Vegan MoFo Post #12!
This post will document the very long trip I took from Oakland, CA to Denver, CO through Nevada, Utah and Wyoming. With lots of time in the car and lots of driving through middle-of-nowhere places, there was a lot of scavenging to be done! At first an 8-hour drive solo drive killed me, but with the right podcasts (big plug for the Death, Sex & Money podcast) and practice numbing my mind, it’s gotten better. In any case, I have officially learned what “middle of nowhere” means!
If you’re going on a road trip, I highly recommend throwing a little cooler in your car with a couple of ice packs. Pretty much everywhere I’ve stayed has had a fridge and freezer, so every night I just put everything in the fridge, re-charge the ice packs and throw everything back in the cooler when I leave again.
Anyway, I hopped by Trader Joe’s in Berkeley before leaving California and got these tofu spring rolls and this chicken-less salad to eat with some pita chips in the car. These served as my lunch and snacks the following day during my drive from Oakland to Winnemucca, Nevada via South Lake Tahoe.I have to put a big plug in for Zimride right here. Zimride is a rideshare service with a website and an app. People post if they’re willing to take riders and you can also post if you’re looking for a ride. The riders pay the driver some gas money to make it worth their while. You need a Facebook account to sign up as it’s tied to Facebook. Riders and drivers can also read reviews about each other after the fact and everyone has a profile, so you know a bit about each other. We have something similar in Germany called Mitfahrgelegenheit that everyone uses, so I’m happy to see it catching on in the US! A lot less sketchy than Craigslist rideshare for sure!
Anyway, I had my first two awesome zimriders whom I drove from Oakland to South Lake Tahoe. They took me on a quick walk with their cute dog to the nearby creek above and showed me how freaking awesome Lake Tahoe is! I also scavenged some MASSIVE pine cones there.On the way out of Lake Tahoe I was craving something sweet, so I grabbed some of my favorite accidentally vegan candy, peanut chews. There weren’t many AirBnBs in the middle of nowhere, but I found this cheap and awesome retro motel called Scott Shady Court in Winnemucca, Nevada by searching “cheap hotel” on foursquare. Just look at that sign! It was only $48 total per night. More than I usually spend to sleep somewhere, but one of the cheapest motels I’ve found. My room was a little house! Only downside is that my room was hidden away in the back and the wifi didn’t reach me, which I am finding keeps happening in about 75% of my motel experiences on this trip. As I had absolutely no service, I creepily parked outside in front of Burger King in my car to steal their wifi with my phone that night. Gotta do what you gotta do!With no grocery stores open when I arrived and no quirky vegan cafes, it was some more accidentally vegan guilty pleasures at Taco Bell. You can order items on their menu “fresco”, which means they replace the cheese and sour cream with pica de gallo. I went with this spicy potato taco fresco and a bean burrito fresco.
The next morning I swung by a nice cafe in Winnemucca called Delizioso Global Coffee, which had soy milk and vegan cookies and wifi, so I was set! After an hour if work and caffeination, I was off!
The next day it was back on the road from Winnemucca, Nevada to Rock Springs, Wyoming where I stayed in an AirBnB. I had my first ever almost running out of gas experience because I was blabbing away leaving long voice messages to my friends on speaker while driving, only to realize I was in the middle of the desert and there was no gas to be seen and I was approaching mighty low on the gas scale.
I asked Siri where I could find the nearest gas and she told me 35 miles away, so I turned off the AC and drove on while shitting myself, thinking “good thing I have that AAA membership!”. That’s when this middle of nowhere gas station appeared out of nowhere. The gas was super expensive, but I’ll take it. No thanks to you, Siri! I’m not sure if you can tell from the photo how in the middle of the desert this gas station was, but thank goodness. Waiting for AAA to bring me gas in the middle of nowhere on an 8-hour driving day was definitely not what I needed, whew. I made it alive to my AirBnB at around 9:30pm and promptly checked my email and went to bed, exhausted. The next morning I had a couple corn tortillas I had smuggled from a lunch in Utah that I used with some leftover Tofurky Italian sausage, vegan cheese, carrots and half an avocado I still had in my cooler from California. Breakfast tacos?
AirBnB has been great in providing some normalcy to my living situation while traveling. If you haven’t tried it yet, I recommend it! Click here to sign up and we both get $25 credit. That’s a free night in some places!
The final stretch to Denver and only a 5 hour driving day! About an hour before arriving in Denver I needed to pee and stretch my legs, so I swung by this Whole Foods in Fort Collins, Colorado and spotted these rainbow veggie fruit spring rolls. Vegetables and fruit, win!
I survived my biggest bout of power-driving yet, hurrah! Next stop….Denver!