I’m back!

I’m so sorry I fell off last year and I won’t provide a long explanation but basically I had a great time travelling and ended up WAY too busy to write. Weak, I know.

Anyways, I’m traveling and having a blast this year, and I will put up a few photos and thoughts here and there — let’s hope I actually hold myself to it 🙂

I’m in a monogamous relationship with my Prius and it’s going great. I lovingly and caringly replaced its water pump as a preventative measure because I was around 205,000 without it having been replaced and my last prius had its head go. It’s a known issue with Gen 3 that the water pump goes and then the head overheats so I was glad to have this done and was also glad it was relatively cheap. Well, cheaper than a new head gasket.

Since my inaugural first time last year I’ve been fucking obsessed with Skyline Chili so I was SO glad to stop at the one in Lexington. Their chili is out of this world because they make it with cinnamon and nutmeg. I’ve tried making it at home with much success but nothing beats the original.

On the way down South I blew out a tire on the highway which makes sense because I’ve put about 70k on the tires I’ve got so far. So I was really grateful I was in a major metro (Nashville) to have it replaced rather than in bumfuck nowhere. Now both of my right-side tires are unoriginal, after I got a flat in Bodie two years ago. I plan to get all-new tires, probably when I get home, unless another flat or blowout forces my hand.

The replacement set me back so I ran through Nashville and grabbed Five Daughters cronuts which I have thought about almost daily for the last year. HIGHLY recommend!! I also grabbed some coffee at Honest Coffee which was helpful in waking me up after all this driving.

I also stopped at local legend Hattie B’s in Memphis to grab some Nashville hot chicken and mac n cheese and holy shit was it incredible.

I learned that eating extremely spicy chicken on the road was probably a bad idea as soon as I finished the sandwich and felt sick as a dog but I soldiered through and landed in OKC for the evening. I heard a concerning sound from another tire and slept overnight at a tire shop just in case. Thank fucking God I did because I woke up the next morning and felt like I was dying from this goddamn chicken sandwich (a car dweller’s worst nightmare). I’d like to say I made it. But, I didn’t hahahaha

Here’s a photo of my best moment in Arkansas:

This lady looked over and saw my hat and I waved and we had a grand old time.

And I stopped at an old favorite in Amarillo Texas —

Definitely not my smartest experience after the Nashville hot debacle but what’s life without living on the edge?

Shortly after Amarillo, I landed in Santa Rosa for my yearly dip in the frigid waters of the Blue Hole —

And I continued onward to Albuquerque where I caught up with some old friends, visited a winery, and then ate a slammin’ burrito.

I went north from ABQ through Jemez Springs to get to one of several local hot springs. I got out of the car and was overwhelmed with how good everything smelled — like a sun-baked pinecone, just fresh, airy, and amazing.

The hike up was a huge slog full of mud and gross shoe squishes but up at the top I was greeted by some awesome fellow Queers enjoying the springs in naked exuberance.

I had meant to continue the journey from here up a mountain road and of course discovered after going about an hour out of the way that the road was, in fact, closed. I had to go nearly all the way back to ABQ to reroute. On the way, I hit almost 9,000ft elevation and a bag of chips I had in the car exploded causing me to almost die of a heart attack.

But, I finally made it to Durango, and had a great time checking out all the local scenery.

While there, I stopped at Himalayan kitchen, a restaurant I had discovered last year and could not stop thinking about. They have INCREDIBLE chai tea and the saag paneer is honestly the best thing on the menu. I tried that, and the momos and chicken tikka with some garlic naan. Just pure bliss.

Belly full and heart racing from all the caffeine, I continued the drive north in the darkening skies.

My next stop landed me just outside of Moab, Utah, my fan favorite. The landscape here is actually really great. I mass bought books on geology at the local bookstore so I can actually try to pretend like I know what’s going on with all the faults and sedimentary layers and such.

And so here I am — cooking and eating and chipping away at my amazing Himalayan leftovers.

What’s next? I have plans to do Arizona and more of the Southwest, zip down the millon dollar highway (when there’s not a historic fucking storm about to slam the area with snow), see a ton of friends, read a bunch, and go see Dune 2.

Stay tuned.