America is big. Pretty basic, I know, but it’s true. It’s almost unending, and with landscapes that keep changing as you go.
I’ve crossed America at least four times on various tours over the last few years, but the travel part of those experiences has always been at night: you play a show, get a drink or two, and then load up the bus and wake up the next morning in a new city. When you’re on an extended US music tour, it’s one city after another with very little in between.
A good old-fashioned American road trip is the complete opposite.
The Colorado Rockies are breathtaking. Utah has canyons opening beyond canyons, with impossible-looking mountain ranges in the distance. Southern Idaho felt endless. Eastern Oregon looked like more of Idaho until suddenly the bottom dropped out into the Columbia River Gorge. And then the Pacific coast.
There’s no sense comparing the beauty of one place against another. Europe vs. US or whatever is sort of a waste of time and energy. But I will say that there’s a scale here that feels special, and a bit overwhelming to a city-raised fellow like me. It’s hard to imagine how people end up living in some of these remote places, or even how stretches of highway came to be.
I suspect there will be quite a few Americana posts in the future. I’m feeling inspired by the whole place: by the fading small towns and the epic trees and waterfalls, by the people and the cities they create.