30th anniversary of their album "Joshua Tree" and for the tour Dutch photographer and filmmaker Anton Corbijn, who shot the original iconic images for the album, created a short film that played through almost every song. Set in the American West, each one took a look at the idea of America, usually set in the middle of nowhere. You can check out some photos from the night by photographer and author Karen Walrond here. There's a seductive nature to being out of your element. As a kid I remember a road trip across New Mexico and watching heat lightning off in the distance. Each time the lightning cracked open the sky it was like a paintbrush being dragged across the dusky sky. It's still one of the most vivid memories I have from my childhood.
I've always wanted to fly to Seattle, rent a car and drive all the way down the West Coast, across the Grand Canyon and back into Texas. Ideally it would take about two to three weeks and would include stops in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Joshua Tree National Park, Tuscon, El Paso and Marfa. The idea of tripping through the American West has intrigued me for years and one of these days I'm going to do it.
Matti H. of Travel Feels captured the first leg of my dream road trip in the above video. There's also this video from Maarten Warson that covers a lot of the same ground but with more shots in the city (and a dancier soundtrack.)
So here's to constantly playing with Google Maps to get the road trip route just right, finding the right friends and setting up the music playlists way in advance. I think a road tip is exactly what I need.
Tell me where you would stop between Seattle and Houston to help me plan this epic adventure!