Sandwich Road Trip Anyone?

The mini + pobre, little stray dog. (Note the "tumbleweed" picked up en route, ha!)

The mini + pobre, little stray dog. (Note the “tumbleweed” picked up en route, ha!)

I am a lover of sandwiches and a lover of road trips. So. Who wants to eat their way across America with me? (Admittedly, some of these sandwiches look a little too meat-crazy for yours truly, but….I’d give it a whirl.)

Recently, I have a dream of getting sent on some sort of project where I have to travel the width of our vast, amazing, quirky country, exploring all the nooks and crannies  along the way. I love road trips,  I love interviewing local characters, and I love little towns with one blinking stop light, one laundromat and one local pub where everybody knows your name. I think that, because this is so far from the reality of the suburban upbringing I experienced, I am just fascinated by life in these remote, unpopulated pockets of our country.

So, I’ve decided I really want an assignment that gives me the excuse to do this—to hit the road and to interview folks I meet along the path. I want to learn their stories; I want to share their tales.

I’m talking This American Life, StoryCorps, documentary research or random projects like this that I’ve recently randomly stumbled upon and become so captivated by. (Or maybe I could/should create a project on my own? Hmmmm. If anyone with an assignment catches wind of this post, feel free to send it my way:))

Here are some preview pics from my recent mini-roadtrip east to Leavenworth and Walla Walla, WA.

This is a mighty diverse country we’ve got, y’all, and there’s still so much more of it I want to explore.

Snowing through the pass

Snowing through the pass

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Some no-nonsense Walla Walla Mexican, thanks to a tip from a local

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X-Country Trip Day 3, Final Stretch: Seattle,WA!

During the last hour of my epic ride, the Puget Sound views were lovely, and I chatted with a super nice guy who lives in Vancouver, Washington, and works on freight trains. He kindly welcomed me to my new home as the familiar city sights (and a few hobo camps set up near the tracks) came into view.

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Then I saw the BEST sight yet. My brother collecting me at the station:)! Yay!!

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We got on our merry way after a wee baggage snafu–my bags, which had arrived from Chicago a few days before me, were nowhere to be found AND I’d misplaced my baggage tags in my delirious exhaustion. Oops. But thankfully, the tallest man on earth (not to be confused with my favorite band of the moment) was very helpful and disappeared somewhere in the back and returned with my three hunka-huge bags a few minutes later. He took my word that the bags belonged to me too, phew. (Naturally, I found the tags this morning.)

Once back at the Eastlake ‘guesthouse’ that has so kindly taken me in yet again, we feasted on this deliciousssss and special brunch prepared by KL. Some signs greeted me too:) I’m a lucky, lucky lass to have such loving homes on both coasts. I’m beyond grateful.

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After being showered (hallelujah!), napped and fed, I relished a fresh-air stroll with my brother on one of our favorite waterside loops. It feels really nice to be back in this place:)

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X-Country Trip Day 3, Final Stretch: Seattle,WA!

During the last hour of my epic ride, the Puget Sound views were lovely, and I chatted with a super nice guy who lives in Vancouver, Washington, and works on freight trains. He kindly welcomed me to my new home as the familiar city sights (and a few hobo camps set up near the tracks) came into view.

20111009-063515.jpg

Then I saw the BEST sight yet. My brother collecting me at the station:)! Yay!!

20111009-063800.jpg

We got on our merry way after a wee baggage snafu–my bags, which had arrived from Chicago a few days before me, were nowhere to be found AND I’d misplaced my baggage tags in my delirious exhaustion. Oops. But thankfully, the tallest man on earth (not to be confused with my favorite band of the moment) was very helpful and disappeared somewhere in the back and returned with my three hunka-huge bags a few minutes later. He took my word that the bags belonged to me too, phew. (Naturally, I found the tags this morning.)

Once back at the Eastlake ‘guesthouse’ that has so kindly taken me in yet again, we feasted on this deliciousssss and special brunch prepared by KL. Some signs greeted me too:) I’m a lucky, lucky lass to have such loving homes on both coasts. I’m beyond grateful.

20111009-064621.jpg

20111009-064648.jpg

After being showered (hallelujah!), napped and fed, I relished a fresh-air stroll with my brother on one of our favorite waterside loops. It feels really nice to be back in this place:)

20111009-065118.jpg

20111009-065136.jpg

X-Country Trip Day 3: Edmonds, WA

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Next stop: Seattle!!! (or Scotland according to the views out my window right now!)

Thanks for joining me in this journey! Will post soon from SEA:)

X-Country Trip Day 3, Morning cont.: Cascade Mountains, WA

I am more awake now, and this scenery is simply stunning (even more so than these pictures capture!). Welcome to Washington!

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Sick of scenery shots yet? Here’s yours truly (sleep n’ shower, please!) 🙂

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X-Country Day 3, Groggy Morning: ??

First sights of the day.
New topography! No clue where we are…

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I looked back behind us where the lounge car once was, and now… I see sky! I think the passengers who broke off early this morning bound for Portland took that car with them. Bugger!

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I slept veryyyy sporadically but deeply. (I cheated and took a Tylenol PM.) I am beyond excited for a shower, a bed tonight (I am achey!) and, above all, a reunion with my favorite Seattlites:).

Now to figure out our current mystery location…

X-Country Trip Day 2, Evening: Still crossing the biggest bloody state ever AKA Montana

Since I last wrote…
A man was escorted off the train (for smuggling drugs, I think) by Border Patrol, several local cops AND a man who I presume was a detective (based upon his stereotypical plaid cap and trench coat…. Whatever happened to going ‘undercover’?!).

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I bought a greasy chicken dinner from my snack car friend Drew (who treats me especially kindly so that I’ll ‘write him up well’ in my ‘book’ ha:)).

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We passed loads of sheep-dotted fields that looked just like THIS…(and near Shelby, MT, a huge pen of mares raised for their estrogen–later used in birth control pills, according to one passenger).

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I followed our progress on the map, fought off a few pity party moments brought on by my sneaky iTunes shuffle (grr), read more of my book and cozied back up in my seat (I still have two to myself. Yeeha!!) with a few more DVDs. Here’s hoping sleep comes quickly tonight. I’m
anxious to be in Seattle already!

A demain, from the Empire Builder. Thanks for reading along and keeping me company!

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