‘Yellowstone’ TV: Kevin Costner Explains Importance of Youngsters Ditching Tech on Family Road Trips

by Suzanne Halliburton

Kevin Costner looks at road trips as if they’re a spiritual experience. His parents took the family all across California when Costner’s dad would toss the sleeping bags in the back of the Buick and they’d check out every landmark along the way.

And now Costner does the same with his family when he’s packing up the big Toyota with the four-wheel drive to check out the Sierra Nevada mountains or maybe the Sequoia National Park.

During a podcast with Visit California earlier this month, Kevin Costner said he wants to replicate the smell that overwhelms his senses when he visits the mountains.

“I imagine the reason why it smells the way it does is because the pine needles fall,” the Yellowstone star said. “The sun hits them and all that sap, the wind picks up that waft (of smell).”

Kevin Costner continued: “I’ve never been able to get the Sierras out of my psyche. When I go there, I’m always refreshed. When I go there or the Sequoias, it’s the same.”

And he wants his kids to experience the smell, the sounds, the scenes of all these road trips. But he wants them to experience the trips the way he and his brother did, with their noses pressed against the window and not deep into an iPad or smartphone.

Kevin Costner Wants His Kids to See All the Landmarks

“That’s probably the biggest difference about traveling now a days, versus then,” Kevin Costner said. “And the problem with that is your kids have their noses stuck in their computers and are not looking out the window… We can all kind of experience the same dream. (Bernardo) Bertolucci, the great Italian director, said 600 people can sit in the dark and dream the same dream.”

Kevin Costner has seven children. Four of them are grown. But he has three who are of prime road trip age, who can all dream the same road-trip dream

He described what it’s like to be in the car with him on such trips.

“I made my children miserable by stopping at all the bronze plaques,” Kevin Costner said. “Oh, there’s another historical marker. ‘Dad, please, not another one. Please, dad, stop. Don’t stop!’ And I go ‘nope, I’m going to look at it.’ And I’m sure my kids with their chins and their fists are looking out the window.”

He always pulls over and tells his kids “there’s some real human drama that happened here.”

Kevin Costner joked during the podcast about his penchant for exploring.

“I just kind of somehow missed the Lewis and Clark’s expedition. I don’t know why they didn’t call me. I would’ve been on that one, if had I known.”