Last night, Daniel and I left our friend Jesse’s surprise party with leftovers in tow. My to-go box contained three helpings of decadent strawberry shortcake, herbed french fries, cheesy-saucy mac and cheese, extra bread from the table, and a half eaten hamburger (not mine… but from a fellow party guest who so kindly donated her remaining dinner to our chickens). The contents of Daniel’s doggy bag were two humongous heads of romaine lettuce. Now, how Daniel was able to acquire two heads of lettuce as the takeaway from a friend’s party, is beyond me (and at the same time, not that surprising, as he always seems to leave a party with some sort of large vegetable). But the point is: we’ve got some major differences. And as I sat in the car staring down at my bounty over the sounds of his strong bicuspids happily chomping down on his, I began to think more about this upcoming 6 month road trip and came to the realization that we are completely insane.
All joking aside. What the hell are we thinking that this crazy renaissance gun slinging hippie (Daniel), and me (this mouthy, petite vegetarian-who-dislikes-vegetables) will be able to live in a car for half a year, driving around the country arguing about where to eat, where to drive, what to do and how to film, showering occasionally, sleeping rarely, crabby, dirty and toned (ideally) — will actually make it on the road?
We are crazy. And Im starting to worry that its not crazy smart, but actually crazy crazy. But since we’re gonna try this anyways, I’ve started to do some intense preparations: First, I’ve begun shot-gunning full cans of coke, as I realize my days with my drink of choice are numbered (Ive been told they will be strongly frowned upon during the trip). Secondly, I made a mental note to start doing some exercise (…and then I laughed and laughed and fell asleep). And lastly, I’ve started to seek advice from other transients. The first thing most people tell me is to avoid working with someone you’re dating — and then not to road trip with either (someone youre dating or someone you work with). So we are screwed. Also our car emits gasoline fumes when it’s moving. But here’s what we’ve got: A really great opportunity to do something cool.
…And thats becoming more and more apparent as viewers’ story suggestions continue to stream in. So as I feel a soft panicy/vomit feeling raise up in my throat, I often look over at our “submit a story” form, and find a little piece of heaven. Here are some of the really cool regional things in our country… a couple zingers Id like to share. Thank you so much, and please keep em’ comin.
Ron Kaufmann, Port Angeles, WA
“There is nothing more unique to the state of Washington than the geoduck (pronounced gooey duck). The Puget Sound is the only known habitat for these clams in the lower 48 states. Geoducks are no ordinary clams; they are the world’s largest clam. The name geoduck comes from a Native American word meaning “dig deep.” They are a challenge to harvest, but worth it! They have become a worldwide delicacy.”
Mike Chin, Albany, CA
“Kirk Lombard is a fisheries biologist, and knows how to find, catch, & eat anything with fins, claws, or a shell that lives in water.”
Katie Helms, St. Augustine, FL
“Datil peppers are small green-to-yellowish orange hot peppers that grow almost exclusively in and around St. Augustine. They range 60000-100000 scovilles, but have a sweet, tangy taste. They are said to have been brought to St. Augustine by Minorcan settlers in the 1800s, and they are a signature ingredient in local cuisine. Restuarants serve datil pepper fried shrimp, datil pepper pilau, and have bottles of datils in vinegar on the tables; several companies sell datil pepper hot sauce, marinade, etc. Every gardener I know here grows them…”
Amanda Fuller, Louisville, KY
“A Baptist church on Louisville’s south side hosts a vegetable farm where Somali Bantu, Nepali, and Karen (Asia) peoples grow food for their families and for the market. Kids play in the soccer field nearby, under supervision, or work alongside their parents. Refugees who farm are more financially secure and have better family cohesion in this difficult transition to life in the US.”