Niskayuna High buddies finish cross-country trip

Michael Corcoran, left, and David Kosineski.Michael Corcoran, left, and David Kosineski.

BY REBECCA ISENHART
Gazette Reporter

Last year, a filmmaking trio of Niskayuna High School alumni, Michael Corcoran, Gavin Dowse and David Kosineski, dreamed of taking a road trip across the country.

Corcoran, who had just completed his freshman year at Siena College, had developed a habit of tucking $30 into a jar each week when he received his paycheck. But with work, school and social lives, the trip seemed distant and elusive.

So it was a triumph when Corcoran and Kosineski, who studies hotel and restaurant management at Schenectady County Community College, embarked on the trip on June 7.

Dowse had a scheduling conflict, but the other two thirds of the trio embarked on a nearly six-week trip that grazed some of the country’s most popular tourist attractions and beautiful places.

“My goal was to try and do as much as possible,” Corcoran said. With 40 days to cram in 30 states and 12,000 miles, they did just that.

They buried their feet in the surprisingly cool grains at White Sands National Monument in New Mexico. They ate beignets in New Orleans, took a bourbon tour in Louisville, admired natural wonders like the Redwood Forests in California and manmade ones like Mount Rushmore and the Hoover Dam.

They worshipped the origins of their favorite musical genres at Graceland, Sun Studios, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. There were bison in Yellowstone and elk in the Grand Canyon. And of course, there was lots and lots of driving.

“The best states to drive through are Montana and Arizona,” Kosineski said just a couple of days after returning home to Niskayuna. He reminisced about the crystal blue skies against the red-brown desert, and the uninterrupted sunsets on the horizon.

A year previous, the friends had imagined the road trip as a project for their joint filmmaking project, which they’ve dubbed Forty Six Films. But when it came around, Corcoran and Kosineski decided to blog about the trip as a sort of public journal for friends, family and themselves, but focused mainly on enjoying the experience.

“In the next few years we’ll graduate college and get a job,” Corcoran said. He knows there might not be time to spend six weeks on the road with a friend, which made this summer the perfect time to get on the road.

Corcoran and Kosineski’s tips for planning your own cross-country adventure:

  • Plan ahead and space the trip out. Six weeks may seem like a long trip, and it is, but the pair said they still got tired of time in the car between stops. More time for each destination would’ve improved the experience, they said.
  • Save more money than you think you need. Small costs, like parking, add up quickly.
  • Consider an annual pass for the National Parks. Each park costs $20 or $30 for admission, so Corcoran and Kosineski invested in $80 annual admission.
  • Research AirBnB alongside hotels and motels. The service (founded by a Niskayuna High School graduate) connects people with spare space in their homes to travelers looking for a place to stay. Corcoran and Kosineski agreed the AirBnB locations they stayed in were more comfortable, less expensive, and had better Wi-Fi than the hotels.
  • Don’t be embarrassed to bring a selfie stick. The pair of friends said they saw tons of tourists using the gadgets to help make memories of their trips in all sorts of situations.

Read the friends’ trip journal at medium.com/cross-country, or catch up on their past projects at fortysixfilms.com.