Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Hey Nebraska, guess what, YOU SUCK!

That the US is big is sort of an obvious point. It's not Australia big, certainly, but there are some serious miles between the coasts. Somehow it's easy for us to lose sight of this. We'll think "Yes, let's drive across the country. It'll take us a few days, sure, but it's not that far." Except it is that far.

Truthfully, it's probably further even than that.

From Omaha, our last stop as far as the blog is concerned, we spun like a needle through the heart of Nebraska and then north into the corner of Wyoming then, eventually, into Colorado to spend the night before my 29th birthday in Fort Collins with our friend Rachel. Did you see that? All of that happened in one sentence, that's the misleading bit. Words condense distances just as thoughts do, but there is nothing about tires meeting a highway that condense or mitigate anything. There are the miles and the heat and there is the truth of myself behind the wheel driving across them. What I'm saying, ultimately, with no offense intended to any of our readers in these states: Nebraska and Wyoming are boring as hell.

Arriving into Colorado, then, was a wonderful thing. Trading the interminable plains for hills and then mountains sped us along, gave us a motivation toward our goal that no shady Wyoming fireworks stand could provide.

What I didn't expect from Colorado was the food. After a few days on the road stealing what we could from the buzzards and coyotes and, failing that, eating at roadside cafes, we really needed the recharge of good food. Thanks to Rachel's suggestions, Fort Collins provided in spades. Our first night there we stopped by a New Mexican Semi-Fast food place (is there a name for this I don't know? It wasn't fast food, but it was ordered from a counter and brought out to us in baskets. Medium food? Normal speed food?) called La Luz. The guacamole was just as fantastic as it looked and the local beer even better.

The next day, the morning of my birthday as it happens, Dana took me to Lucile's, a cajun breakfast restaurant that was truly fabulous. We ordered two beignets to start and then followed up with plates of really amazing Eggs Benedict and Eggs Sardu served alongside a buttermilk biscuit as big as a trash can lid and easily twice as delicious.
Do you know beignets? If you don't, you should, they're essentially amazing airy donuts covered in powdered sugar gone nearly caramel from the residual heat of the oil. These were enormous and filled with gorgeous pockets of air. If we lived anywhere in Colorado, Lucile's would definitely be a staple in our diet. As it is, it was a wonderful way to start a birthday on the road.


nancy said...

Did you stop and pee at Kabela's? That's what I remember about Nebraska...it was the only place to stop...

"There are the miles and the heat and there is the truth of myself behind the wheel driving across them." Ok, you are sounding more than a little bit like Hemingway here. Stop it. You're a poet, dammit.

Glad you found great food for your birthday. Wish we could have joined you!

Miss you. A lot.

Dana said...

We actually did stop at a Cabela's in Iowa, and laughed at how kitschy it was outside, and then I opened my mouth in horror when I saw the rows and rows and rows of dead animals mounted to the walls. And the dead ducks and geese hanging by wires above the entrance. And we miss you guys so much.

Alex Solla said...

The dead animals at Cabela's definitely left their mark on me too. Same thing at Bass Pro shops up in Auburn.

Somehow it just doesnt balance out with the John Deere bed sheets and lingerie. Go figure.

So how has this week been treating you? You guys up for a call this weekend?