US Tour 1997: Day 1

As promised (threatened?), today marks the beginning of the fifteenth anniversary of the 1997 Planet SOMA US Tour. To celebrate, I’m sharing some of the video here for the very first time.

This was a great trip, taken during what was still sort of the infancy of the internet: pre-Wordpress, pre-WiFi, and definitely pre-iPhone. Traveling around the country and updating from the road was a bit trickier in 1997 than it is in 2012 and involved a borrowed Mac Powerbook, dialup connections (sometimes at long distance rates) and a lot of patience. And I’m not sure if people today would be quite so anxious to have a more or less complete stranger from San Francisco land in their homes for a couple of nights. I met great people who demonstrated a great love for the cities they inhabited. And the trip gave me a wake-up call, reminding me that the world doesn’t end at the western approach to the San Francisco Bay Bridge. In fact, it begins there.

So let’s get started…

Fifteen years ago today:

My first online road trip begins and I go from San Francisco to Reno. Highlights include Leaving SF on the Bay Bridge; I-80 through the East Bay, Sacramento, and the Sierra; Reno motels, many of which are probably no longer standing; Mapes Hotel and Casino, now demolished; Reno by night; Motel 6.

Original narrative