50 States... Or Less


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Cabela’s

Forget Disneyland, this is the theme park for “Real Americans”

When we got to Texas, I really wanted to find something to shock Alana in its Texosity, something so big and over the top and ostentatious (or should I say Austin-tatious HA!) that she would immediately understand what I had been talking about for the last 17 years since I left Texas. When we finally found the place that fit the bill I was more surprised then she was. That place was Cabela’s retail store in Buda just south of Austin.

Updates

  • Afar Magazine interviewed us about our trip in the Jul/Aug issue. Check it out on the newsstands or see it here!
  • it feels weird to be putting our house (ok, fine, our rv.) in storage today. also weird? showering without flip flops. and dishwashers!
  • totally forgot how good sonoma county smells on a hot day. oak trees, grass, and blackberry bushes. if you live here, you know what i mean.
  • Just filled the tanks on the RV with gas for the last time on this trip. 1712 gallons of gas in 9 months.
  • Back in California for the first time since January. And hwy 199 is one of the best driving roads of the whole trip. Good to be home.
  • sitting in the coach with the heater on. summer on the coast.
  • I've always lived within a half hour from the ocean, but today was the first time I've seen a whale in oh, at least 20 years!
  • we just passed our 8th car! that was built in 1915.
  • We missed our chance to drive through a town called Idiotville in Oregon today.
  • Went to Cape Flattery today, the northwestern-most point of Washington and saw a bunch of puffins.
  • going into town (forks) later to take pictures of all the hilarious twilight related stuff. they basically rebranded the whole area!
  • camping next to the pacific ocean, which we haven't seen since the first week of january. it's foggy, of course.
  • Saw our 8th SR-71 today at the awesome Museum of Flight in Seattle. We are now more than a 3rd of the way to seeing all of the remaining 20.
  • in olympia for a night, then off to olympic national park for 4 more. I predict it'll be rainy!
  • the Seattle food scene beat Portland in sunset mag, but will it be able to top the last 3 days? seems doubtful, but we'll give it a try!
  • Portland has amazing food! today we had food truck BBQ chicken, a strawberry/ blackberry galette from ken's and deep fried kimchi at biwa.
  • Having millions of Cajun tots and beers at the Kennedy School in Portland.
  • Had the charcoal grilled boar at Pok Pok in Portland tonight. Highly recommended.
  • The timberline lodge on Mt Hood (the exterior from the Shining) might have the most amazing interior of any lodge I have been to.
  • Just passed a Church of God in Zillah Washington.
  • its really hot and we just drove past an amazingly delicious smelling field of mint. now I really want a mint julep.
  • Going to see a sweet laser show (with a Vangelis soundtrack) projected on the Grand Coulee Dam in a little bit.
  • Back in the PST. IdaHOLLA!
  • s'mores, campfire, and the smell of weed wafting over the campground.
  • saw a moose on the side of the road on our drive home tonight. he was just standing there, being a giant moose.
  • I would like to give a solemn thank you to the many bugs that gave their lives on our windshield today so that we could get to Glacier NP.
  • we just passed a car. that makes 7 since the beginning of the trip.
  • we can see snow capped mountains for the first time since we were in tucson back in january.
  • Little Bighorn Battlefield was a nice stopover. Hell of a beautiful place to have a war.
  • So long South Dakota, you treated us right. Your turn Wyoming.
  • jerk chicken on the BBQ, beer in hand, sounds of ice cream vans and kids playing in the campground creek. yep, feels like summer.
  • Went to Deadwood today, saw Seth Bullock, Wild Bill and Calamity Jane's graves and visited George Hearst's massive open-pit Homestake mine
  • Many people have said Mt Rushmore wasn't really worth seeing, not having been since I was a kid. But I found it both ridiculous and awesome.
  • gretchen saw her first buffalo today, and then she barked at it. the buffalo was unimpressed.
  • The western prairie of South Dakota is stunning. I have missed the west more than I thought and am now soaking this up.
