I love road trips. I love taking in the scenery, seeing new (or old favorite) parts of the country, watching farms and tiny BEST JERKY IN ALL OF NEBRASKA!! stands and billboards advertising pie so good, It’ll make you slap your mama! all pass beside me.
I love the glint of sunlight on Ryan’s bent-up wedding ring on the steering while, his right hand on my knee or holding my hand. I love the lunch box of summer sausage and baby carrots, the way it feels to stretch my legs at a rest stop welcoming me to another state, the atlas which we always jokingly call “our paper GPS” after hearing it on an episode of Parenthood.
But the soundtrack. It makes the trip. The silences between conversations are punctuated by a carefully curated playlist, all starting with the very first road trip CD I made in middle school.
“I’m sorry,” my dad said as he yanked the CD out of the slot. “I tried, okay? I just can’t do this. Your music is not good.”
We took off in our travel trailer to have grand adventures and the first song we played was Free by Zach Brown Band. The second was Sweet Home Alabama.
We picked up my brother in Colorado and drove back to our home in Wyoming, then quickly made our way up to Mount Rushmore and Deadwood, SD before heading back to WY. Country music filled the cab of our single-cab pickup truck and we turned down the music when Christopher fell asleep sitting up.
There’s a video of Ryan and me shouting War Pigs on our way to Yellowstone. I was pregnant with my first baby and excited for the trip but worried we’d never enjoy travel again once the baby came.
We have old favorites and new favorites, and I spent the past two weeks carefully compiling the perfect roadtrip playlist. Every song is kid-friendly, there are favorites of each person, and I can just picture all the delight we’ll experience and all the sights we’ll see with these lyrics joining us on the road.
This trip’s playlist has a deep range of diversity. There’s some Steppenwolf and some Alan Jackson. Ataris and Beatles and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. Dierks Bentley, ZZ Top, Jason Derulo, Elton John. We’ve got The Archies, Bob Marley, Sparrows Rising, Bryan Adams, Zac Brown Band. Hank Williams, Hank Williams Jr., and Florida Georgia Line. Reliant K and Keith Urban, Bachman Turner Overdrive and the Jackson 5, Brad Paisley and Nsync. We’ve got Lauren Daigle and George Strait and CCR. Eric Church and Joey Ramone and Matt Redman and Trio. Remember Trio?!
Bachman Turner Overdrive and Billy Currington and the Backstreet Boys.
The Eagles, The Eli Young Band, The Monkees, The Proclaimers, The Who.
Josh Thompson and Josh Turner and Josh Groban and Josh Gracin.
Metallica, MIA, Elvis Presley, Joey Ramone. Luky Bryan, Steve Miller Band, Darius Rucker, Queen. Guns ‘N’ Roses, Spiderbait, Jimmy Eat World, 7eventh Time Down.
There may or may not even be a Miley Cyrus song. So hard to say.
Songs from previous road trips, songs from our wedding reception, songs from favorite movies and songs our kids know all the words to.