Sunday, September 09, 2007

So I Like Fried Pork Cracklins...Wanna Make Something of It?

Fried pork cracklins are, according to the package I procured somewhere along the road in the Deep South, fried out pork fat with attached skin. Never have you read anything more appetizing than this description. Never. I defy you to claim otherwise.

At any rate, I drove across the Deep South and ate cracklins. I also ate catfish, hushpuppies, grits, biscuits and gravy, and the best balogna sandwich I have ever et.

I have been long absent from this blog and wonder if anyone even still checks in at it or if you all have given up in bitter despair that I will ever regale you with my adventures again.

Here is a ray of hope: I am going to list here everywhere I stopped along the route from Salt Lake City to Washington, D.C. By the way, I live in Alexandria, VA, now. It is a big change and I miss my home (New York will always be my home), but I think it was a good decision in many ways. The main one being that my ldnmbf is now just my nmbf. No more long distance! Unless you count the distance between his apartment in the District and mine in Alexandria long.

Anyway, the list (which I kept dilligently along the way):

Green River, UT. Stopped at Ray's to have some burgers, which were excellent. Watched trashy dating shows on Ray's TV.

Dove Creek, CO. Stopped at the Sinclair to get some gas.

Chama, NM. Ate at the Chama Grill.

Espanola, NM. Stayed at the Comfort Inn room #216.

Santa Fe, NM. Went to Radio Shack to get a little cord so we could listen to my iPod in the car. Went to Big O Tires to get a tire leak repaired. We had a Dodge Durango rental that had all of these nifty warning lights. The low tire one went off the night before, we filled the tire with more air, but the light was back on the next morning. Turns out we drove over a nail. While we waited I traipsed over to the closest food establishment, Taco Bell. It was good. Was it because we were in Santa Fe?

Claude, TX. Got gas at the Shell and some kind of food at the Taylors store connected to it.

Vernon, TX. Got some dinner at Taco Casa.

Madill, OK. Stayed at the Return Motel, room 106. It was the foulest place I've ever stayed. And that includes, Christy, the sewage-smelling room in Marrakech. The Return Motel warns you from the get go "Stay here once and you will return." I am dreading the day. The place smelled like urine and had GREASY DOORS. There were huge bugs dead in the corners of the room. There was the most depressing ex-swimming pool I'd ever seen, with about three feet of filthy filthy water. Anyway, there in Madill I took a three-mile walk in accordance with my walking half-marathon training schedule (Philadelphia November 18th!). It was not a bad town, though maybe it had just a few too many loose poultry running around. There was a big group of stables where people bring their mares to get impregnated. There was a water tower. That morning, we ate at Joe's Hobo Cafe. A few days later when we were reading the Washington Post, we read about a young man killed in the war whose hometown was Madill, OK.

In case you think I've taken to using the royal we, I guess I should say who this other person in the we is. It's the boyfriend character.

Paris, TX. Stopped at the CVS to get Himself some allergy medication against my cats who made this grand trek with us.

Clarkesville, TX. Got some gas at the Shamrock.

Texarkana, AR. Got some food perhaps at the Fast 'n Low #2 (or something to that effect).

Shreveport, LA. Had dinner at Johnny's Cat Fish.

Vicksburg, MS. Wandered about at the Mississippi Welcome Center overlooking the mighty Mississip. We tried to get closer to the water by going to some casino, but it was a no go.

Jackson, MS. Got gas at Mac's Gas.

Forest, MS. Stayed at the Apple Tree Inn, America's Best Value Inn, room #119. I went for a little stroll down a slow highway and was in the South. It smelled like heaven (like Kansas, fellow Kansas girls), and was teeming with insect life.
We went to the Kwik Mart at some point.

Uniontown, AL. Stopped at the Raceway for to go the bathroom. It was the grodes.

Lounes County, AL. Stopped at Casey's. Don't quite remember what this is. Maybe it's where we got our cracklins.

Ladonia, AL. We tried to go to some steakhouse that was closed. Across the street was Buck's Cafe, which I thought seemed exciting. But himself thought it was way too smoky. It was very smoky. And fast types were hanging out drinking and playing pool. So we went to the Piggly Wiggly, which we had vowed to go to since it is very exciting that there really is a grocery store chain in this world called the Piggly Wiggly. We even got to go in the back room to use the bathroom. At any rate, we got hungry and had struck out so many times we went to Wendy's and Subway. This was the only time we ate at such places except once we ate at Dairy Queen sometime in the first couple of days (it is not on the list because I forgot to jot it down at the time and now I don't remember). But there were SO MANY DQs across the South that it could be considered local cuisine. There were also lots of Sonics, but we never ate at Sonic. Anyway, before leaving Ladonia, we went to Chevron for gas.

Knoxville, GA. Stopped at the Knoxville Store and Citgo.

Gray, GA. Stopped at Flash Foods

Augusta, GA. Tried out a couple of different motels, the Candlewood Suites and the Bay something or other. Struck out and moved on to Aiken, SC.

Aiken, SC. Stayed at the Day's Inn, room 110. Got gas at the Raceway.

Congaree National Park, SC. Wandered around the boardwalk for a couple of hours and saw huge striped spiders, a big hawk, several squirrels, many turtles, fascinating trees that have knees that act as snorkels when the place floods (it is a flood plain), and heard some woodpeckers.

Gaston, SC. I think that's what the guy said the name of the town was, anyway. Anyway, we stopped at Freemon's 3 in 1. This is where we got the bologna sandwiches of bologna sandwiches. The three from the stores name refers to the fact that Freemon's is a gas station, a deli, and a convenience store.

Cameron, NC. Here we tried our darndest to get some dewberry pie or cobbler, which we read about in the special local foods feature in our road atlas. But everything closes very early there in Cameron, NC. We have determined to return another day to get some. Instead we went to the Citgo.

Raleigh, NC. We tried to go to Danny's BBQ, but it was closed. So we went to the Mellow Mushroom right near the UNC campus. It was like a bigger, outdoor version of the Pie in Salt Lake. Lots of frattish looking folk and very nice pizza. Though I got some kind of salad.

South Hill, VA. Stayed at the America's Best Value Inn in room 124. We had tried a couple of roadside motels, but they did not want us and our filthy animules. Or they did not answer the bell they said to ring.

Richmond, VA. Finally got some BBQ at Hanks BBQ. I got chopped BBQ, Himself got sliced. I shoulda got sliced.

And then we arrived in Alexandria, dropped off my poor little cats, moved Himself into his place in the District, and went our separate ways for the first time in 6 days.

The cats are adjusting pretty well. I am taking my time to adjust to living in a parking lot after living in the architectural joy that is Harlem. Ah well. I have a nice view of the Washington Monument and the Capitol out my window. And Virginia is misty and sultry and also teeming with insect life. There are flowers on trees here in September.

This is about it. I hope I can soon report that I have found a job. We shall see.