Driving in the United States can be fun. When I was younger (I’m not saying how much younger), one of my friends and I thought nothing about jumping in the car and taking off for a concert or just to get out of the city. Now, of course, everything has to be planned down to the last detail, from the baby’s stuffed lamb to the teenager’s iPhone to the grownup’s toothbrush. I digress…
Going to Las Vegas was a blast and became a habit (a pretty expensive one, but who needs money for anything useful?). No matter where we were, no matter what time of year, one of us could call the other and say, “Let’s go to Vegas!” and we would. It was after one of those many trips that I realized that there was a “driving” song for every situation on the road to Sin City.
1. “Little Red Corvette” – Prince
My friend (for the heck of it, we’ll call her Chloe because she likes the name) pulled up to my door in her little red Corvette convertible We stuck a cooler with a case of beer behind the seats, never, ever thinking about imbibing while on the trip. Nope. No way. Never. Although I will say that back then a lot of people did drink and drive and it was considered OK. But not us. Nope. No way. Never.
2. “I Can’t Drive 55” – Sammy Hagar
Vegas was a little under 400 miles away from where we were, which means it would normally would take roughly seven hours to get there if we went 55 mph (yes, I know some math). However, when we stopped to switch drivers – well, let’s just say I can’t drive 55. I can’t drive 60 or 65, either. We got there in four and a half hours. You do the math.
3. “Dead Skunk in the Middle of the Road” – Loudon Wainwright III
If you’ve ever driven to Vegas, you probably know that there is a stretch of road (US 93) that can be kind of intimidating when you’re driving at night (and of course – night owls that we were – we always went to Vegas at night). I don’t know how it is now, but back then it was one scary piece of highway with lots of accidents; a two-lane, windy road with occasional mountains on either side, filled with tons of truckers and partiers on their way to Vegas who had been drinking since at least Kingman, Arizona. (We weren’t like that, no siree-bob. No drinking and driving for us. Nope. No way. Never.)
I was driving on that scary stretch of road when a stench suddenly hit the air (we were in a convertible, remember) that made my eyes water. Chloe yelled, “What the heck is that SMELL?” Laughing, with tears running down my face, I started singing the Loudon Wainwright song, and she had never heard it. It kind of took the bite out of the stench. And by the way, it was not I who hit the skunk. I swear.
4. “Keep on Truckin’“– Eddie Kendricks
It seems like a road trip takes forever no matter where you go. At least it does when I am the one driving the whole stinkin’ way. After the first 200 miles or so, the excitement started to fade a little. Normally, this is the time when you crank the stereo as little louder and don’t talk as much, but Chloe doesn’t know how to not talk as much, so she didn’t crank the stereo. I put on my headphones.
5. “Life in the Fast Lane” – The Eagles/Don Henley
I just can’t drive 55. Need I say more?
6. “Let it Ride” – Bachman Turner Overdrive
When we finally arrived in Las Vegas, we checked in to a nice hotel with really great rates, headed straight for a casino and made a beeline for the roulette table. The last time I was there, I had bet on 21 and won twice in a row. I wanted to see if I could do it again. This time I put it all on 21 and let it ride…
This post was written and contributed by Edson Farnell. Edson writes on a variety of topics for Parts Geek. Check out other articles by Edson such as this piece on driving in icy conditions.