Skip to main content
Road Tripping In America

Road Tripping In America

By Lisa McNamara
Road Tripping in America is a podcast about life on the road, brought to you by two restless souls, Lisa and Paul. We’re exploring the US in a pickup truck with a camper – we named our setup The Bobs.

If you daydream about long-term travel or overlanding or #vanlife – or maybe you’re already on your own adventure – join us every two to three weeks for some entertainment from the road. We’re in search of off-the-beaten-path adventures and new experiences. Visit roadtrippinginamerica.com for more.
Listen on
Where to listen
Apple Podcasts Logo

Apple Podcasts

Google Podcasts Logo

Google Podcasts

Pocket Casts Logo

Pocket Casts

RadioPublic Logo

RadioPublic

Spotify Logo

Spotify

S4:E2 – One Year of Early Retirement
We’re coming up on a year of no-job roadlife. Today, it’s an unsolicited advice smorgasbord – what kind of advice are people giving us? And what advice do your two favorite unshowered dirtbags feel qualified to give you? Money, life, relationships...it’s all on the buffet table. Suggested reading: The Shockingly Simple Math Behind Early Retirement, by Mr. Money Mustache.  This episode was written, recorded, and edited by Lisa McNamara and Paul Olson. It was produced by Lisa McNamara. Visit roadtrippinginamerica.com for more.
18:45
May 10, 2022
S4:E1 – Back West
Hi! We've missed you! Let's talk about where we are now and why it’s Utah. Then, come along with us in the Bobs as we explore the San Rafael Swell and try to find a sheltered campsite on a very windy day – a typical day in our life. This episode was written and produced by Lisa McNamara. It was recorded and edited by Lisa McNamara and Paul Olson. Visit roadtrippinginamerica.com for more.
55:57
April 25, 2022
S4:E0 – Series Four is Coming Soon!
Series four will be starting soon! In series four, we will continue to share updates from the road including “days in the life,” where we’ll take you along on a typical day on the road. We also hope to bring in other voices, including stories about why other people are on the road, their travel nightmares, and their inspirations. If you have a story you’d like to share to get us started, email us at info(at)roadtrippinginamerica.com. We’d love to hear from you. Series four is taking a bit longer than expected to get started because I have been working on a print version of The White Heart of Mojave story – and it’s out today!! It’s available in Kindle ebook format and paperback format – both on Amazon. We can’t wait to bring you along as we see what’s out there next.
02:45
April 13, 2022
S3:E12 – Backtracks, Chapter 12: The End of the Adventure
Is there anything more bittersweet than the end of a good adventure? Find out what Edna and Charlotte took away from their desert experiences and what they did next as we close out the final chapter of The White Heart of Mojave. This episode was recorded and produced by Lisa McNamara. Supplemental text is by Lisa McNamara and original text is by Edna Brush Perkins. Visit roadtrippinginamerica.com for more.
12:00
March 28, 2022
S3:E11 – Backtracks, Chapter 11: Snowstorm and Sandstorm
Mojave is not going to let Edna and Charlotte go unscathed. She throws snowstorms and sandstorms at them as they begin "the going home."  This episode was recorded and produced by Lisa McNamara. Supplemental text is by Lisa McNamara and original text is by Edna Brush Perkins. Visit roadtrippinginamerica.com for more.
30:49
March 28, 2022
S3:E10 – Backtracks, Chapter 10: The High White Peaks
Edna and Charlotte embark on their long-anticipated adventure of climbing Telescope Peak, where they stand on top of the icy, shiny world for a few all-too-brief moments. This episode was recorded and produced by Lisa McNamara. Supplemental text is by Lisa McNamara and original text is by Edna Brush Perkins. Visit roadtrippinginamerica.com for more.
23:15
March 07, 2022
S3:E9 – Backtracks, Chapter 9: The Mountain Spring
Edna and Charlotte find glorious water, an abandoned gold mining town, lost burros, and a route up Telescope Peak.  This episode was recorded and produced by Lisa McNamara. Supplemental text is by Lisa McNamara and original text is by Edna Brush Perkins. Visit roadtrippinginamerica.com for more.
