Ten years ago, in the summer of 1996, my friends Pete and Derek and I drove across the USA and back. Actually, that makes the trip sound more linear than it was. Really, we drove around the country, in a big rambling loop. We avoided the interstates whenever possible, taking two-lane highways and seeking out all the roadside Americana we could find: Graceland and Las Vegas, sure, but also things like Carhenge, Roswell’s UFO Research Center, and the World’s Largest Talking Cow. We covered ten thousand miles and visited twenty-five states. It was one of the most excellent things I’ve ever done in my life.
One thing that helped to make it excellent was that we brought along a big brown scrapbook, and in it each of us took turns jotting down our adventures, doodling little pictures, and making cryptic references to all the stupid jokes that are inevitable on any car trip of this magnitude. Then after we returned, I wrote the whole thing up and published it as a zine. Because that was what one did in the days before weblogs.
I made two hundred copies of the roadtrip zine. I gave about a quarter of them away to friends and family and sold or swapped the rest. People still occasionally ask me for another copy (well, at least Pete did last month) and it pains me to say no, but I only have one left! So, to commemorate the anniversary of that trip and to
recycle a bunch of my old crap share the love with a new generation, I’m going to blog the zine, a mere ten years after the fact.
Return with me now to those thrilling days of yesteryear, back when Tom Cruise showed Cuba Gooding the money and Helen Hunt was mad about whatshisname, when Weezer looked like Buddy Holly and Alanis Morisette mangled the definition of ‘ironic’, when Bob Dole was the best the Republicans could do against Clinton, and when I could even conceive of driving around the continent with my buddies for four freaking weeks. Come, get your kicks on Route 96.
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