Sunday, May 10, 2015

roadtrip report

Trip report, so far:

1) The day I left, when I woke up and went downstairs to make coffee, there was a little bird flittering around in the living room. No windows were open. No idea how he got in. How long had he been there? It's not all that big an apartment. Anyway, I opened the front door and out he flew, happier no doubt.

2) My travel buddy, the Admiral 589 (a kitty), hated me for about a day and a half but has now settled into her role as lead navigator and rest-stop wizard. So far, so good.

(She's out in the car now, smoking a Kool with some trucker.)

3) The following rock songs came on the radio more than once in a single day -- Def Leppard, Animal; Rush, Closer to the Heart; Bon Jovi, Livin' on a Prayer.

(On one memorable trip in Sweden I swear Graceland haunted me. I must've heard You Can Call Me Al at least a dozen times. It was only two or three years ago. Why, Sweden?)

4) No distinctive food item has stepped forward to be included in my quest. I'm a little too early for huckleberries, and knock on wood I haven't even seen a Rocky Mountain oyster yet. Stay alert!

5) I don't wanna jinx myself, but people out here so far have been really friendly. Maybe I'm just used to working in Sweden, where folks are typically a little shy and not given to casual chitchat with strangers. I mean, I'm not the world's *most* suave, but Stockholm brings out the socially awkward like nobody's business. (I love it there. I do. I want to go back soon! But it does start to feel a bit girl-in-the-bubble after a while.) Anyway. Casual chitchat with strangers. That's what's up.

6) Saw a family of beavers in Coeur d'Alene, but then it turned out they were only muskrats.

7) Heard some elk.

8) This morning when I woke up, I could see waves and mountains without even getting out of bed. So the next time you hear me complain about any aspect of my job, smack me upside the head and remind me that I have it pretty good. :)

I'm being lazy with the photos and mostly just zapping them up onto "instagram" until later when I download better versions. So if you're curious, here they will be:

Sunday, May 03, 2015


I'm road-tripping through the Rockies this spring for Lonely Planet. One thing I like to do on these trips, strictly for my own entertainment, is to give myself some kind of quest, a secondary mission. Lately this quest has taken the form of an informal contest to determine the greatest possible version of a signature food item. (For Sweden: kardemummabullar. Platonic ideal found on the southern archipelago island of Utö.)

For the Rockies, what do you guys think? Will this be the year I finally tuck into some Rocky Mountain Oysters? Colorado's easy: green chili. Most of the other obvious choices seem to be various shapes of fried and breaded beef drenched or dipped in heart-attack sauce. There's also the huckleberry pie option. But we do have my arteries to consider.

My pal Zach used to order a Denver omelette every morning on a road trip, noting the infinite variations of the form. But I don't like Denver omelettes all that much.

Anyway - suggestions welcome! It doesn't even have to be food. Cutest infant buffalo? Ultimate wildflower? I'm open.