Tag Archives: journey

The Music Challenge #9 – Road Trips

I have done a lot of road trips over the years. A. Lot. Most of them involve driving to or from America’s Heartland in some shape, form or other. The company you keep and the music you play make the trip. Music is particularly important on those lonelier treks where small talk and tall tales typically shared with cohorts can’t exactly be the order of the day.

I love road trips. Like with a capital L. They make me happy. Don’t get me wrong, there are definitely moments when I’m ready to get out of the car and simply be done with the whole ordeal. Highways and byways can easily become monotonous solitary trails seemingly leading to nothing more than a great big abyss, but I like the time these trips give me to slow things down, take a step back and just think about things.

Driving from Atlanta to Northern Indiana recently, I was doing just that- thinking. Certain songs are more conducive to internal contemplation and deliberation. There are definitely times when you want to roll down the window, let the wind hit your hair, and put the pedal to the metal while blasting tunes that just totally pump you up. Road trips are not those times for me. Partly because rolling my window down while going 79mph on an interstate doesn’t do my hair any favors (you’ve seen my hair on a good day, right? forget after hazardously wind-swept conditions), but also because they are the times allocated to quiet consideration and meditation. It’s the time for me to put things back in perspective because inevitably something somewhere in my life is horribly out of whack. I realized on this last 1,340 odd mile journey, that Classic Rock is it for me.  It relaxes my mind. Again, it puts things in perspective. It speaks truths and allows me to reflect on what really matters. Continue reading


To The Flames And Back (guest post)

Today’s guest post has been submitted by Christina Cline Schneider. Christina and I have known each other for years, growing up down the street from one another and recently reconnecting for a weekend in Atlanta. She is an awesome woman on a personal  journey into uncharted waters, and she shares part of that journey today. Thank you so much, Christina! This is a fantastic No-Take-Back.

Two years ago my husband and I made a powerful decision to attend the festival known as Burning Man. Back then we had no idea that a week in the desert would change our lives forever. Most people, who had never been, said it was a drug induced party in the desert while others said it was a spiritual journey. All in all, it became transformational on many levels.

Since attending in 2012 our lives have altered, morphed, and still continue to transform. We sold the home in suburbia, divorced toxic friends, began a new spiritual journey, attended transformational seminars, joined coaching programs, quit corporate jobs, the list goes on. We began learning to live a life we love through community and contribution. Trying to explain what happened in the desert that caused this impact is really difficult, so I’m going to share our 2013 Burning Man project instead. However, if you want to know more about my Burning Man transformation, you can always email me at Christina@christinacline.com

What is BURNING MAN, you ask?

Burning Man is an annual event and a thriving year-round culture. The event takes place the week leading up to and including Labor Day, in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert. The Burning Man organization (Black Rock City LLC) creates the infrastructure of Black Rock City, wherein attendees (or “participants”) dedicate themselves to the spirit of community, art, self-expression, and self-reliance. They depart one week later, leaving no trace. As simple as this may seem, trying to explain what Burning Man is to someone who has never been to the event is a bit like trying to explain what a particular color looks like to someone who is blind.

You can check out the ten guiding principles of Burning Man here.

Glad we cleared that up! Now, let me share our 2013 journey to the flames.

We built an art car! Hooray!!

What is an ART CAR (sometimes mutant cars)?

Basically, it’s a car that has been turned into art. The car becomes transportation around the playa. In the years before we always biked, however, this makes for fun transportation. All cars have to pass inspection and be licensed with the Black Rock City DMV. Below are some examples of art cars over the years. Note: you don’t have to build an art car to attend.

Art Cars (from http://www.Burningman.com)

Art Cars  (from http://www.Burningman.com)

What is the PLAYA?
The playa is the remnants of Pleistocene Lake Lahontan, a dried up lake bed, which 13,000 years ago covered 8,665 square miles of Nevada.

The playa.

The playa. (Mack Reed / http://www.huffingtonpost.com/)


The playa. (Mack Reed / http://www.huffingtonpost.com/)

The Burningman Playa

Aerial view of the city and campsites 2013 (Mark Harmon / http://www.burningman.com)

After deciding that we wanted to build an art car in 2013… the question became… what kind of car? After much thought, the idea was to build an art car that could contribute to the community.  Hmm… perhaps it serves food… perhaps…Fancy Peanut Butter and Jelly Sammiches. We will call her “THE GREAT SAMMICH RIDE.”

The Great Sammich Ride concept.

The Great Sammich Ride concept.

The project began with a first generation Prius 8 months prior to the festival. The Engineer behind the vision, Mike Cline, aka brother, and many others, contributed to make this vision possible. Click on here to get a better understanding.

August 30, 2013 5:33pm
After picking up peanut butter and jelly supplies and gluten free bread donated by Canyon Bake House in Fernley, NV we began hurtling down 447 heading north towards Gerlach.  Our 35 foot Green Smoothie, aka motel 6 on wheels, does her best to pull us along with trailer in tow. It’s a two-lane road of smoldering desert asphalt with little to no shoulder, should we go flying off.  We are on the edge with excitement.

Picture taken somewhere in Wyoming on the way to BRC.

Picture taken somewhere in Wyoming on the way to BRC.

The two-lane highway turns off and onto a new road. Soon we begin driving slowly onto the playa, a 400 square mile known as Black Rock Desert.

Black Rock Desert

Black Rock Desert (http://www.nerdophiles.com)

We continue down the road until we approach our camp site. After months of preparation we have arrived and prepare the car for a week of joyous Sammich making!

The art car began as a first generation Prius. The roof was cut off and after months of work she became The Great Sammich Ride. Her job now is to serve Hot PB&J Sammiches and Ice Cold beer. That’s right – we had a kegerator behind the passenger seat.

The art car began as a first generation Prius. The roof was cut off and after months of work she became The Great Sammich Ride. Her job now is to serve Hot PB&J Sammiches and Ice Cold beer. That’s right – we had a kegerator behind the passenger seat.

All those happy smiling faces I met while serving them Sammiches are unforgettable.

Happy smiling Sammich faces.

Happy smiling Sammich faces.


Christina climbing

Christina at the top of an art installation. A total No-Take-Back.

 Christina’s whole-hearted embrace of something so new and totally beyond her comfort zone is what we should all be striving to do in this life. So, let me ask you – have you been to Burning Man? If so, what did you take away from it?