  • Visited the Corn Palace in Mitchell South Dakota today. Looked like someone made a model of Moscow's St. Basil's Cathedral for a state fair.
  • I have never seen rain like we saw today, it was somewhere close to 4" in about an hour. it was like being in a little hurricane.
  • Saw our 6th SR71 today at the strategic air command museum in nebraska. There are only 20 left so we are well on the way to seeing them all
  • Got 40 great records for less than $100 at the amazing Love Garden Vinyl in Lawrence Kansas
  • lots of detours already due to flooding up north. more to come, I'm sure.
  • I think this little storm in Lawrence KS has the loudest thunder I've ever heard. it really sounds fake, like its from a movie.
  • Oklahoma has the best slogan of any state: Oklahoma is OK
  • Seeing the suitcase that killed Tom Mix at the Tom Mix museum in Dewey Oklahoma
  • the weather today started out super hot, then turned humid, then turned into possible tornados then lots of rain. and lightning. oh, Kansas.
  • tonight the dog and I saw fireflies for the first time. (the dog barked.)
  • At Clinton lake state park in Lawrence Kansas. Perfect summer weather and light. Grilling and drinking outside. Thanks Kansas.
  • Man, 25mph crosswinds in an RV with gusts of up to 40 sucks. My arms are very tired tonight.
  • they turn over 1/2 a million cases a day, at this one plant! 5 football fields worth, 18 feet high, every 24 hours. insane!
  • did the Miller tour today in Milwaukee, as it turns out, Americans drink a lot of beer.
  • Touring Frank Lloyd Wright's incredible Johnson Wax Headquarters buildings. Such amazing details.
  • Went to The Violet Hour in Chicago with Dinesh and Shawn last night, and happy to say that the place lived up to its rep for good cocktails.
  • Camped on the shore of lake michigan tonight. Surprisingly crystalline blue water
  • Drove on interstate 80 today. It charged us a toll. I thought we were friends i80
  • Hello Chicago. See you tomorrow for the rest of the week.
  • our neighbors tonight have chased away the same raccoon 4 times already. clearly they are having something delicious for dinner.
  • Missing New Orleans tonight. Making up a pot of dirty rice and a batch of sazeracs.
  • our security system, aka our crappy paint job, looks fine until it's parked next to a gmc with a good paint job, or a new $500k rv.
  • the Mississippi river is twice as wide as it is on the gps's map. but it looks like it's dropped at least 4 feet.
  • we just drove through Future City, Illinois. not very futuristic.
  • Got the Miata all sorted out and running again. Good to have our shuttlecraft back.
  • how do we know when to move on to somewhere else? when I finally figure out how to navigate without a map.
  • somehow managed to attend two events in Kentucky in a week where the Governor was doing a ribbon cutting. random.
  • our visiting bay area friends brought the bay area's weather with them. cold and rainy, which is better than 90 degrees with 65% humidity!
  • The hard hat tour at buffalo trace distillery was great. Got to taste the mash and get up close to the still.
  • Went to a fried chicken place tonight for dinner that had KOOL-AID on the drinks menu.
  • Makers Mark, Heaven Hill and Jim Beam distilleries today. Makers was beautiful and actually the best tour so far.
  • Dang... blew the radiator in the Miata today. Good thing it is easy to hook it up to the RV to tow it along behind us.
  • Just passed the ham and gun store. We're totally going back there tomorrow.
  • adult bookstore on one side of the freeway, and a billboard on the other side that says "hell is real."
  • so far I've been to 11 new states on this trip. yesterday we added Kentucky to the list.
  • Man, they don't screw around at Princes Hot Chicken Shack in Nashville. Medium hot fried chicken is almost too spicy for me.
  • Great drinks and superb bartendership at Bar 308 in Nashville. Thanks Ben and Brandon!
  • At Hatch Show Print in Nashville, picking up some great letterpress posters for friends.
  • if you ever need to teach a class in advanced freeway tailgating, talk to someone from Memphis.
  • At the stax soul music museum. So much good music came from here.
  • Survived 4 tornados within 10 miles of us, got the RV stuck in mud, and drove through 10 in of water, but we finally made it to Graceland.