29:38
March 07, 2022
S3:E8 – Backtracks, Chapter 8: The Dry Camp
Edna and Charlotte become more and more obsessed with water as they continue their hot and dry journey across Death Valley. This episode was recorded and produced by Lisa McNamara. Supplemental text is by Lisa McNamara and original text is by Edna Brush Perkins. Visit roadtrippinginamerica.com for more.
17:48
February 21, 2022
S3:E7 – Backtracks, Chapter 7: The Burning Sands
Edna and Charlotte struggle across the blazing floor of Death Valley and in the process, Edna learns the true appeal of the desert.  This episode was recorded and produced by Lisa McNamara. Supplemental text is by Lisa McNamara and original text is by Edna Brush Perkins. Visit roadtrippinginamerica.com for more.
16:05
February 21, 2022
S3:E6 – Backtracks, Chapter 6: The Strangest Farm in the World
Edna and Charlotte arrive at Furnace Creek Ranch and learn how difficult it is to simply exist on the hot floor of Death Valley. This episode was recorded and produced by Lisa McNamara. Supplemental text is by Lisa McNamara and original text is by Edna Brush Perkins. Visit roadtrippinginamerica.com for more.
24:13
February 07, 2022
S3:E5 – Backtracks, Chapter 5: Entering Death Valley
Edna and Charlotte get their first look at the place they've been trying to see for over a year. Standing high above the valley floor, overlooking Death Valley for the first time – do you think they were happy they were there or nah? This episode was recorded and produced by Lisa McNamara. Supplemental text is by Lisa McNamara and original text is by Edna Brush Perkins. Visit roadtrippinginamerica.com for more. 
32:52
February 07, 2022
S2:E11 – A Postcard from Florida
Why we're still sticking around Florida: featuring delicious raw bars, freezing iguanas, the new worst smell I've ever experienced, miles of serene beaches, and all kinds of sea specimens. This episode was written, recorded, and produced by Lisa McNamara. Visit roadtrippinginamerica.com for more.
15:49
January 31, 2022
S3:E4 – Backtracks, Chapter 4: The Outfit
Edna and Charlotte decide that they can't drive into Death Valley – a more traditional, formal expedition will need to be mounted if they are going to reach their goal. So they go back home, back east, and wait for the hot desert summer to pass. In January, they return to Silver Lake and to their guide, the sheriff. The trio travel by railroad to Beatty, NV, where they rent a cart, a burro, and a horse, stock up on a month’s worth of supplies, and head west towards the valley. This episode was recorded and produced by Lisa McNamara. Supplemental text is by Lisa McNamara and original text is by Edna Brush Perkins. Visit roadtrippinginamerica.com for more.
20:19
January 22, 2022
S3:E3 – Backtracks, Chapter 3: The White Heart
Edna and Charlotte bum around Silver Lake, chasing mirages back and forth across the dry lake bed, then take a treacherous drive to Saratoga Springs with the town’s sheriff. They get tantalizingly close to their goal in Death Valley, walking when they can drive no further and learning firsthand how the heat, light, and distance of Death Valley gave the place its name. This episode was recorded and produced by Lisa McNamara. Supplemental text is by Lisa McNamara and original text is by Edna Brush Perkins. Visit roadtrippinginamerica.com for more. 
26:31
January 22, 2022
S3:E2 – Backtracks, Chapter 2: How We Found Mojave
Edna and Charlotte try to get their Death Valley trip underway but face plenty of obstacles. They visit the Imperial Valley and the Salton Sea and gain some healthy respect for the desert. Armed with new determination, they finally arrive on the doorstep of Death Valley in Silver Lake, CA. Will they finally find what they are looking for, or will they give up and head back home? This episode was recorded and produced by Lisa McNamara. Supplemental text is by Lisa McNamara and original text is by Edna Brush Perkins. More at roadtrippinginamerica.com.
43:20
January 10, 2022
S3:E1 – Backtracks, Chapter 1: The Feel of the Outdoors
