The Trip in Full

'87 Dodge van parked in palm grove.

So we made it. 6,500 miles in an ’87 Dodge van. We camped off-road in Chihuahua. We got lost at night on the back roads of Oaxaca. We drove through states, such as Guerrero, Michoacan, Sinaloa, that are known as hot spots in the narco wars. According to one study, we drove through three of the top twenty most violent cities in the world (by murder rate):  Acapulco, Torreon, and Culiacan.                                                                                                                            photo by Gina Dilello We rode the subways […]

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Road Food: Torta Round-Up

A good torta is a thing of beauty. And in Mexico, a good torta is not hard to find. Any self-respecting Mexican city boasts hundreds of torta shops: from the steaming fondas of the mercado to the tiny tiled diner tucked between the behemoths of the business district. Each of these establishments has its own tricks, but seldom do you see drastic variations. You have your torta de pierna, your torta de milanesa, your torta de jamon, your torta cubana, […]

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Zacatecas! (Shhh!)

zacatecas

Sometimes I like to pretend that I am a 17th Century Marquise. Unlike my disreputable house in the Oregon Coast Range, Zacatecas is a good place to practice this delusion. More specifically, the Hotel Casa Santa Lucia really fosters delusions of grandeur. After two nights in cheap-ass accommodations (180 pesos and 60 pesos respectively) we decided we could afford to splurge on a little colonial luxury. Miss Louisiane lurking disreputably in front of fancy hotel. Located in downtown Zacatecas, The […]

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Road Food: The Railroad Station Bar and Grill

A hamburger with pile of fries.

“Yes! Parking right in front!” Churpa exclaimed as I pulled Chuey alongside the curb in front of The Bluebird Cafe in Ukiah, California.  At this point, we were already at risk of one or both of us descending into a hypoglycemic fit, but being extremely picky (and also creatures of habit), we held out for a place we knew served good food and beer on tap. To our dismay, The Bluebird was closed.  We sat in the van for a […]

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The Frank Holton Memorial Road Trip

Preparing to leave home for two months is a logistical nightmare, especially if you happen to be the caretaker of particularly cranky and and idiosyncratic animals, water system, and vehicles. The last season has been fraught with vehicle and cat sitter and financial and travel companion drama that has nettled me into a few black moments. More than once I became entirely convinced that the trip south would not happen at all and that we’d be stuck in Oregon for […]

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