  • Drove within 9 miles of a tornado today. Had to break our streak and get a hotel room for the first time. Tornados are annoying.
  • vuvuzela like sound coming from the direction of the lake tonight. frogs?
  • This week: a tow truck museum, 3 distilleries, tour of the place that makes Ssäm's country ham and a glass boat tour of an underground lake
  • I think waffle house and dollar general should merge, easier distribution to every town in the south. plus both have black & yellow signs.
  • heading west again feels weird. it's been a while.
  • Great Smokey Mountain National Park was predictably amazing. Highly recommended in spring, so, so green.
  • Bummed that Tennessee's state motto isn't actually "Tennesseein is Tennebeleivin!"
  • I love that in all of the 19th century graffiti we have seen on this trip, the artists always took the time to add serifs to their letters.
  • Heading to the Foxfire Museum now. A book series that was on every 1970s bookshelf containing Appalachian wisdom on how to do everything .
  • Just had a great week in Atlanta with our hosts Josh, Katy, Lucy and little Beatrice. Thanks guys!
  • Atlanta is more pretty then i remembered. Hilly and windy roads and billions of trees.
  • Went to stone mountain today. Its like the confederate mt rushmore.
  • Having a cocktail at Holman and Finch in Atlanta that tastes like soap...in a good way. I blame the rhubarb bitters.
  • At the Cyclorama in Atlanta. A rotating football field sized painting and diorama depicting the battle of Atlanta. Super-kitch.
  • Georgia needs some of those wildlife overpasses like they have in Florida for armadillos.
  • it appears spring break has finally (finally!) ended. the 1000 acre park we are in has just one other set of campers.
  • bought a book in charleston today, "barbecue road trip." now I'm really looking forward to Memphis and Kansas city.
  • Went to an extraordinary bar in Charleston last night, The Gin Joint. Best Chartreuse Swizzle I've ever had, and tobacco infused Manhattans!
  • Made it to Fort Sumter where the civil war (aka the war of northern aggression) began 150 years ago this weekend.
  • At a bar, husk, in charleston, that has 9 kinds of pappy van winkle bourbons! We're getting close to the source.
  • on the move again, on our way to spend 3 days in charleston.
  • bought a tobacco and honey scented soap in savannah today. the rv smells really good now. might go back and buy the whole line.
  • heading into georgia today and crossing off another state from my haven't visited list.
  • We finally caught the mouse that has been chewing through our walls since Louisiana. We don't have to keep the cereal in the shower anymore.
  • we bought stuff to grill, but then we drove past a BBQ place that smelled really good. so we had that instead. oh, the perils of the south.
  • Saw space shuttle endeavor on the launch pad for the last time. A bummer the shuttle program is ending but I'm excited for what comes next.
  • We are seeing a good diversity of eagles painted on RVs. Soaring over buffalo, keeping watch for freedom, even eagles that fade into flames.
  • Got a new radiator for the RV. We are now running about 30 degrees cooler. Just in time too, it's 90 outside right now.
  • There are cardinals attacking our shiny aluminum wheels. Cool looking birds, but not so bright. I wish they would go after our mouse.
  • Our kitchen table is made of unfinished oak and my very hot laptop is sitting on it. It really smells like bourbon in here.
  • Woke up yesterday to the sound of the blue angels training. Found out we were camped 2 miles from their home runway in Pensacola.
  • Fried alligator at cochon in new orleans is the business. You should go to there.
  • At cafe du monde. There is so much powdered sugar on the ground, it looks like Tony Montana's study.
  • Triple milestone today: we crossed the mississippi river, turned over 4000 miles and have now spent 60 days on the road.
  • Heading to a big lebowski quote-off at the Alamo draft house in Austin and then to the highball for white russians and bowling.
  • West Texas is great... just saw some cowboys in a helicopter land at the store next to us (in the middle of nowhere) for a beer run.
  • I take back some of the mean things I have said about west Texas... The drive through Guadalupe national park at sunset was exquisite.

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