Road Trips: Blacktop Chronicles

America loves to drive. In a country as big as ours, half the fun is seeing where the road will take you. That’s what our road trip stories are about — scenic drives to interesting destinations.

Our first episodes, called Blacktop Chronicles, are a collection of stories about how car travel has shaped the American experience. Local hosts help us explore the richness of America’s geography, history, and regional culture from the romantic Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia to California’s spectacular Highway 1.

We invited pro shooters in our network to submit ideas, choosing from categories like “famous last rides,” “historic byways,” and “white knuckle roads.” We knew this would be a fun project with plenty of creative latitude. But as usual, our friends gave back more than we expected. Steve and Sheri Wiggins offered to guide us along the entire length of the Natchez Trace Parkway from Tennessee to south Mississippi (over 400 miles). Jesse Placky and Joe Scalmanini took us from Denver to the Black Canyon of the Gunnison and back (another 400 mile day). Iris Green enlisted veteran Hollywood cinematographer, John Hora, to talk about iconic movie scenes filmed on the roads around Griffith Park. Andrew Mudge and Sara Eshleman explored the quiet beauty of the Blue Ridge Parkway. Ben Youngerman and Miranda Jones gave us hairpin turns and a great up-close look at lazy sea lions along Highway 1. Jack Foster and precision driver Kira Gurnee followed the last drive James Dean and his Porsche Spyder took from Hollywood to Cholame, California.

Find all our great Road Trips here. This was definitely one of my favorite projects. Be sure to watch for occasional music mixes after the credits, hand-selected by our filmmakers to accompany their drives!

Black Canyon of the Gunnison

Highway 1

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