The day before the end, lightning danced across clouds in a dimming sky. Two 20-somethings watched it, bleary-eyed and hungry, while a black cat between them grew restless in her cage.
They were rounding out 2,800 miles – from the juniper forests of Central Oregon, through the Grand Tetons and ending in a southern state on the Atlantic coast. Their meals consisted mainly of cold-cut sandwiches from the coolers, Goldfish crackers, Wheat Thins and granola bars. This is what people eat when they quit their jobs and move across the country.
But when the heat lightning welcomed these travelers to their new home, they promised to treat themselves. Finally.
The next night, after a full day of unpacking the truck in soggy heat, they went to a local microbrewery in downtown Winston-Salem. Foothills Brewery, presumably named for the foothills of the Smoky Mountains. Or the Blue Ridge Mountains.
The brewery was like Deschutes Brewery meets Merenda Restaurant & Wine Bar. They ordered a few brews:
And an appetizer of onion rings (thick slices of sweet yellow onion):
And dinner of buffalo chicken wraps, which tasted just like buffalo wings (yum!). Later, they bought peaches, just because, you know, it’s The South.
Also at the grocery store: an entire refrigerated case of chitlins, or chitterlings. Pig intestines. Some body parts just shouldn’t be eaten.
And thus begins the slide from the bright, fresh flavors of the Northwest to the nether regions of the South. Someday to be known as the “dark period” of your gormastic wanderings.
Please don’t start cooking with lard.