Two Americas

Thirteen Days In October

The Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962 was the first big news story I can remember. For 13 days, it felt like the country was in real trouble. And for my generation, “the country’s in trouble” became a narrative that persistedToday, “The Country’s In Trouble” is a portrait hanging in the American mind. But what if the painting is a fake?

A Mona Lisa Smile

The mind plays tricks. Tell it something long enough and it’ll program a new reality based on what it hears. The antidote? Tune-out. Take a road trip. And watch a different America take shape on the canvas.

For 31 days I rode through Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and then up and down California – twice. There and back again. Everyone was friendly, curious about my journey, and happy to help whether tending the Harley or my aching back. Not long after hitting the road, somewhere in West Texas I found myself in the Country of No Trouble for the rest of the trip. It turns out there really are two Americas: the fake portrait hanging in our minds, and the authentic one in front of our eyes.

I-10 West Of Fort Stockton 2
Dawn, outside Fort Stockton, but I was heading West to El Paso, then Phoenix, a 14 hr ride

October 2013

The happiest people you meet on the road are the ones helping you

Just buying gasoline or french fries is a social occasion when you travel alone

Stepping out of the narrative is the Tao of road trips

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