On America’s Roads: Before I Begin

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On America’s Roads: Before I Begin

I’ve been road-tripping my whole life. It’s one of the quintessential American experiences. It’s something I want to revisit at different stages of my life. The road trip always manifests itself differently depending on your companions, the region of the country, and the speed at which you take yourself.

In the tradition of Steinbeck, country roads will always trump interstates for me, and small towns will override cities. I’ll pass on the national chains in favor of mom and pop shops, and camp to save money.

My goal for this trip is to take the roads less traveled, the roads I haven’t traveled, just to see what’s there. It’s a great feeling to open up a map and pick a new route to a destination. I won’t pinpoint any famous landmarks to pass through, just plotting the course past the nation’s unsung heroes…

For me, that first destination will be Denver, Colorado. They’ll be no St. Louis arches this time around, no steaks in Kansas City, no friends in Louisville.

I’ll go south of that, through the Music City and the oil boom town of Tulsa, Oklahoma. I’ll see the Ozark Mountains for the first time, and dodge tumble weeds through the no man’s land of eastern Colorado.

I’ll be attending a conference of travel bloggers in Keystone, Colorado, and then visiting old friends in Denver. I’ll try to squeeze in plenty of hikes in Colorful Colorado before heading south to New Mexico.

I’ll be traveling with fellow blogger, Juno Kim of RunawayJuno.com. Her biggest request was to visit Very Large Array, so we won’t be missing this famous radio astronomy observatory.

So here I set off from Virginia for another road trip at the start of the summer of my 32nd year. And there is no better time than the summer for such a journey.

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Stephen Bugno
Stephen Bugno
Stephen Bugno has been traveling the world and writing about it for the better part of 20 years. His articles and essays have appeared in The San Francisco Chronicle, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Seattle Times, and Transitions Abroad magazine. He blogs at Bohemian Traveler and edits the independent travel magazine GoMadNomad.com. He most recently set up a tour company offering authentic, small group tours at Unquote Travel. Follow him on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.


  1. Mike B. says:

    I am eternally envious – Bon voyage! Sounds like fun.

  2. Ayngelina says:

    So looking forward to this, I have to imagine you will see things differently as Juno experiences them alongside and many things will be so new for me – things we may not notice.

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