"I traveled in an RV from Moab to Grand Junction for a wine festival. The RV was so heavy that we had to travel incredibly slowly and stop at nearly every gas station. By the time we finally arrived in Grand Junction, everything was closed except for a pizza place. We ended up calling up the pizza place at midnight and had to instruct them to deliver to 'the RV parked next to the elementary school.'"
"In 2009, I convinced one of my best friends to drive from New York to Graceland with me. The two nights we spent in Nashville turned out to be two of the weirdest nights of my life.
"The weirder of the two involved getting a random tattoo right before the shop closed, by an apprentice with very little experience (don't ask). Anyway, we walked out of the shop, hailed a cab, and got in. As the driver went to turn the corner, he slammed on the brakes, nearly causing me to face-plant. Like, why did that just happen? Well...all of the sudden, a girl popped up, slammed her hands on the hood of the car, and was like, 'ROLL DOWN YOUR WINDOW, SIR.'
"My driver had hit a pedestrian who was crossing at the crosswalk. She was totally fine but asked for his information so she could report him. After they were finished, he turned around and said, 'Guess I gotta tell my wife and kids I lost another job. Do y'all wanna report me too?' To which I replied, 'Sir, I just want to get home safely. Zac Efron is hosting SNL tonight.'"
"From Tennessee back to NYC, my left leg fell asleep for so long that I had no sensation in my big toe for MONTHS afterwards. Nerve damage is funny, right? Oh, and we were a van full of eight people who smelled terrible because, well, it was Tennessee in June, so...that was pleasant."
New Orleans Quickie
"It was 1 a.m. on the Sunday/Monday night before spring break when my roommate and I decided to drive some 2,000 miles from our house in Pennsylvania to New Orleans for Mardi Gras. We had just finished a camping trip, so our bags were packed, and we were on the road with minimal planning about 15 min later. We watched the sunrise in Virginia, ate lunch in Alabama, and watched the sunset in Louisiana. We got to New Orleans around 9 p.m. on Monday, parked the car, and walked right to Bourbon Street. When the sun came up on Tuesday, we finally decided to find some lodging. A power nap and shower later, we were back at it to shut the city down at midnight. By 5 a.m. Thursday, we were back home with one fewer item on the bucket list."
"My best friend and I drove to a music festival in Tennessee in 2010. We were completely unprepared — had the tiniest tent in the world and only ate snacks the whole time. While at the festival, we would put her car in neutral to charge our cell phones. (That was dumb.) By the second day, her car was completely dead. But since it was so hot, we had left all the windows down. So now her car was dead with all of our stuff in it. AND it was supposed to rain within the hour.
"Our favorite band was about to play on the main stage, and we wanted a good spot. So what did we do? We took a tarp and just threw it over her car and prayed that no one would touch it. What could they really steal anyway? Chex Mix and dirty clothes? FINE. HAVE IT!
"When we got back to the car, we realized strangers are nice! No one touched anything. We then had to have someone jump-start it on Sunday night to get the hell out of Tennessee. We made it 20 minutes before seeing stars and having to stop at the closest motel."
"One of my most memorable road trips took place in Big Sur. My best friend and I spent the week driving, hiking, camping, and just exploring with no objectives. We were in such good spirits (California sun will do that to you) that we decided to pick up a couple of friendly looking hitchhikers on the side of the road near the end of our trip. We imagined becoming BFFs with them and having the adventure of a lifetime. As it turns out, our happiness and overenthusiasm really creeped them out. They quickly asked us to let them out of the car, and we didn't make any friends for life. Oh well. It was still a fun trip!"
"My family drove from Texas to North Carolina. We saw all kinds of things, from kangaroo preserves to alligator jerky, but potentially the craziest thing happened in Montgomery, Alabama.
"My dad's been donating to the Southern Poverty Law Center for a long time, so he figured we could just walk up on a Sunday and take a walk around the premises. Of course, we'd forgotten about the building's long history of threats and were absolutely terrified when armed security guards appeared out of nowhere. Dad nervously said something about hoping to see the Civil Rights Memorial and being a big supporter. The main security guard told us they'd be open the next day and basically shooed us away. So we came back the next day, took in the Memorial, and laughed with some of the employees about some idiots we'd seen during the drive with 'The South Will Rise Again' and Confederate Flag paraphernalia."
Touring With a Band
"We went into a bagel place once next to a show we were playing, and we convinced them to give us a trash bag of bagels for free. We handed them out to everyone at the show and had a bagel party."
"During the summer before college, my best friends and I took a road trip on our way to go camping in Michigan. Because we had to take two separate cars, we decided to play a 'scavenger hunt' of sorts along the way to keep things interesting.
"Before leaving, both 'teams' established a set of shared tasks to be completed in the time it took to reach our destination. Whichever team completed the most (and had photographic evidence to back each thing up) won.
"On the list I remember some simple tasks such as: draw graffiti in a public bathroom, take a picture with a stranger in a purple shirt, and pretend like you're sleeping at a rest stop. But then others were a little...crazier: moon the car next to you, kiss someone else in the car for five minutes, and get someone in another car to flash their phone number.
"My team succeeded in that last one, and the girl who gave us her number continued to text us the whole week — and eventually even became a friend on social media!"
Baby Bighorn Sheep
"I grew up out West, so I road tripped to virtually every corner of the Rockies with my family before I was even old enough to drive. We saw plenty of wildlife — from moose to mountain goats to bears — but nothing was as magical as a baby bighorn sheep STICKING ITS HEAD INTO MY ROLLED-DOWN WINDOW. We had stopped to let a group of them (perhaps a family) cross the street. I have no idea what happened, or what drove it to come right up to our car, but it was terrifying and magical. I tried to take photos with my dad's old film camera, but all I got was an entire roll of sheep butts as they walked away from the car."