Not IN BED: From L.A. to Austin

Words by Yasmine Ganley

Images by Greta van der Star

Driving from Los Angeles to Austin meant hours on the road. We didn't mind. The landscape was wild, harsh and forever changing. Mountains emerged from the red dirt ahead, the sun slipped in and out of the valley's deep folds and crumbling surfaces. And when the land wasn't encouraging our thoughts to wander and stretch, we lost hours over playlists, podcasts and conversation. Our breakfasts on the road included a Cowboy's Breakfast' consisting of fried eggs on thick-cut toast in Marfa; Butter pancakes in Alpine ('cake' being the operative word); Fresh stone fruits from a roadside stall in Echo Park; Poached apple and porridge in Downtown LA; Plenty of dollar bills for tipping, white table sugar, white table salt, iced black filter coffee, black filter coffee with milk, and endless black filter coffee refills. We made use of the allocated pit stops, alongside couples in RVs, truck drivers and families on vacation. Concrete, purpose-built picnic tables interrupted 85 mph cruising in 90-degree heat. Our staple picnic lunch consisted of hard-to-find brown bread, avocado, tomatoes, cheese (usually smoked, sometimes a little weird), ripe bananas and sweet apples. It was as fresh as we could manage, and it sure beat having yet another fast and furiously monochrome drive-through burger. But as Dennis Hopper always said, "being on the road in search of something was very American".