Monday, July 16, 2007

Roadside Mailbag

While waylaid somewhere north of San Francisco as our leader recovers from pallor and wooziness, I decided to take the opportunity to respond to some questions and comments that have come in over the past several days.

Hopefully, this shift in format will create more of an open forum and will increase the feel readers report of “really being here.”

In response to the South Dakota post, Catherine Wannabe wrote in wondering:

Was coffee really 5 cents at Al's?

Well, Catherine, here’s what I know. Al’s seemed pretty proud to offer these savings, boldly announcing their 5 cent coffee deal for miles on billboards. On the morning I left, I attempted to secure some of this 5-cent joe for the road. Approaching the counter I saw a sign—I’ll paraphrase a bit—that read something like this: Some coffee, 5 cents. A bit more, 5 more cents, even more, another 5 cents, etc.

All I know if that I asked for a cup of coffee to go, and I paid 57 cents for an 8 oz Styrofoam cup.

Catherine also asked this following question in reference to the Hell’s Canyon affair:

Could Allison have seen a sign about electrical transformers and was making a pun?

Unfortunately, I do not believe that the state of Oregon possesses the technology to have or maintain electrical transformers. Furthermore, if they did, I am sad to report that my daughter likely would not recognize them as such.

Let’s move on to a comment from Steve, who posted the following rebuttal to his wife, Jennifer, who speculated that he would not sustain a trip if he didn’t know where he was going to sleep each night. Steve writes:

Point of order i'd be ok with that, as long as i knew where we gonna eat each day, i can sleep anywhere.

Steve, there are no guarantees on a journey of this magnitude. The best laid plans have more twists and turns than a jaunt through Hell’s Canyon. Like you, I didn’t want to wing the food arrangements, either. We really thought we’d outwitted the system when we invested in that travel fridge. Who knew the thing could turn into an oven with an inadvertent flip of the switch. My advice? Pack a granola bar and hope for the best. You only live once.

In another food-related inquiry, Steve writes:

I've just gone one the Marie Calender's that ya'll stopped at, is this the same Marie Calender's that makes those wonderful frozen meals, or no ?? If so, that's awesome that you guys found that place.

Yes, Steve this is the same Marie, although I’d be remiss if I didn’t tell you that the frozen meals are only a shadow of what comes out of the kitchen “live”. In fact, the night before, I’d purchased a frozen Marie Callender’s frozen pot pie for a hotel room dinner. Yesterday, I ordered the pot pie at the restaurant, and it’s the difference between seeing a real superhero or just a six year old in his underwear and cape.

Tisa from Pennsylvania writes in with the following:

All I can say is ... Thank God, you found the turkey!!! I don't quite know why I have been obsessing with it, but now I can sleep!

Tisa, you are a woman after my own heart. I had little sleep myself since a blue striped sheet went missing last spring. My sister even bought me a replacement in hopes the entire affair would go away. I thanked her sincerely, but told her if she really wanted it all to stop, she’d have had to stage a “finding. You know wash it a few times, rumple it up and pull it out of a heating duct or something –“Oh, what do we have here?” Something like that.

Josh, on location in our nation's capital, writes:


Josh, did you really think you could spend so much time warning us NOT to go someplace without arousing so much morbid curiosity that we’d be guaranteed to go?

In closing, I would be remiss not to acknowledge this touching note from Susie Doe, who lost her husband Bill in a tragic toast burning incident in the 70’s. In response to the post Details at 11 she writes:

“Your father probably loved you and your sister very much.... and although overprotective, wanted you and your sister to be more aware of the pitfalls of life than were your stumbling deluded "invulnerable" peers...most of whom are now dead or in prison. And what of your father? Is he still alive?”

Susie, please accept my belated condolences on Bill. I am glad to report that my father is alive and well. To date, he has managed to avoid all of the fates it has been his duty to report, and has kept his family alert, vigilant, and safe.

On the other hand, I must express alarm on the statistics you report concerning my peers. I had not idea that the statistics on my generation were so grim. I guess I need to pay more attention to the news.

Well, friends, I must leave in search of San Francisco. Please accept apologies for questions I may have neglected, and feel free to draw my attention to any oversight so it can be addressed.

I enjoy your comments—please keep them coming!


Jennifer said...

I definitely think that Steve and I ever go on a trip like yours it will be mainly motivated by me. Besides the fact that he has to plan everything, he also has a tendency to get lost going to Charlottesville if I'm not there. So we would probably already be 3 days behind schedule and in Canada. Who is the main map person on this trip and has there been any major getting lost??

Kayla McOink said...

Wooziness and pallor?!?! Where did that come up?!
Hugs for Serious, you, Allison, and Rollercoaster Tycoon veteran!

Kayla McOink said...

Oh, and the dogs are being very very good!

Catherine Wannabe said...

I...can't...breathe! This is SUMO magnitude funny.

Anonymous said...


I'm not even gonna comment on my wife's crack about my getting lost in Charlottesville, aside from the fact that it was my first time going to the John Paul Jones Arena and the directions that i got from somebody who, incidentally used to be a coach at UVA included two streets that were no where to be found when i hit Charlottesville, so, technically, I didn't get lost, but rather had bad directions.

Anyways, in response to your Marie Calender response, I must say that i totally understand what you were saying in the difference, i remember when i was a teenager and i ate at TGI Friday's for the first couple of times and i fell in love with their wings and mozzarella cheese sticks. Needless to say, when i tried the store version of said snacks, i nearly lost my lunch, they were nowhere near as good. Glad you enjoyed yourself at Marie Calender's though.



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