J ason was moving across the country and needed a buddy to share the driving. I was more than happy to accept having always wanted to drive across the country. We took the southern route, heading west through Oklahoma, across the Texas panhandle, and then north up the western side of the Rockies. The American landscape is truly beautiful. If you've only ever driven up and down the East Coast, you've never seen how beautiful driving can be. The sky is huge. I was a little nervous when we set out -- him being East Asian and me being South Asian, I thought the cops were going to peg us as some kind of Harold and Kumar duo (there had been a lot of stories of cops harassing people in the news lately). But in fact, we had no trouble and met only the nicest people. In Louisiana, there was a power outage and we got rescued from a stopped elevator by the local firemen. When we got out, we were immediately offered beers by a local woman (who's now our friend). And once in Oklahoma, we went into a dive bar -- tiny, dark windows, a biker bar. Everyone turned and looked at us when we walked in. The beers were $1.75 and they had three kinds, the best being the Budweiser. We got our beers and wandered off into the corner to drink them. About fifteen minutes later a waitress comes over and says, "the other waitress won the pot and she bought everyone a round -- what kind of beer do you boys want?" ... I know we could have been less lucky than we were, but we encountered nothing but kind people. I love the American West. The big skies feel like home to me.

Mashuq Mushtaq Deen
West Palm Beach, FL
Photo Location
Seattle, WA
My buddy, Jason Chan, who took this picture for me.

Share your story.

Help us reimagine this American tradition by sharing your photos and memories!

Get started