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On a Road Trip Through the American West, Hilary Swank Found Sublime Stillness

Sara Singh

“In July 2021, two years before my twins were born, my husband, Philip, and I took a road trip through the American West. Road trips are my favorite kind of trip—between Boys Don't Cry and Million Dollar Baby, I drove from Los Angeles through the South to New York using only highways and byways, never freeways, because then you just speed past everything. I always love the sense of discovery when you don't plan ahead. This time around, we had no plan beyond keeping a route in mind. I'd also run out of motels that would let me stay with all of my dogs—Kai, Teddy, Sufi, Moon, and Dunton, plus whomever we picked up along the way, as there are so many homeless dogs—so we were in our Tiffin RV. We started in Colorado and ended in the Pacific Northwest, but one of my favorite days came when we were somewhere between Santa Fe and Taos, when we had all of this drastic weather, like having four seasons in one day. It was raining so hard—a crazy summer thunderstorm. And then all of a sudden, it cleared, first with intense wind but then stillness, and as we drove we watched the heat from the road, the condensation going up, the mirages in the distance, and this big beautiful blue sky. That led us into the night—we stopped and built a bonfire and just sat by it. Sometimes we chatted about something that crossed our minds, but it was really then that we found and welcomed the endless stillness, beneath the unpolluted night skies. A moment like that is why I keep doing this.” —as told to Charlie Hobbs and Matt Ortile

Hilary Swank stars in Ordinary Angels, which opens on February 23. She is also the founder of the activewear brand Mission Statement and the charitable organization Hilaroo.

This article appeared in the March 2024 issue of Condé Nast Traveler. Subscribe to the magazine here.

Originally Appeared on Condé Nast Traveler