Going back to my younger days riding back and forth between Ft. Devens and Shrewsbury, I used to stare out the window and watch the sights. The touristy fascination with the drive eventually evolved into me, a digital camera, and taking pictures of the highway signs I’d become so fascinated by.
It might seem silly: A metal sign – green background and white lettering – standardized by the USDOT, and I was into their design, their configuration, and taking pictures of them.
Of course, once I had amassed what would be considered an archive of these signs between four of the six New England states, the external hard drive I imported them to eventually crashed. I wasn’t aware of the existence of companies that performed data backup, and even if I were, I didn’t have the money for it.
The crash lead to a feeling of defeat and the ceasing of taking the pictures, even after I earned my driver’s license and was driving everywhere. It was only after I was the passenger for many family road trips and family functions that I ended up buying a digital camera (it wasn’t a fancy one at the time) and resumed taking pictures. Of course, I also ended up buying another hard drive. The first drive was a Maxtor (now owned by Seagate), this second drive was a Western Digital.
After high school, I had received my first smartphone. I had purchased dashboard mounts and was rudimentarily filming my drives. I also had taken many more road trips, including a trip to South Carolina. Between pictures of interstate and local route signs and videos of highways I had traversed, I had amassed a larger collection there than I had before.
It was 2014 when that Western Digital terabyte hard drive that was the sole source of that archive ended up crashing on me. I was a power user with the drive and it had been through a lot. Regardless, my initial reaction mirrored the one I had when my first drive died. There was footage on there that were captured at certain points that would be impossible to recreate.
At this point, I was working full-time and had the income to consider data recovery, so I did a Google search. I found a company, sent them the drive, and within a month, I had all videos in perfect condition on a new hard drive – not a Western Digital.
2016 has been a year of branding for me and “Road Trips in a Hoodie” (RTH) became the name of a YouTube channel that houses many of my trips – short and long. There are many trips that are too big to upload to YouTube in their native form, but I am actively working on cutting them up for easier upload and easier viewing.
RTH isn’t the only one of its type, and there are channels that cover far more roads and regions than I do. While my goal is not to compete, I am always looking at new technology and ways to improve the quality of footage. I’m also exploring more creative methods of post-production. Below is one of many videos. I apologize in advance if you’re on a mobile device and it doesn’t play properly. Please note that there’s no audio in the video.
My goal with RTH is to drive every interstate/freeway in the US. While it is currently functional, it will become more creative over time. While I do have ideas for how to grow the channel and brand, I’m always open to new ideas.