Life is grand

Just got back from two weeks on the road. And I mean that literally.

On. The road.

We logged 4,600 miles from the wee homestead to the Grand Canyon and back, with stops to see friends in Denver, Phoenix, Santa Fe, and Oxford, Miss. It was almost like couch-surfing in college, except there was less alcohol and more coffee.

OK, that’s not true. There was just more coffee. And better alcohol. At about our fourth brewpub, or maybe it was that place in Sedona that had crazygood infused vinegars and specialty olive oils — goodbye, $60, we hardly knew ye — Jenn kidded that we were seeing the beautiful western landscapes as an excuse to visit friends and consume lots of food and alcohol. I couldn’t deny it, so we started calling our trip the Ferment and Firmament Tour.

Rock on.

We learned a lot about the country. I’d never seen a wind turbine before, at least not in the metallic flesh, and we saw probably a thousand of them as we looped through Kansas, the Southwest and Texas. It was a strange feeling to first see the Rockies, in our own car, having just left Georgia two days before. The natural arches in Utah blew us away. And who knew Arkansas had a wine country?

We found local cuisine every chance we could. One of Jenn’s rules was that we eat every meal from a plate, and we largely succeeded, except for a moment of weakness with takeout from Jason’s Deli, and a moment of sadness and desperation that ended with mouthfuls of fishwiches from Burger King. (Warning: There’s a reason they’re not called Fish King.)

You guys will probably read enough about the different aspects of this trip on the blog to make you want to shout, “OK, guys, just go plant some more stuff already,” but we’ll keep it fun, I promise. And there will be lots of garden, orchard and krakhaus updates soon. So there’s that.

Meanwhile, we’ll need some quality time to sort through all the loot we brought back with us. To include: pint glasses from all over; small-batch gin from Palisade, Co.; chocolates and dried chilis from Santa Fe; a bottle of mead from a place called the Meadery of the Rockies (really); and a book of photos and Faulkner quotes from maybe the finest bookstore I’ve ever seen, in Oxford.

Here’s the quick visual tour. Click for the large image to read the key:

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