#414 Driving home from a long trip and getting all your radio stations back

Fade to fuzz.

It’s always a sad scene when you’re bumping down the highway and your old faves start fritzing out on the radio. Yes, you wince as songs start missing notes and DJs start garbling the weather…. before eventually just dissolving into the distance. Staring back through your rearview mirror a hot tear slowly drips down your cheek as you watch the orange sun set on your friends from the AM spectrum.

Now when you’re bumping back home it’s the opposite story. You’ve already tried and failed to latch onto new stations in new places. Scanning for new friends, skimming for old beats, you found annoying talk shows, scratchy music, and baseball games with all the wrong teams.

That’s why it’s great when you drive back into your radio station zone. Now clear voices, sharp drums, and familiar tunes float and fly down your antennae to welcome you back with a smile.


Photos from: here and here

33 thoughts on “#414 Driving home from a long trip and getting all your radio stations back

  1. I can’t stand listening to a unclear station … after the first few consistently fuzzy seconds, I have to switch to a CD or iPod.

    It’s nice to come back to your home-sweet-presets! So comfortable and familiar. Even better: you’re almost home :)

  2. I hate the radio…but this I can appreciate. I can extra appreciate the view of the city skyline when I pass through the gap through the hills on the highway. Easily my favorite view ever.

  3. Driving in Texas from Austin to Houston is ok, because both rock stations are at 93.7, and there is about a 5 mile stretch between both cities where you can’t pick up either, but it is nice that your destination city plays the same genre of music as your favorite pre-set!

  4. I just drove from Baltimore to New Orleans – 19hrs. There was a stretch in Tennessee that made me want to jump out the car while it was still rolling. I just kept asking myself, “WTH do these people listen to on a daily basis?”

  5. Whenever I make the trip home from college for a weekend or holiday, I love seeing my parents and friends… but hopping in my car and hearing my favorite DJ’s voice puts a smile on my face every. Single. Time.

  6. Last time I was in North America my hire car had a satellite radio. That never lost signal (except in tunnels). Awesome!

    In the UK I listen to Radio 4. That works everywhere. Awesome!

    1. You beat me to it. I was going to mention the wonders of Satellite radio – the biggest perk of which is you never lose your radio station, no matter how far you drive…

      …now, having constant access to “The Howard Stern” show might not actually be a huge benefit, but I’m just saying, he’s not going to go fuzzy no matter how far you drive.

  7. I’ll always check on iPhone to find today’s mix 80’s 90’s and today’s then I can hear the same kind of music and even Ryan Seacrest voice too. Awesome!!

  8. I love coming back home. I love seeing “Berlin” on boards, knowing that I’m so close and catch my favourite radio station and see all these places I know so good. AWESOME

  9. I spent three months away from home this summer. I was able to find some stations to listen to in my new city, but it felt semi-permanent the whole summer. When I was on my way back to my parent’s house, it felt so wonderful to reprogram my presets to those old stations and to hear the DJ’s familiar voices! I love HOME!

  10. So hard awesome when you lose the signal on “Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me” and just shift a millimeter to the left or right and pick it up loud and clear on a neighboring NPR station.

  11. Every year, my dad drives me to school from Chicago to Buffalo, and then back again in the summer – about 12 hours each way. We always pack two CD cases full of our favorites (thankfully my dad and I have lots of similar tastes), and a few mixes I made so we don’t have to navigate the uncharted radio waves.

  12. This is a quick call back to my prior story (somewhere in the world of 1000awesomethings.com comment threads) where I boasted about that time I was driving up to LA and managed to find NPR on a total of three (3!) different stations as I drove in and out of various broadcast zones…

    Man, was I ever on my game that day..

    *contented sigh, reminiscing about the day when my awesomeness peaked…*

    It’s all down hill from here, friends..

  13. I have my revenge! Aha! As we live in a rural area with woeful reception, we can’t even get our faves on the radio. How bad is that? But last year, the Govt in their infinite wisdom gave us free ‘streaming’ online so we don’t even have to pay for downloads. It’s so cool

    As for the car, well the more south we go, or towards Sydney, we can then pick up so many good radio stations. So, driving out of town from this point of view is great! :-)

    1. Funny you should mention that because we were driving down to Sydney (from Brisy) over Christmas. Around Ballina, we hit traffic (raining pretty bad) so we got a good listen to a talkback station there. As first it was alright, but then all these redneck conservatives started ringing in over some issues. I thought the host was alright but he started launching a barrage of hard-line conservative views as well. Needless to say, I was pleased to get out of there!

  14. Push button radio are the best! Set’em and forget’em.
    But along way from home and all the setting are hopeless. “There’s no place like home.” ;-)

  15. Thank god there I can stream my favorite radio station from home 104.5 (Philadelphia station) here in college (Arizona State)

    I love that feeling in the car when it switches to your local stations, it tells you that you are a little bit closer to home.

    1. Oh and also my phone has iheartradio so in the car here I can listen to my home radio station by plugging my phone into the aux jack.

  16. I usually have National Public Radio (NPR) on when I am local, but it too fades with distance. I surf, and look for new NPR stations or failing that, a music station that appeals to me. Every once in a while I find a distant station that plays songs I’ve never heard before, and I make lots of notes and pick up new music. However, it is indeed nice to come home and hear the familiar stations.

  17. I totally agree I mean when u go somewhere else the music and stuff on the radio isn’t as good as it is at home

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