What it's Really Like to Take an Airstream Road Trip Across the Country
One week before my fiancée and I threw our lives into a 16-foot camper trailer and embarked on a yearlong tour of the Lower 48, I picked up a copy of The Longest Road: Overland in Search of America, From Key West to the Arctic Ocean by Philip Caputo. A friend had recommended Caputo's work, not because Caputo had completed a similar cross-country journey of his own, but because we were heading straight to Arizona, and I have a thing for reading authors in their home states.
Caputo is perhaps best known for A Rumor of War, his 1977 Vietnam War memoir. But it wasn't until a last-minute run to Barnes & Noble that The Longest Road even hit my radar. "He has that war book," the sales clerk told me. "But I loved his road book. My husband and I listened to the whole thing on audiobook. We've been looking for used Airstreams ever since."
Barely one week later, I found myself in Patagonia, Arizona, sipping tequila with Caputo—also a Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist and author of eight novels—in a dimly lit bar called the Wagon Wheel Saloon, talking about his work, his travels and that "sense of discovery" on the road.