Who needs an atlas when you have an iPhone?

My great American road-trip began with an agreement to accompany my friend in his move from San Francisco to Florida.  The agreement we made included; five days of driving, one large u-haul attached to an SUV, a detour to the Grand Canyon, a few hands at the tables in Biloxi, MS and a lot of gas stations in between.  Now I realize my itinerary doesn’t paint a picture of your typical vacation and to be honest, I would have to agree.  So instead, we will just call my time away from the “office” an adventure.

As the Account Director for Rhyme & Reason Design, my ability to manage internal and external projects is top notch, sadly when it comes to managing the rigging of a u-haul trailer to a four-runner, it is sub-par.  After 30 minutes of pulling forward, backing up and a couple debates over my visual abilities, we finally managed to leave the parking garage. It was as at the entrance of the garage, before the odometer ticked off mile one of 3,000, that my road trip buddy decided to mention, “oh by the way, my radio was stolen.”

And so the trip begins.

Not having a radio on a road trip is equivalent to not having beer at a sports bar, because let’s be honest no matter how much you like the person you are driving with or how much you have in common, at some point during five days you just want to drown them out.  Luckily for us, he brought earphones and a Zune and I brought a makeshift office.

By day 2, we had settled into the swing of things, I was making calls to potential clients, he was playing drums on the steering wheel, our first state border was in our rearview mirror and the blue dot on the iPhone was moving closer to the Grand Canyon.  By the time we pulled into a spot on the outer ridge of the Canyon, we had clocked 765 miles, my laptop battery was on empty and if we didn’t get out of the car soon our bodies were going to become one with the seats. All of the above was forgotten, when moments later I was standing, wide-eyed at the edge of the canyon. I could rave for this entire entry about the Grand Canyon and the water-color beauty of the sky, the shear expanse of mother-nature and the powerful image etched into my mind, but in the end these would only be the memories of my experience and I think this is one of those places where my words won’t do your thoughts justice.

Day 3 was a blur and day 4 would have been had we not found ourselves in the “Vegas” of the South, also known as Biloxi, MS.  Within an hour of checking into our hotel, we were as put together as two people who have spent four days in a car could get with the little clothes available.  In other words, I wore a glorified wife-beater and a ton of eyeliner.  My foray at the craps table wasn’t much better than my wardrobe.  Having never played a hand at any casino, I managed to chuck the dice over the table, through the slot machines and out the front door.  Silence fell, followed by uproarious laughter and my utter embarrassment.  Luckily, my road-trip buddy did not disown me and we managed to hit the road again by noon the next day.

It took us five days and 3,208 miles to make it from one coast to the other.  In that time, I managed to see a lot more of America than I had ever seen, enjoyed comfortable silences and learned a few things about driving u-hauls, playing craps and making business calls from the road.DSCN1394

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