For the third time in three years, I recently traveled westward to Los Angeles traversing the entire width of the country beginning in Philadelphia. This particular trip was a bit different in that there was no planned return to the East Coast so my approach to living in LA has been considerably different. That being said, the trip itself is always incredible and as I am becoming a seasoned veteran of the great American road trip, I’m beginning to learn which parts have the most interesting stops along the way. I’ve stopped at the same Whole Foods in Oklahoma City three years in a row. I’ve stopped at the same Cracker Barrel near Flagstaff for two years as I have with the same gas station somewhere in rural New Mexico. It’s funny how things become habit over time, though when you drive the same route in the same car you’re bound to need gas at the same point along the same stretch of highway.

There’s something haunting about Route 66. Once you pass Oklahoma City everything gets just a bit stranger and if you do it right and pull into Amarillo, TX. just after sunset, you’re in for a treat of ghost towns and abandoned communities the next day dotting the highway. Once bustling pitstops are now shells of the decaying American road trip, once a past time and now a penance. It takes days; the whole trip, if done how I typically do it, takes 5 days with a major break in the middle to visit some family in St. Louis. It takes patience and time but once you get through Oklahoma (arguably the least interesting part of the trip, no offense Oklahomans) the landscape shifts and you’re suddenly somewhere in the gorgeous, golden, lonesome wild west. Here’s a few images from the trip covering all ten states we traversed along our way. Click here or below to see the entire photo set.

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