New Orleans #1

Andrea and I left Hamilton at 5:00 pm on Friday after grabbing some American dollars and road beans from Durand. We decided not to obsess about the time we left since we would be driving through the night no matter what.

I’ve been fantasizing about a long, non-stop drive since discovering Dream Whip, at the recommendation of Dave at King West books. The idea of crossing the country, and having as much time and space as you’d like sounded ideal.

Part of this fantasy included having a nice coffee early in the morning among strange, foreign scenery, far away from anything familiar. I’m currently writing a guide to making coffee outside and figured this would be an ideal time to test some things. I packed my kettle, camp stove, and French press and planned on stopping somewhere off the highway to watch the sun rise.

Our first coffee stop was in Ohio. We were just getting the kettle filled with the water we brought when I realized I had forgot gas for the stove.

Plan B was to ask for hot water at rest stops and gas stations. Part of the article was going to focus on where and how to get the resources you are missing. It turns out getting hot water is exceedingly easy. Provided you are satisfied brewing at a rest stop rather than the edge of a cliff, all you really need is a cup, your brewing device, beans and a hand grinder. Typically you can get hot water for free anywhere coffee is sold.

Only one person charged us for water. We met a strange, drawling charecateur of a man at 3:00 am in Kentucky, off a forgotten exist, far from the highway. His station was next to a boarded up Motel that oddly still had “Open” sign. After paying, he kept us at the register for a while as he relived the story of a murder-suicide he witnessed two nights ago right at this spot.

Getting back to the highway, we were diverted to a winding, single lane dirt road that seemed to go on forever. There were no lights except from the occasional, distant farmhouse. Part way along, we came across a small group of deer making their way to the other side of the road. We would meet nearly a dozen before we made it back to the I-65 South.

We took our one and only simultaneous break at the edge of Kentucky and Tennessee at 6:00 am. We parked in the back of a truck stop, locked the doors and had an hour nap. Andrea’s car is a late-era Grand Marquis, so the back seat was essentially a double-bed. Waking up with the sun that day was one of the most beautiful things I’ve experienced.

We got moving again by 7:00 am, and after a few more coffee stops, we arrived at our AirBnB at 7:00 pm local time, right as one of the many pre-Mardi Gras parades was ending.