Travelogue: America in 90 Hours
It’s Thursday and I get off the plane at 3pm in Las Vegas. I’m meeting my brother who is driving a tour van full of gear and merchandise for a musician. The band flew home for an unexpected booking, leaving my brother to drive home alone and be back by Monday. I’m here to help and we set out to cross America in 90 hours.
My brother is waiting outside the airport and I’m excited to take some shots on the Vegas strip. The old Vegas. Of Fear and Loathing fame. In all honesty, we don’t have the time. But my brother is accommodating, and we waste two hours going both ways up the strip in search of the Vegas Vic.
Time is Wasting
After 90 minutes on Fremont Street – navigating through the tourists, and with traffic eating another hour as we drive back on the strip to get the van to the highway; we waste a solid three hours since I land. My brother is eager to see the Grand Canyon, and the park is about an hour away. We want to make it before it closes at 7pm.
The Grand Canyon is the only thing my brother wants to see on this trip. We miraculously make it to the park before the 7pm close time. Only – there is nothing to see.
The last tour bus is offloading passengers – you have to be at the park at least 90 minutes before close to book a seat. A fact we did not know about the park entrance we got to. My brother is not shy in his disappointment. We continue the drive in silence for a time.
Crossing the Mojave Desert
I snap photos of the landscapes from the car. America in 90 hours will lead to a cross section of the continent. There is no time for any other sight seeing, really. We have a limited time to return the van before the concert is to pick up and I lament squandering it in Vegas.
Be sure to have a good supply of podcasts when your driving partner gives you the silent treatment. I wasn’t a fan of much of what was on the radio when crossing America.
We take turns driving, but really – my brother has been touring for a month already. He is conditioned to the long takes behind the wheel, whereas I am still recovering from my flight. The difference between our internal clocks adds to the tension between us as we cruise non-stop through Utah.
The Colorado Rockies
Colorado proves to be a drastic contract from the red, dry and arid lands of Arizona, Nevada and New Mexico. From the car, zipping along at 65mph I am elated with what I see. Our mood improves along with the growing saturation of greens, blues, and icy whites seen from the windows.
We have family in Iowa.
As we plot our way home the most direct way possible, we make a couple of hours time to visit our aunt and uncle in Ames, Iowa. They have lunch waiting for us and provide us a welcome break from the road.
Ohio, Indiana & New York
Ultimately, I’m remarking how the landscape changes through these photos. The whole trip is really a haze. As crossing America in 90 Hours is a marathon mission in itself. There’s little time to see, let alone process – many of the sights along the way.
Road tripping across the continent is something I have to do again. You can’t really see America in 90 Hours. I made due by shooting when I could out the window of a moving car. And I have to figure out a way to make it up to my brother. Who lost out on his chance to see the Grand Canyon because I tagged along with him in Vegas.