Behind the Scenes: Jack's Journal
After countless hours pouring over travel books, websites and brochures, Oprah and Gayle's Big Adventure —simply called "the road trip" in the hallways of Harpo, is about to begin.
Day Two: Road Trip Trivia
We decided to give every car a funny nickname. Oprah's car was "Air Force One"—a name befitting our commander and chief.
Random Thoughts: Evening of Day Two
It's 6:16 p.m. on day two. We've been in the car for eight hours. We have another two to go. My tush feels like hamburger meat.
I can hardly believe it.
After countless hours poring over travel books, websites and brochures, Oprah and Gayle’s Big Adventure —simply called “the road trip” in the hallways of Harpo, is about to begin.
For the last two months, my office has practically been converted into its own branch of AAA. The route has changed no fewer than 30 times—the big map on my wall has more pins in it than an acupuncturist convention. Each tiny hole tells the story of a great place to eat, an exciting event, or a meaningful e-mail from a fan of the show.
We agonized for weeks over the best way to get to NY from Santa Barbara. At one point we had decided to go as far north as the Dakotas, and as far south as Paris, Texas—for about six days we scoured every square inch of the old Route 66. My whole team can now recite from memory every kitschy corner of America—from the world’s largest ball of yarn in Minnesota, to “the Shoe House” in York, Pennsylvania. Their encyclopedic knowledge of festivals, fairs, restaurants and general attractions in each state is frankly a little freaky. "Geographical savants," I call them.
In the end, we choose a path that will take us through the heart of America, from the larger than life decadence of Las Vegas, Nevada, to the simplicity of an Amish family in the pastoral setting of Fredericksburg, Ohio.
It is a journey we are honored and excited to be making with Oprah.
We decided to give every car a funny nickname. Oprah's car was "Air Force One"—a name befitting our commander and chief. Security's vehicle was called "The Tank"—reflecting the sturdy build of the men keeping us safe on the road trip. Our [production's] mini-van was named the "clown car"—it was packed to the point of overfilling with camera gear, food, notebooks, laptops— when we "jumped" out at a stop, the six of us came pouring out of it like clowns at a circus.
We also had an RV—a behemoth of a vehicle. It was supposed to be the production "mobile office"—but it just couldn't keep up with Oprah's car—so we quickly switched to our mini-van.
We never could come up with a suitable cute nickname for the RV. It was only when we got to Sedona that we found the perfect name for it...
If you've ever been to Sedona, you may be familiar with the road near there that quickly rises to over 6,000 feet—with hairpin turns. Apparently, the members of our road trip family who were relegated to the RV had a hair-raising experience making the climb. The RV literally tipped up on two wheels several times—the drop was thousands of feet straight down. They told us later they felt lucky to be alive.
It's 6:16 p.m. on day two.
We've been in the car for eight hours.
We have another two to go.
My tush feels like hamburger meat.
I was unbelievably excited at the beginning of this great adventure. I imagined this trip would play out like a classic American movie...two best friends, a cross-country trip, visiting fascinating destinations and meeting interesting people. But I soon realized that there's a big part Hollywood never tells us about—the driving.
The monotonous, tedious, mind-numbing driving.
And it is still only day two! We have nine more days...216 hours...12,960 minutes to go. Ouch.
You get the picture.