Born a third-generation American, I was raised with a vivid sense of pride for my country. Born in New York City, however, my perception of what this country exactly is remained far more tenuous for a long time. What did the soil feel like one thousand miles away from either coast? What scent did the trees give off resting between the Appalachians and the Rockies? Most importantly, what were other Americans like? What does that word mean, apart from the ideals and laws we all uphold and debate over? I set off from my home city with two close friends, determined to make it to the west end of South Dakota, committed to answering these questions.