First, we talk about how this podcast is going to work. Then, Edna takes over and reveals why she and Charlotte decided to go to Death Valley for a lighthearted break from raising children and fighting for women's rights in the 1920s. Why are two wealthy women from Cleveland so obsessed with going to Death Valley? Let's find out! This episode was recorded and produced by Lisa McNamara. Supplemental text is by Lisa McNamara and original text is by Edna Brush Perkins. More at roadtrippinginamerica.com.
19:40
January 10, 2022
S3:E0 – Backtracks: The White Heart of Mojave
A hundred years ago, it was considered by most to be foolish, absurd, unthinkable for two women to travel on their own, especially to an undeveloped place like Death Valley. A hundred years later, anyone who thinks that idea is foolish – well, they are the ones considered absurd now. A hundred years ago, in the early 1920s, Edna Brush Perkins and Charlotte Hannahs Jordan, both in their early 40s, went to find the heart of the desert in Death Valley. A hundred years later, in the early 2020s, I, on the verge of 40, found the book Edna wrote about the experience, The White Heart of Mojave. As I devoured it, I wondered why it didn’t have a more prominent spot on the shelf of adventure classics. This is my attempt to make that book and these two women more widely known and to modernize this classic adventure narrative on the centennial of its publication. This is Backtracks, a special series from Road Tripping in America. 
02:45
January 03, 2022
S2:E10 – Wrapping up Five Months
After five months on the road, we share a budget update, answer some unanswered questions from previous episodes, and find out what each other’s “ests” were (the bests, worsts, scariests). This episode was written, recorded, sound edited, and produced by Lisa McNamara, with additional recording and editing by Paul Olson. Visit roadtrippinginamerica.com for more.
33:01
December 07, 2021
S2:E9 – 35 Days in Canyon Country
In canyon country, we force our bodies through cracks in the ground in places like Buckskin Gulch and Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument, send the Bobs down tough roads, and struggle with some big questions about land use. After 35 days of this, after enjoying endless canyons, gorgeous dispersed camping spots, carefully timed resupply runs, and achieving furnace temperature perfection, we finally feel like we have hit our stride with road life – just in time to pause for a few weeks. This episode was written, recorded, sound edited, and produced by Lisa McNamara, with additional recording and editing by Paul Olson. Visit roadtrippinginamerica.com for more. 
29:42
November 17, 2021
S2:E8 – Third Time’s a Charm in Death Valley
After previous attempts were thwarted by Maruchan lunches, underpowered rental cars, unusual rainstorms, distracting flowers, flying tents, and snow, we finally managed to climb a big mountain. And why we'll never stop returning to Death Valley, no matter what it throws at us. This episode was written, recorded, edited, and produced by Lisa McNamara, with additional editing by Paul Olson. Visit roadtrippinginamerica.com for more. 
27:27
October 26, 2021
S2:E7 – Covid and Loathing in Las Vegas
We can't live like every day is a vacation – we'd probably die (and we’d definitely blow through our savings). So most of our days on the road are like real life, with a vacation thrown in here and there. Back in more optimistic times, we had planned to spend my 40th birthday in Vegas. But then things went weird again. What's it like in Las Vegas right now? We'll tell you what we saw. Link to the wave speech from Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/1074-strange-memories-on-this-nervous-night-in-las-vegas-five This episode was written, recorded, edited, and produced by Lisa McNamara, with additional recording and editing by Paul Olson.
28:07
October 12, 2021
S2:E6 – Making a List and Checking it…Later
Three Wind River, WY stories told by way of the things we saved to Google when back in cell range: from terrifying cows to windstorms to running out of water on a hike, we bumbled through a few misadventures, then double checked to see how we could do it better next time. And the eight things we think about on a daily basis that are second nature when you live in a building. This episode was written, recorded, edited, and produced by Lisa McNamara, with additional editing by Paul Olson.
27:24
September 29, 2021
