Many geeks and nerds will be familiar with the supernatural road trip depicted in Nicole D’Andria’s graphic novel; they might be less familiar with the Earth-based trips that can round up a stunning range of nerd history. Road trips are becoming ever-more popular in the USA – Forbes estimates that 64% of Americans will head out on the road in the near future. What better opportunity is there for committed fans of nerd literature and media to experience the history of their own fandom? One west-coast route in particular will tick a lot of boxes.
Starting down south
LA is a hub of international comic fandom, and this is a great place to start. The Bradbury Building is what LA Conservancy highlights as a key place in film history: so many scenes have been shot inside its hallowed halls. The Bronson Caves play home to the original set of Batman, and the city is rife with excellent quality bookstores like Blastoff, Comics Factory and Earth-2. The next steps are further up the west coast. Come prepared for this: the terrain can be very differentiated, and there are a lot of long stretches of road where you’ll want to be properly equipped. Having a vehicle suited to long distance and that can carry a full accompaniment of supplies is essential.
500 miles up the coast from LA lies Sonoma County and the famous Rancho Obi-Wan. Local state cultural guides highlight this as an unusual and one-of-a-kind repository of Star Wars memorabilia and quirky history – quite unlike the moderated experience you’ll get at any venue owned and operated by Disney. This is a great opportunity to experience all things Star Wars, both old and new, and to do a bit for the public – any donations are put into maintaining the museum, as it’s a non-profit organization entirely supported by the public.
The Oregon trail
Oregon is famous for its impact on the world of video-gaming and comic books. Portland is a huge hub for comic book production and creativity, and The Oregon Trail was one of the world’s first computer games – and one that real took the imagination. A whole generation of 80s kids will be far too familiar with the phrase, ‘You have died of dysentery’ for a society with good health standards. There are countless experiences and geek historical sights to explore across Oregon, and you could even experience the Oregon trail itself: the Oregon Historical Society gives pertinent information on how to do that, and how to see a few of the places that inspired the original videogame back in 1985.
Marry this together with a huge range of awesome natural sights and good weather, and you will have created a varied and fun vacation that you can enjoy. That’s true whether you’re with a family, or just a geek interested in seeing the sights behind the media you love. Being prepared is important, but once you’re on the road, enjoy it.