On the road with John Waters: Where he should have stopped
John Waters packed a modest bag days ago, stuffed it with a mix tape, a "Scum of the Earth" ballcap, who knows what else, and lugged it to a Guilford street corner where he stood with a sign. Its markered message: "To the end of Rte 70." And so began the filmmaker's latest project -- hitchhiking across America.
A youthful touring band picked him up near an exit ramp in Eastern Ohio. It was a seemingly staid married couple from Illinois that found him in Kansas. And a 20-year-old politician from Maryland ferried him for not one but two legs of the voyage.
Along the way, Waters charmed the characters who let him into their cars and fans have savored reports from each random stop. Who else but Waters, they'd say with delight, would embark on a trip so trippy, so odd -- so Kuralt meets Kerouac.
Someday we might get to read more about it. Waters says he'll recount his adventures in a book he'd like to call "Carsick." But for now, aside from the bits we've heard, we can only imagine where Waters has been and how he got there.
Following Interstate 70, he would have passed through Maryland, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri and Colorado -- where he was spotted in Denver wearing a ruddy road tan, dark shades and a sardonic grin. From there it was on to Utah, Reno and then California where the the curtain fell on his trip as Waters presented one of his rides and newest confidantes with a key to his San Francisco apartment. What an escapade. Just the I-70 Baltimore-to-Utah leg alone is at least 2,153 miles. That's a lot of gas, a lot of small-talk with strangers, more than a few rest stops and certainly enough time to grow oneself a credible pencil-thin mustache.
As Waters sliced through the heart of America, there was also plenty of opportunity for the king of quirk to take in some Waters-ian sights. Here are attractions in each state where we'd like to think he stopped for a gander.
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