I just got back from driving both ways cross-country with my kids and it’s time to post. Both the western leg with my daughter and the eastern return with my son were packed with memories and views for a lifetime. Both kids will remember with awe the might of the Rockies and the sublime loveliness of the red desert plateau monuments. Especially memorable were the desert waters. Saphira learned to swim all over again beneath the towering Moab walls of the lower Colorado. Caleb found his Feng-Shui deep in a sun-speckled swimming hole within massive boulders. All quite wondrous indeed.
My trip was quite parental, laden with budget concerns and the need to gobble up the miles in huge chunks to meet deadlines for assuredly grown-up endeavors. Still, it was hella fun. My kids are a riot to travel with. They grew up on the road and know what it’s all about. My experience was somewhat new. My last rig had in-dash GPS, so preloading destinations is old hat. What made it new was that the planning was done on my phone as I lay in my sleeping bag, then saved as a soup of calendar events, map coordinates, and kosher restaurant data. The app then picked the route and was followed religiously with absolute certainty.
We also have deep respect for the playlist. For the first time, I hit the road with my tunes and GPS in one device, my ancient iPhone 4. Right off, we discovered USB connectivity with in-dash display and steering wheel controls. Slick. Old school cruise control on the other side turned it into a 5,702 mile big-boy video game of variable intensity evoked by construction sites, gnarly weather, super-remote blackness and lots of big trucks. Lily Allen Sheezus got lots of play. Tristan Prettyman’s new Cedar + Gold was a downer, but fun to talk smack about. New Old Story from Bastard Sons of Johnny Cash was more of the same excellent road tunes and the easiest music I’ve ever bought online. Patti Smith Banga. Blanche Little Amber Bottles. The Libertines Legs 11. Lou Reed Take No Prisoners. Kate Nash Girl Talk took a few listens to absorb the howling, but became unanimous crowd favorite.
So what does all this have to do with the Muffs? Don’t forget that the nexus for this whole adventure was my hometown, good ol’ San Diego. Of my many roots there, one that runs uber-deep is punk rock and The Casbah. Hanging there with my best pal and all of hers, watching a band I love and generally enjoying the rich soil I grew from and the creature of contradictions that I have become was my best moment.