“There’s nothing that a hundred bucks and a full tank of gas can’t fix” – that’s the American psyche. Back in the 80’s there was no better way to travel across America than in an automobile. Specially on a budget. The never ending highways, the hum of rubber on the tarmac, the soundtrack on the stereo, the stunning sunrise over the desert, the grandeur of the landscape, cheap motels, gas stations, burger joints, strangers and the anonymity of existence is an experience many would have enjoyed and lived to narrate. In this edition of #roadtripchronicles, international actor/ model Joerg Steinmann shares his memories from an epic American road trip of 26000 miles over 44 days, that he undertook way back in 1989. Joerg spends much of his time between Germany, Switzerland and Brazil now, and has featured in many films & advertising campaigns across Europe, South America and Asia, including a Mitsubishi television commercial.
Where: Across the United States. This was in a real sense, an All American Road Trip.
My drive: I wanted a 1969 black Ford Mustang, but finally ended up with a 1984 Chevrolet Celebrity, because I guess the Mustang wouldn’t have brought us further than 200 miles.
Distance covered: 26000 miles
No. of Days: We were on the road for 44 days.
When: Summer of 1989, with glorious sunshine throughout.
The terrain: As we travelled through the whole of States, the terrain was constantly changing, but we always did stay on asphalt roads except in Joshua Tree National Monument where we got stuck in the sand.
Driving experience: It was great. We were young (19) and it was the first time we were away from our hometown longer than 2 weeks, so we really had no expectation on driving comfort.
Highlights: So many… NYC, New Orleans, Monument Valley, Grand Canyon, Las Vegas, Joshua Tree National Monument, Death Valley, LA, Venice Beach, Coastal Road 1 to/and San Francisco, Sequoia Tree Park, Yellow Stone Park, Rocky Mountains & Niagara Falls.
Fond Memories: Meeting young American people in LA and the time we spent in LA (I had decided to stay on, but my father tricked me back home to Germany again).
Gourmet delights: Not a lot I could recommend today, as we didn’t have too much money to spend. But as we did not know much about fast food, every Burger or Pizza joint was a great new experience for us.
Splurged on: The amazing nature of the United States.
Places to Stay: We slept in the car or on the floor in cheap motels. Nowadays I guess I wouldn’t do that anymore.
Cost: 4000 Euros (then 8000 Deutsche Mark), including flight to NYC.
Pro tip: Take a Ford Mustang to do the tour if you can afford.