I love everything about a ride like this and I always have. Car rides have always been calming for me as when as I was younger, when I had a bad day, my dad and I would do a lap of Indianapolis on I-465 and this always lowered my defenses and I would open up and talk. So too, now, I feel much more comfortable conversing with those around me when confined in a car on a cross country ride.
Why is this? For one there is consistency. What I mean by this is that there are no times in which a person is added or subtracted from the environment. We left with five of us in the car and we will arrive with five. This consistency allows me to build my confidence up. It's when there is fluidity in those who join and leave a conversation that affects my confidence. So when the people remain the same my confidence and level of comfort increases by the mile.
Perhaps there is something with the ride itself sensory speaking. I've heard from many parents that if their child is having a bad time a ride in the car is a soothing experience.
As for me, now, I've got another 6 hours of paradise headed to eastern PA. Most people would get tired of this, but I'm loving every minute.