America is really freaking empty.
I don't think people understand just how wide America is. It's really really wide. And most of that is empty space. I forget it all the time. I live in California, in a densely populated area. It's my fish tank. But once you get out of the cities, there's... nothing. A whole lot of nothing.
So we set out from Sacramento, California, heading to Nashville Tennessee. Nevada was beautiful. Strange, barren, Martian landscape, but it had it's charm. It's towns and cities, however, do not. Totally crappy. Over the next three days, we drove nearly 2400 miles. We passed through Utah, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, and Kentucky, before ending our trip. The farther east we got, the better it was. The ground gained some shape, no longer flat as a pancake. Fields and trees took over from the barren plains. The towns gained history and life, a spark of vibrancy.
Nashville is wonderful. I had about 36 hours there all-told, with one of my greatest friends in the world. What followed was a sleepless, moonshine-ridden marathon of Tennessee experience. We walked through Music Row at 5am, passing blocks and blocks of recording studios as we discussed the music industry. We had some excellent barbecue for lunch, before heading to rural Tennessee and checking out the famous Bell Witch Cave, site of a supposed haunting in the pioneer days. More bbq, a whole lot of fudge, some afternoon naps, and we're at a country bar while it's pouring rain, drinking cheap beer and listening to music. Life is good. Top that off with a two mile slog through floodwaters, trying my damndest to keep a bag of White Castle burgers from drowning, and that was my Nashville experience.
I remember fireflies and music and warm air, and that's all I needed out of that trip.