Playlist: South Dakota

Man, oh man, South Dakota has some songs written about it. Unfortunately, none of them are anything to write home about. The Mount Rushmore State (that is, actually for real, the state’s official moniker). Anyways, here’s a list of South Dakota-related songs:

Deadwood Mountain: Yes, John Rich is bigoted trash. Not sure about Big. And, yeah, their cowboy/gospel/rap/rock infusion was long in the tooth by the fifth track of their smash album, Horse of a Different Color, but this song mentions Deadwood and at one point in my shameful youth (long before Rich decided he needed to run commentary on Colin Kapernick) I used to really rock out to this. Also, they apparently don’t know much about Western history with the hamfisted lines that refer to Wild Bill and Calamity Jane as kin, when in reality, Bill didn’t have much use for Jane and she was buried next to him as a jape. Anyway, here is a song. 

Badlands: I don’t like Bruce Springsteen. I don’t know why, but he usually just grates on my nerves. Thunder Road is a good tune, I suppose. But all of the Born in the USA stuff is just… ugh. One note. Uninspired. Anyway, here’s a song about South Dakota from the guy who stole Conan O’Brien’s drummer away. 

Big Foot: I guess this South Dakota list is going to be populated by the not-so-great. Johnny Cash is a powerhouse and I love 95% of his work. This is not part of that 95%. Maybe it’s the spoke word aspect of it (which works in Boy Named Sue, but sounds flat and corny in a song such as this). Anyway, here’s a song where Johnny Cash talks about South Dakota history. 

Ballad of Hollis Brown: If you were hoping I would find a Dylan song to save the day, think again. This lesser-known (but often played) Dylan song is about a poor farmer whose family is starving to death and they all die. Anyway…

One year

Day 1

We left home a year ago. We sold most of our possessions, donated hundreds of books, and stored what we had left in the corner of my mom’s basement. On the day we were supposed to leave, our alternator died. Then the clutch cable snapped. After making the repairs with significant help from our most trusted VW friend and hometown mechanic, Norm, we laid tracks for our first state: West Virginia. 

Us with Norm just before we left
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Idaho in review

Idaho, Idaho, Idaho. Has any other state in the country stolen my heart more than this piece of paradise? Certainly not. If you’ve not been to Idaho, I encourage you to stay at home; I want this state all to myself. It’s a dream. 

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Playlist: Wyoming

Hello from the squarest state in the union where all the attractions are in the corners, but there’s plenty of good stuff to be seen all over. Here are some tunes to download (because there’s nary a cell signal here):

The Beaches of Cheyenne: Confession time: I listened to a lot of Garth Brooks at a time in my life. I was the youngest of my siblings and just followed along and I can’t be held fully accountable for these indiscretions when I was too young to know better. And yet. Yet. He has some bangers, folks. Some pure schmaltz and some dancin’ tunes. Beaches of Cheyenne is none of those. It’s pretty middle-of-the-road, but people just really fucking love it and it’s given me a chance to slide some Garth into the catalog. (Or at least a cover since he is not on Spotify.)


Rambler, Gambler: Off the soundtrack of Martin Scorcese’s first Dylan documentary, this is a song from the way back. Never released, it gives some pretty explicit instructions for what to do if you get into a sticky situation in Wyoming. We’ll keep Bob’s advice in mind as we wheel our way through The Equality State.

Podcast: Jesse Marshall, the Patron Saint of Broken Things

A guy with so many stories we had to make a second episode! You already know Jesse from the first episode of this season where he talked about leaving his job as a mortgage banker to start the world’s first mountain bike shuttle service called Coyote Shuttle. When we arrived at Coyote Shuttle, a gentleman was talking with Jesse about a welding job. Jesse is Moab’s go-to guy for fixes and emergencies. In fact, during this interview, he worked on our bus…

Montana in review

Montana is beautiful but strange. We knew we crossed into the US because we pulled into the first gas station and found the pump covered with “I did that” stickers. Of course Joe Biden is not the president of Canada, where gas prices are higher. Then we go inside to hear a guy literally shouting, “Let’s go Brandon.” Back in the states, where the same group who cries about safe spaces and political correctness need a cadre of their own flags modified to fit their specific beliefs. I just wanted to head into the landscape, away from the madness, see the parts of the world that I love. We headed into the National Forest, which has been converted into a logging operation. 

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Podcast: Ian & Kaitlin

We were passing through Escalante, Utah, and met a young couple, Ian and Kaitlyn. Even though they had a sweet home in the heart of this mountain town, they had previously lived in their 1986 Syncro. We got to hear all about how they managed living in the bus—through turbulent weather and life circumstances. 

Playlist: Montana

Montana is mighty, my friends with lots to see and lots to do. So let’s keep adding to my ever-growing On the Road with Adie playlist by popping these five fine tracks into the eight track player and cruising the two lanes: 

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