Roadside Attractions: Report from the Middle of the Country

So I’m sitting in a Starbucks in Amarillo, TX, right now with a guy from Israel who’s making the cross-country drive from D.C. to L.A. with me. I didn’t even know him until the day before we left. How’d it happen?


Okay, it sounds a little sketch, but couchsurfing is actually really awesome. People from more than 230 countries join to either host travelers or to find a place to crash for the night. Message boards cater to adventurers looking for road trip buddies, for example (ahem).

We’ve been couchsurfing across the country – Asheville, NC; Memphis, TN; Oklahoma City, OK; and Santa Fe tonight.


Asheville: Going to a pool party, seeing the Smokies, hiking the Appalachian Trail

Nashville: live music in every bar on Broadway… at noon

Memphis: BARBECUE, blues on Beale St., crossing the Mississippi

I did the best I could.

I loved the National Civil Rights Museum, housed in the Lorraine Hotel, where MLK Jr. was shot. We stood a foot from that spot. It was incredible.

Also – this is weird. I took a slew of photos of the balcony where MLK died, and in only one of them, there’s some sort of floating orb in the upper left hand corner next to his room. I’m not saying it’s a ghost… I’m just saying that it’s not dust because it’s not in any other picture…. soooo… you be the judge.

Oklahoma City: OKC Memorial, seeing the huge “old oil money” mansions, staying in a loft converted from an old car dealership (part of “Automobile Alley” – everything used to be a garage and now they’re shops and lofts)

We nearly had a disaster in Memphis. I’d lined up couches a month ago (recall how I am a planner), but although the girl in Memphis had given me her address, she never provided a phone number. I’m hoping for the best, but thinking things aren’t looking too good as we pull up to the house and there aren’t any lights on. At the Starbucks next door, I finally get to check my e-mail and find out that she just e-mailed me that morning saying that something came up and she can’t host us. Get it together, woman!

So we send out emergency e-mails to everyone in Memphis on Couchsurfing. We get a ton of replies back and end up staying with this awesome couple. The woman, Julia, teaches anthropology at a local college and spends every summer in Uganda working to promote a partnership between the native medicine men and traditional doctors.

So… off to Santa Fe. 300 more miles to go!

This entry was posted in do I even like roadtrips?, I'm obsessed with planning, The south is awesome, The south is boring. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Roadside Attractions: Report from the Middle of the Country

  1. Jeff Grandon says:

    Judging by the shadows in front of the motel, you’re shooting into the sun. You can make all the ghostly orbs you want this way.

    Sounds like a fun time!

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