Man, this was one hell of a road trip. Minna, an old and best friend from my time in Spain, came all the way from the UK to spend a month in America. We didn’t spend a month together but for her first week and a half, she flew to Colorado and we drove all the way to California and back in a rented Jeep Wrangler.  What. a. time.
Cruising the highway with the top down through such epic landscape is a memory I hope to hold onto for a long, long time. 
I think we did this one right: hardly an itinerary, lots of impromptu decisions, and nothing to do every day except enjoy the company and the space we were in. We DID go to a big guitar festival in LA (Clapton’s “Crossroads”), but speaking for myself at least, that ended up being a small footnote in our adventure.
Seeing Keb Mo and Taj Majal play together? Special. Gary Clark Jr’s long, drawn out solo to “Our Love”? Legendary. But it was simply traveling down from the mountains, across the desert, and ending at the beach that felt like we were in a movie. 
Even as an American kid with plenty of previous road trips in the bag, I had never been taken away like that from just looking around and trying to keep 10 and 2. I can’t imagine the emotions and thoughts Minna carried through. I think the most memorable moment for me was rolling through Arizona somewhere, trying to hustle to the Grand Canyon for the sunset but becoming aware we weren’t going to make it. We agreed to “pick a spot” somewhere instead and after driving past a few good places with a hunch they weren’t quite the one, we came over a bridge crossing a small canyon on the way into some no-name town.
I remember saying “oooooooh”, hit a u-turn back over the bridge, then pulled off the west end of the road. We parked fifty yards up on a little maintenance driveway to the bridge. Minna had queued up an absolutely smashing list of songs (the topper for me? Midnight in Harlem-Tedeschi Trucks..) and keeping the stereo loud, we sat on some lawn chairs and watched a sunset I’ll remember forever. I watched two ravens in the distance twist and turn through the air for a minute or so until flying right above our heads.
Absolute magic.

it's funny because this hat was made by a woman named Susan Smiley

one of...many...gas stops. Fun story: we came 15 miles away from running out of gas until this one saved the day. Yes, we were in the middle of the Utah desert. No, we weren't thinking that one through.

We slept in the NF outside of Moab and were woken up by these two having early breakfast. Minna wandered over to say hi while I was peeing in the woods and the rest is history--a great breakfast! Next thing we knew we had talked for three hours and it was time to get going.

this photo captures the whole morning in one: beers, eggs, bacon, good conversation.

Minna getting some self-defense lessons

the roadside spot mentioned in the top narrative

near Mexico at yet another gas stop. Got a great popsicle here

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