S2:E5 – Money and Dinosaurs
A deep dive into our budget vs. actual spending for our first two months of road life and a tour of Dinosaur National Monument – the fossils, the canyons, the river, the...poems? This episode was written, recorded, edited, and produced by Lisa McNamara, with additional recording and editing by Paul Olson. The Cataract of Lodore, by Robert Southey: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/57951/the-cataract-of-lodore The Lost Canyon Under Lake Powell, by Elizabeth Kolbert: https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2021/08/16/the-lost-canyon-under-lake-powell
33:02
September 15, 2021
S2:E4 – The Colorado Mountain Biking Special
A special edition all about mountain biking in and around Colorado. We rank, we review, we get bruised (often). This episode was written by Paul Olson and Lisa McNamara (but mostly Paul). It was recorded, edited, and produced by Lisa McNamara. Do you have any suggestions for mountain bike trails we should check out – in Colorado or anywhere else? Let us know at info@roadtrippinginamerica.com.
29:35
August 31, 2021
S2:E3 – Ruins, Rats, and Realizations
What are ruins, really?, the behind-the-scenes reality of making a podcast in the wild, and an update on the evolution of our stuff – a sneak peek on that one...we had to add some rodent repellent to our arsenal! This episode was written, recorded, edited, and produced by Lisa McNamara, with additional editing by Paul Olson. Visit roadtrippinginamerica.com for more. Share your thoughts with us at info@roadtrippinginamerica.com. 
25:13
August 15, 2021
S2:E2 – Planning for Spontaneity
Planned vs. spontaneous travel for our life on the road, highs and lows from the first month of road life, and the Road Tripping in America road trip playlist.  This episode was written, recorded, edited, and produced by Lisa McNamara, with additional recording and editing by Paul Olson. Visit roadtrippinginamerica.com for more. Articles referenced in this episode: Grape disappointment: Colorado vineyards say an October freeze will chill their 2021 vintage (https://coloradosun.com/2020/12/21/hard-freeze-wine-colorado/) and Colorado mountain towns say they can’t handle any more tourists amid labor, housing crises (https://coloradosun.com/2021/07/13/colorado-tourism-marketing-resort-communities-housing-labor/).
20:39
July 25, 2021
S2:E1 – On the Road...Again!
We finally head out on the road, bounce down Colorado’s bumpy backcountry discovery route, and search for the right pace for long-term travel.  This episode was written, recorded, edited, and produced by Lisa McNamara, with additional editing by Paul Olson. Visit roadtrippinginamerica.com for more.
16:17
July 11, 2021
S1:E4 – Six Hours in a Mexico City Police Station
Today, while we finish packing, moving, and fitting out the Bobs, we bring you the true story of our worst travel experience...so far. This episode was written, recorded, edited, and produced by Lisa McNamara, with additional editing by Paul Olson. Visit roadtrippinginamerica.com for more.
23:09
June 24, 2021
S1:E3 – Trading Stuff for Places
What we’re doing with all our stuff, where we’re going once we start for real, and what’s next for the podcast.  This episode was written, recorded, edited, and produced by Lisa McNamara, with additional editing and recording by Paul Olson. Visit roadtrippinginamerica.com for more.
13:09
June 13, 2021
S1:E2 – Who Needs a Toilet When You Have a Shovel?
What we decided to name the camper, a tour of what it does and doesn’t have, and a dry run to find out what else we’re missing. Hey, just in case you didn’t get the hint, we’re going to talk about bodily functions in this episode. So, you’ve been warned. This episode was written, recorded, edited, and produced by Lisa McNamara, with additional editing and recording by Paul Olson. Visit roadtrippinginamerica.com for more.
22:53
May 24, 2021
S1:E1 - Ten Years Later, We Begin Again
Why we decided to live in a vehicle and what we picked: featuring palm readers, lots of research, box wine, and In-N-Out burgers. This episode was written, recorded, edited, and produced by Lisa McNamara, with additional editing and recording by Paul Olson. Visit roadtrippinginamerica.com for more.
20:19
May 09, 2021