Sunday, August 16, 2009

Virtual Road Trip

OK, I just heard the weirdest thing. Well, it's the weirdest thing to someone who just hiked 6 miles with 50 pounds of backcountry supplies for the family on her back. It's weird to someone who took her girls on an 10,000-moile road trip last fall. Maybe it's weird to anyone who's actually experienced touching a glacier, racing through the sea with dolphins, flying over the Grand Canyon (and grunting back out of it on a hot day).

This morning on NPR's Morning Edition: Sunday, I heard this story about two guys, Peter Baldes of L.A. and Marc Horowitz of Richmond, Virginia, who are taking a virtual road trip across the U.S. They're using Google Maps, and streaming live video of their travels, complete with chat window so you can pretend you're in the back seat. A hitchhiker on their big adventure.

I was going to write about what a dumb idea this was. How these guys were really missing out on the road trip experience, the wind in their hair, the bug in their teeth, the people along the way.

Then I visited the trip. There they were, cruising through Oklahoma, talking about technology and personal history and the road, and the truck driver they were passing. (Would he look out the window? Ah...yes!)

So, yes, it's a weird idea to me. But maybe it's not so dumb after all. They're having a good time, spending time together the only way they can when living a nation apart, and sharing their trip with the world. Perhaps it's educational, perhaps it's mind-numbing at times, perhaps it can be offensive to some (though I found nothing offensive here - totally kid friendly today).

Still, I'll stick with the real road, bugs, family and friends new and old.

Share this post with:

No comments:

Post a Comment

Blog featured with: