RIGHT AROUND THE CORNER
America’s 4 Million Miles of Discovery
You can drive across the country to see Italian honeybees on a Manhattan skyscraper or an audio sculpture in San Francisco—or you can experience something just as new in your own backyard.
There are almost four million miles of roads in the United States. Thin ribbons of potential adventure that connect each and every address, a latticework of possibilities that beckon. All you have to do it get out there, get on them and go. Leave your troubles and the familiar in the rear view—it’s a trope that has had a million songs written about it, but also a metaphor as deeply ingrained in our cultural landscape as the roads themselves
And you don’t have to go far. That’s the beauty of it. The nearest far away place is right around the corner, if you’re willing to look for it.
Whether you’re perfecting your foggy roll cast in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Angling and Casting Club’s glassy fly fishing casting pools, dancing to the beat of an underground music festival held on a family farm, like Georgia’s Wildwood Revival, or sweating in a bee suit gathering honey from Italian honeybees atop a Manhattan skyscraper, there’s no shortage of surprising discoveries to make, even in our own backyards.
So what if you’ve been driving these roads for years, commuting from cubicle to bar to bed? Sometimes all it takes to get a new lease on life is the ability to forget our preconceived notions about the places we live and to set out to explore them anew with eyes open to all the possibilities.
Certainly urbanites like New Yorkers and Los Angelinos are among the most “been there done that” of populations. Who can blame them when you live in some of the most culturally diverse, socially rich places in the world?
But then you have to ask: how many of them have practiced yoga while standing on a piece of foam, in the middle of the Hudson River? Because that’s a thing, and it happens every day. Same could be said for the dark and mysterious corners of Culver City, California’s Museum of Jurassic Technology, whose eclectic selection of artifacts has rightly earned it the title of “Strangest Museum in the America.”
Even Chicago has so much more to offer than baseball and deep-dish pizza and a surprisingly incredible blues scene. During warmer months, a whole cadre of creative types dances the night away to live music and fire twirlers and drum circles on the lakefront under a full moon. And if getting weird is your bag, well, back in San Francisco—where else—there’s a full-on audio sculpture to climb inside and trip out to.
What’s that old idiom? “No matter where you go, there you are.” It’s true. But that doesn’t mean that wherever you are, you can’t have an adventure. Life is too short to be bored.