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Get Outta Town

Gia Bahm’s 4 Rules of the Road (Trip)

Get Outta Town BY mattie kahn 11/19/2012

“This is a snapshot from the seven-hour drive from L.A. to Arizona, where I was headed for the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show. You can find literally anything there, from the largest piece of rose quartz in the world to the most flawless diamond.” 


When Unearthen’s Gia Bahm wants a brief escape from her recently adopted Los Angeles home, she takes to the open road. “I love driving, particularly when I don’t know what I’m going to find. The whole process feels incredibly inspiring and even kind of soothing to me,” says the designer, who messes with precious metals and perfectly imperfect crystals to create her jewelry. Here, her four tried-and-true, get-outta-town tips so you can follow in her tire tracks. 

“I captured this moment in Mammoth. It still makes me smile.”


“The fewer rules you make for yourself, the better. Leave yourself time to follow that cool-looking sign or take the next exit just because you feel like it. I’ve never regretted a detour to a teeny thrift shop or antique store. That’s where I’ve found the real gems.”

“This photo was taken in New Jersey at an old-school strip mall. There’s this really special antiques place that I go to out there. It’s one of my favorite spots, but it’s so top-secret that I can’t tell you where exactly it is.”


“I have a rule that I refuse to eat McDonald’s while I’m on the road. Because of technology, it’s so easy to just look up the nearest grocery store or find a really special, unexpected restaurant. And since a huge part of these trips for me is about being in nature, I always check out before I go. The site keeps track of all the hot springs and rivers and watering holes in the country, which are really great places to explore.”  

“This is a picture of Mammoth, California, and the whole area is actually this breathtaking. About a half-hour away from where this photo was taken, there is a string of campgrounds. Each one has its own huge, cedar tub that pipes water in from neighboring hot springs.”


“Music is essential! I’m always hesitant to recommend songs, but lately I’ve had these on repeat.”


“Tackling long stretches of highway or passing through ghost towns can be really spooky if you’re on your own, so I say bring friends. Always bring friends.”  




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