What was the best single-aisle jetliner in the world, and why was it the Boeing 757? Discuss.

Great Burgers

As I chewed my way through an Angus Burger at Rockit in Chicago back in 2019, a truism occurred to me:

The way to separate great meat from the merely good is to serve it well-done. A patty made from “good” meat will offer decent texture and the flavor of the grill. A “great” patty will give you both along with great flavor from the meat itself, even when on the edge of being overcooked.

So yes, thanks, I will have mine well done, please.

Home on the Range

My favorite tent ever. Retro look, seven feet long, easy up, easy down, weighs two pounds, fits into a bag the size of a 32-ounce Nalgene bottle, and set me back a whopping $52 delivered.

I should buy two.

When in Portland, Eat Elk

 

Three years later, I am still thinking about this elk burger (with avocado instead of cheese) I enjoyed at the taproom of Deschutes Brewery in Portland.

I just checked. The restaurant made it through COVID, is still open, and the elk burger is still on the menu.

I’m thinking “road trip.”

Chihuly Dreams

This is your brain on 12-year-old small-batch Kentucky bourbon.

Make mine a double. Rocks.

Vacations are wonderful…

Ghost Songs on the Gila

I was early on the day I visited, a mid-winter weekday after the holidays. It was in the low 40s with a brisk wind. Apart from a ranger and a docent trying really hard to stay warm, I was alone. I walked the site slowly, almost tiptoeing, to sustain the quiet.

The wind freshened as it shifted a few degrees, and I heard a low keening come from the ruin. I froze in place, listening intently, turning my head. I was in the center of the site, and it was one of those moments when you feel like you, like Billy Pilgrim, have become unstuck in time.

The interaction of the wind, the ruin, and the rafters of the shelter were interacting to play tricks on me, I rationalized. It’s nothing.

As I looked back toward the ruin, I saw a jackrabbit close by. He was on his haunches, regarding me. I regarded him back. We continued this for about a minute. Then I lost the contest, turning to look again at the ruin, but when I turned back toward the jackrabbit, he had vanished, and the keening stopped.

I heard a car door slam, and a family, bundled against the cold, began walking my way. The spell broken, I headed into the gift shop to warm my ears and buy the postcard in the photo.

One for Hiking Stick #2. Did not do the peak but did hike the memorial trail, after which I ran back to the car to warm up. The park is phenomenal, so I want to go back in the spring or fall (to avoid the heat) sometime in the middle of the week (to avoid the crowds) to camp and hike the peak.

Watch Over the Butterfield

Located in a remote and picturesque vale in the Chiricahua Mountains in Southern Arizona, Fort Bowie is an overlooked treasure among the National Park system. It’s all about the history here, but there is so much natural beauty you could turn your back on the fort and just enjoy the site for the feeling of being in a protected mountain stronghold.

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