Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Vagabondage: year one

[Thanks to Mark for the post title suggestion. I have a funny feeling it will bring a lot of disappointed teenage boys and misdirected S&M traffic to the blog. Who knows, maybe it'll get a new demographic interested in sustainable food.]

Ollie and I passed our "one year on the road" milestone just a couple of days ago. A year! I know!! And I still love what I'm doing. Imagine that. Mom and dad still tease me that I'm their vagabond daughter. I say, "Embrace the vagabondage!"

Now, by this point most of you can probably guess that I love any opportunity to celebrate -- remember Margarita Tuesdays in college, Mare and Feliss? -- so I thought I'd take a little space here to celebrate a few things from the first year on the road.

Most bike-friendly state: Oregon, land of the wide road shoulders and $5 hiker-biker state park campsites. (Least bike-friendly state: Massachussetts, land of aggressive automobiles and $40 campsites.)

Best bike mechanic: my cousin Laith (Austin, TX)

Funniest compliment: Told by a former marine that I had big cojones (Santa Barbara, CA)

Most humbling moment: Being given freshly harvested broccoli by a refugee farmer from Burundi (Burlington, VT)

Strangest meal: Fried squirrel (Santa Cruz, CA) Sorry, Squeazle.

Best meal so far: Ha! As if I could narrow it down to one. If I could combine a few perfectly delicious moments into one dream dinner, it would look something like this: the cheese course at T'afia (Meghan and Andrew's wedding dinner in Houston), seared brussels sprouts (Easter dinner with David and Cynthia in Fredericksburg, TX), broiled Taylor Shellfish oysters (Kendall and Kirsten's place in Bellingham, WA), chantrelle soup (Bear's house in Santa Cruz, CA), Clay's fish tacos (Mack's house in Los Osos, CA), and lamb curry (April's farm in Pleasant Springs, WI). Dessert would be a meal in itself: Derrick's peanut butter cake (Jeff's apartment in Chicago), the divine candied orange peel ice cream at Chez Panisse (Berkeley), and Maggie's vegan cheesecake (Marana Heritage Farm, AZ). Funny, I was never a big dessert person before. No, really, I think it's the biking.

Favorite farm: As if. I've narrowed it down to... 25?

Most alarming question: Pretty much all the way through Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas, a number of folks have asked me if, as a woman traveling alone, I'm "packing." Packing heat, that is. Honestly, it's about the only thing I'm *not* packing. (Incidentally, a year into the bikeable feast, the number one most asked question remains, "How much does that loaded bike weigh??" What, am I supposed to leave the chef's knife or the dancing shoes behind? Hardly.)

Most unexpectedly awesome state: Iowa. (Calm down, New York, I *knew* you'd be great.)

States visited: 20. Tomorrow Ollie and I are slated to cross over into our 21st state of the tour: Louisiana. Woo hoo! Mind you, we've enjoyed the past 40 days exploring the great state of Texas, especially the central region, but this last leg across the Eastern part has been a bit dicey. (I probably shouldn't say too much until I am safely across state lines. Then again, safety is relative: I'll be trading the salt prairie's fire ants for the bayou's alligators. Hmmm. Oooh, the fire ant bites itch, though....)

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

1 comment:

  1. It really has been an amazing journey to follow. I don't think I could have done it! Kudos to you, teaching, educating, and helping to change our thought process and food habits, one spin of the wheel at a time.


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