things you will see on a road trip across america





-so much desert that you will get scared 

-seriously from california to new mexico is terrifying like it’s eight straight hours of pale red desert and the sky is so large that everything, even your car, even your hands, looks like a tenuously small and fragile diorama placed on an endless pale red table and left there to dissolve. 

-a gas station that for some reason has large dinosaurs made out of scrap metal. they are 1000% awesome. sometimes they move. take a million pictures.

-a fruit stand that sells the best fruit you have ever eaten. later you won’t quite remember which fruit. strawberries, maybe? peaches?

-small black birds, subtly different in every state. some have gold eyes and some are a little iridescent and some are black from beak to toes. the sparrows they compete with for crumbs look exactly the same wherever you go. 

-a completely empty rest stop. no one eats at the concrete tables. no one plays in the tiny strip of grass or gravel. you will find a small and beautiful stone. 

-a hawaii license plate, somewhere around ohio. i still don’t know how they get the cars across the ocean. i don’t know why anyone would leave hawaii for ohio. i don’t know why anyone lives in ohio. 

-an incredibly weird duck. you had no idea ducks could look so incredibly weird, and you wish you were still ignorant of how incredibly weird ducks can, apparently, look. 

-a small folksy roadside waystation that sells fudge and incredibly tacky statues of eagles and wolves and cowboys. if you like fudge, eat the fudge from here. 

-a lizard doing pushups. if you are particularly fortunate: many lizards doing pushups.

-approximately one gajillion starbucks shops. don’t bother counting them. it will make you angry. 

-a storm somewhere around oklahoma, if you’re lucky. the clouds tower up in fantastic fluffy castles miles and miles into the air and are painted pink and gold and purple and the sky turns a dozen impossible shades of blue and when the rain comes down over your car it sounds like the world is ending. 

-weird burrs will stick to your legs. you’ll flick them out of the car eighty or eight hundred miles from where their parent plant was grown, and not be sure whether you should wish the little hitchikers well or not. 

-a dog wearing sunglasses with his head hanging out of a car window. this will be the high point of the trip. 

-the world’s most depressing restaurant. you will know it when you wind up there and have to eat the terrible food, and listen to the terrible music, and look at all the listless waiters and want to tell them get in my car, for god’s sake get in, i’ll take you out of whatever crapsack little town this is that you can’t get out of on your own. but you won’t say that because it’s rude. maybe they have family here. maybe they even like it here.

-a painting of a sailboat in a motel located at least a hundred miles from any significant body of water. 

-several genuinely hilarious postcards. buy them.

-a cat that will not let you pet it. this will be the low point of the trip. 

-corn. so much corn you will get scared. who the fuck is going to eat all this corn? 

-a small stream in some small woods and the light will come down perfectly and the water will be beautiful and the grass will be beautiful and there will be flowers maybe or the leaves of the trees are starting to turn gold and there are birds chirping and it will be so perfect you will want to stand there and stay forever and live in this little magical painting off the side of the highway and be some kind of highway druid. but instead, you’ll get bored after a while, and get back in the car. 

if anyone ever wonders why i love america so much despite its many political and cultural flaws, this is why. this post explains it perfectly.

this. this is some realness.

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