I drive 8,906 miles with no incident, get to Dallas, and blow out two of my tires.


The drive from Arizona to Texas was a long one – it’s a little over 10 hours to drive from the Grand Canyon to West Texas. The road was straight as an arrow, a welcomed change from the endless switchbacks I’d driven just days before in Yosemite and Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks.

While driving from Arizona to New Mexico I encountered a white van with two men inside. I kindly pass them on the left and advance in front of them, to find something catching my eye in the rear view mirror. The gentleman in the passenger seat is dancing. Not the typical grooving to the music we’re all accustomed to at a stop light that involves some arm waves and head bobbing.


This man was Car Dancing. It was a full body experience, including an animated face of emotion to relay his routine, complete arm gestures, and I’m pretty sure his legs were doing something…to make his torso move the way it was.

Then he got out the props. From out of nowhere appeared a cowboy hat for him to spin from hand to hand and gracefully (somewhat) place on his head to complete his routine. I actually applauded! Unfortunately he couldn’t hear or see me.

What made this scene ever more hysterical was that the driver didn’t seem phased by his Car Dancing Passenger. He actually ignored him, which gave me the impression that Car Dancing Passenger must have given this routine a great deal of practice.

Car Dancing Passenger showed me how hysterical I must look while driving. I, too, have officially mastered the art of Car Dancing. I’ve had two months to perfect my craft, but my true skills didn’t begin to shine until I started experiencing the sun again. I had been in the rainy climate of the Pacific West Coast for two weeks straight. When I first saw the shining sun of Sunny California, I rolled back the sunroof to feel the warmth of it on my skin.


While driving through the Sequoia groves in California I perfected my theatrical dance to Sinead O’Connor’s “Nothing Compares 2 U” and my power packed number for Florence + The Machine’s “Dog Days Are Over.” It made me think about a quote my dad texted me while I was traveling:

Those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music

I can only imagine what others think about my Car Dancing but I don’t care, because I’m doing something I enjoy doing. It’s analogous to this entire adventure and how I felt from the start of my endeavor. Others called me crazy for doing what I wanted to do, but they couldn’t hear my music. So long as I’m not hurting myself or others, what’s the problem? Car Dancing is harmless…or at least it was until I got to Dallas.


I had one day to unload my car, unpack my winter clothes, and repack my luggage for Virgin Islands National Park. While Car Dancing my way home I hook a curb and I hear two loud bangs. I immediately realize that hitting that curb (while probably going too fast) has blown out my two right side tires. After I get over the initial shock of what happened, I smiled to myself, feeling thankful I had insurance on my tires. My second thought…Life Lesson: perhaps I should leave the Car Dancing to long, open stretches of road.

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