The Long Commute to Yellowstone: Driving Music for the Road Out West

On my trip to the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone, I spent a fair bit of each day driving. Where I live in Atlanta, I avoid driving whenever possible. I loathe traffic and dealing with bad drivers, but mostly I hate the stress and frustration driving brings out in me. Oddly enough, I thoroughly enjoyed driving each day I was out west. Our camp, Collective Retreats was located about an hour from the West Yellowstone entrance and since it was our first time visiting, we wanted to experience as much as possible of this massive national park. So we drove and drove and drove the 60+ miles each way nearly every day we were out there.  Looking back, we bit off A LOT for one week, and when [definitely when!] I go back to Montana, I'd like to spend more time exploring the areas close to where I'm staying. [more on my Montana wish list another day!]

 Cathedral Group,  Grand Tetons

Cathedral Group, Grand Tetons

A great mix of music with an open road and beautiful scenery surrounding me made the long daily drives calming and therapeutic. I've always found my surroundings and the people I surround myself with inform what I listen to, especially when it comes to trips I take.  On this trip, I was drawn to acoustic guitars, calming voices, subtle melodies with a bit of grit thrown in every now and again. I listened to songs I wish someone would play me by the fire each night. I listened to songs that played into the freeing feeling an open road provides. I listened less for the lyrics said and more for how the songs made me feel. For driving, I do like to throw in a few tracks that wake me up and compel me to sing, since no matter how beautiful a long drive can be, fatigue kicks in sooner or later. I could belt out any track from bands like Foo Fighters and Jared and the Mill and Hozier, so they'll always find their way onto any driving mix I make. I also love old favorites like Otis Redding and B.B. King and Ray Charles. A little blues and soul for the road never hurt anyone, certainly not me :)

I'm sharing a few songs off my driving mix below, but here's a link to my Spotify playlist, if you want to hear all the songs that kept me driving each day through Wyoming and Montana. Listening to it as I write this brings me right back there, right back to that long stretch along the Gallatin River and into the mountains. 

 Wildflowers on the road toward Lamar Valley, Yellowstone

Wildflowers on the road toward Lamar Valley, Yellowstone


Listen to my Spotify playlist: