By: Maverick Lynes, Staff Writer
I am from Edmonton, a city in Alberta, Canada, and I drove 44 hours to get to the University of Southern Maine. Yes, you read that correctly, 44 hours from the other side of the continent, by myself, without cruise control. The only things I had concerning company were a ton of podcasts (Joe Rogan and Swords and Scale) and a music playlist that was carefully constructed for months in preparation for the road trip. I mean, this playlist had everything: J. Cole, Childish Gambino, John Mayer, Simple Plan, Broadway Cast of Hamilton and, yes, the Jonas Brothers were on there. I am a 90s kid who loved Camp Rock and High School Musical…SUE ME! Show me a 90s kid who says they have not jammed to “Burnin’ Up,” and I will show you a liar.
Where was I? Oh yeah…44-hour drive, no cruise control. Sounds like a nightmare, right? It was one of the best experiences of my life, and I will tell you why.
Day one of my adventure: I drove sixteen hours to Dickinson, North Dakota—this was the part of the drive that had the best scenery during the whole journey. Other than that, sixteen hours of straight driving was awful.
Day two: I drove to Saint Paul, Minnesota, to meet with a friend who lives there. That day we went to a Minnesota Twins game. Quick backstory: I love baseball, and an item on my bucket list is to visit every baseball park. So, this was an excellent start to my trip.
Day three: still in Minnesota, and guess who happens to be in town? Yes, you got it, Kendrick Lamar. My friend and I are in like Flynn, we get the cheapest tickets we can find and head to the Xcel Energy Center. The seats are pretty high up; we can feel a nosebleed coming. Naturally, we try our luck at sneaking down to the lower bowl. Now, this concert is sold-out, but we take the risk. At this point, the openers are still on. We were getting ourselves into a big game of musical chairs. However, in this game, people kick you out if you are in their seat. We find empty seats to the right of the stage; we enjoy a couple of songs, then we hear the dreaded “these are our seats,” and we played it off like we had no idea. Though our confidence was shot, our determination was not. We go down a row where there are five vacant seats, and we set up camp. Luckily, for us, nobody came to kick us out during the entire show. It was the best concert I have ever seen and the greatest seat jump that I have ever accomplished.
Day four: I wake up at 3:45 A.M. and head to Chicago, Illinois, to meet with a family friend and watch the Chicago Cubs take on the Toronto Blue Jays. As a baseball fan who has always wanted to see a game at Wrigley Field, it made waking up at 3:45 A.M. a lot easier. We are heading to the field, and I am fully prepared to bargain for a ticket. By fully prepared, I mean prepared to pay overprice for a ticket because I am terrible at bargaining. Luckily for me, I never had to bargain—the guy I was going to the game with had two tickets to give away and I was the lucky recipient of one. Since I only needed the one ticket, what else was there to do but sell the other? Dang, that guy got a great deal, too. Row 14, down the first base line at Wrigley, I was in a trance, and it was one of the greatest times of my life.
Day five: I head to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and watch the Pittsburgh Pirates against the Los Angeles Dodgers all by myself for the insane price of three dollars. The best part about my seats was that the man in front of me was showing off a significantly unfortunate amount of butt crack. You would be surprised as to how hard it is to focus on a baseball game when there is a full moon blocking your sight to the pitcher. Aside from that, the game was great.
Day six: I drive to Baltimore, Maryland, to see my family and watch the Baltimore Orioles play the Oakland Athletics. They are my favorite team, so watching them play was another item off my bucket list. They won 6-2, it was a great way to cap off my great American road trip.
Day seven: I headed to school, and it was the end of my cross-continent road trip. My 2008 car, with crank windows and average air conditioning, made it through the whole 44 hours. In all, I traveled 3,288 kilometers (2043 miles) alone, and I wish I could do it all over again.