No More Road Trips? American road-trip movie made with found home-movie footage


Only thing that would kill road trips is a lack of interest. The link makes the claim that rising fuel costs make it unreasonable, but I think if you do the math the value of airplane travel goes down as the number of people in the group goes up. Especially as 40+ mpg sedans start to become common.

I’ve driven across the US about once a year for the past 6 years and enjoy every bit of it. The view from a plane is pretty unique and interesting in its own way, but you don’t get to absorb the ambience like you do in a car.

The only downsides to road trips is the interstates. They’re certainly the fastest way to travel, but they’re extremely sterile. Travel on smaller state routes and use state parks as rest areas and the interest level goes way up.


Is it just my machine or is the trailer without music? Music is such a very important part of any road trip.

The bigger hassle it is to fly, the more attractive a road trip becomes. Flying is about the destination, but driving is about how you get there.


I loathe driving, and sorely wish rail travel was a reasonable possibility in this blighted country. Also, you get less of the pestilence of small towns if you take the train.


Every small town is unique and has an interesting history if you take the time out of your busy life and explore.
I’ve seen towns in Montana where all the young people left, and the only residents are senior citizens.
After that its called a ghost town.

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Not just Montana.

These dying (or dead) small towns are all over the Great Plains, so much so that some think we can restore the Buffalo Commons.

I agree. I meant every corner of this great nation. And not along the interstate, but old winding roads. (some straight roads too). For the nit pickers out there.

One of the oddest drives I’ve done recently is northern Arizona… leave i-40 around route 191, then cut towards the grand canyon along route 160.

I’ve been all over the western states many times and haven’t seen any place as desolate… every once in a while I’d come across a small town and they’d be the sorts of places you’d assume was a ghost town if there wasn’t the occasional building with a light turned on.

Route 160 was particularly eerie, there are so many shattered booze bottles that the ditches glitter like they’re full of stars.

Watching this trailer makes me really want to watch the movie. Many 1960s road trips must have instilled a love of the highway scenery into me.

I grew up with annual 500-1000km road trips up and down the Australian east coast and I still love road trips (even though when I was 9yo my plastic periscope melted on the parcel shelf). I love flying too, and when I get the chance a decent rail journeys. But being above the landscape is never the same as being in it. And as weird and alien and shitty and “other” as some little towns can be, I usually feel connected when I’m on the ground, whether it’s the petit-industrial outskirts of a Japanese suburb or the barbecue/car repair hinterlands of Bogota.

Looks nice, but a part of my brain finds it troubling that there don’t appear to be any people of color anywhere in this. I realize that this is detailing the car vacations of the burgeoning middle class of the 30s on…but part of me wonders where all the non-white people are (other than selling roadside trinkets).

I don’t really have that sense of nostalgia for road trips…I’ve taken plenty of them and sometimes enjoy them a great deal…but a lot of road-travel is DULL, nostalgia notwithstanding. But then, I’m nostalgic for air travel that wasn’t a fantastic hassle, so there you are.

I saw this last year in SF, and as anyone who’s been to Rick’s annual “Lost Landscapes of San Francisco” film presentations for the Long Now Foundation would be familiar with, you provide the soundtrack at his screenings, shouting out places you recognize, or riffing on whatever comic scenarios arise. He might have edited the content down (or up) considerably since then, but at that screening, anyway, a lot of the specificities concerning locale were open to guess, despite an overarching arc of travel moving from New England to California.

The most memorable segments, for me, were of Pittsburgh (attn: Beschizza), from sometime in the 30s, I think, scenery barely visible through the coal dust.

I don’t imagine the audiences in the upcoming European screenings will be quite so vocal about the American byroads they recognize from their mid-20th century sojourns. I hope more places, perhaps somewhere along Route 66, invite Rick out for a screening.

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