First, gas stations and convenience stores have been essential, hence Aaron's focus on "services." Out west, I've been partial to the gqs station Sinclair, whose logo includes a 8silhouette of a green brontosaurs. When we see one in the distance, I shriek, "Dino!" I've also enjoyed the chain Loaf n'Jug, purely based on the name, but it has faded since Wyoming. But really, anything will do.
A stop at a convenience store begins with finding a spot to lean our bikes, then a visit to the restroom. We've seen all levels of cleanliness, all varieties of paper towel dispensers. Next, the selection of beverage. If it's morning, I'll opt for juice. The best possible option at any time is Naked Juice - Green Machine is our favorite, though you really can't go wrong - but these are only found on rare occasions. The more common choice is a V8 Fusion, either strawberry banana, blueberry pomegranate, or cranberry blackberry. Both Naked Juices and V8 Fusions are good because they contain vegetables, a rare occurrence for us these days, with the exception of good ol' iceberg lettuce.
Later in the day or particularly hot days mean it's Gatorade time. I tend toward red or yellow. Aaron likes orange. We drink anywhere from 32 to 64 ounces of Gatorade a day, I'd say. Sometimes it winds up in he water bottles we keep on the bikes, though we've had mold issues from that. A late afternoon convenience store stop often means that for me, Coca Cola is necessary. This is my gesture of, "I don't care that it's bad for me, I'm riding my dang bike across the dang country and I need some more dang sugar and caffeine." We drink water from our bottles, mistly, refilling as needed. Of course, there are days like today when there are no stores for 50 or so miles. My reacgion: buying a red Gatorade, a cranberry V8 Fusion, and a Coke at about 6 p.m. and drinking them one after another. Delicious.
As for food, the gas station snack favorites are those little toasty peanut butter sandwich crackers. Aaron likes the cheese crackers with peanut butter, but I've always found those odd. The little two pack of Fig Newtons is also a good supplement. "Fruit and cake!" I always declare. And there have certainly been some candy bars on occasion. I've taken this trip as a time to figure out if the Reese's people really need to have all those varieties of treats. Results are inconclusive at this time.
We have meal habits too. Sure I've posted or tweeted about our most interesting meals, but the majority, especially these days, are not. For breakfast, Aaron orders coffee, water, two eggs over easy, hash browns, toast ("rye if you have it"), and one pancake. I order coffee, orange juice, three slices of French toast, and two eggs, usually over easy, sometimes scrambled. Other meals are often a fish sandwich for him and a chicken sandwich for me. Fries, or a baked potato if we're lucky. Tossed salad at dinner with all the iceberg you could want, maybe some carrot slivers, a cucumber slice and a tomato. (I started taking a multivitamin about 2 weeks ago.)
We drink milkshakes and eat ice cream when we want, do a final candy bar stop at a gas station sometimes at the end of the night, and have been enjoying beer just about every night. Tonight is the Black Butte Porter from Bend, OR (pretty good!). After all, if not now, when?
This may be a mundane group of details, but I can't explain how essential these staples have become, especially the gas station convenience stores. When we arrived in Dubois, WY on Saturday after 30 final miles of uphill windy riding, we passed a number of little restaurants and gift shops that probably could have provided us with a drink, a snack and some info about campgrounds, but we continued through town, zombie like, until we found a gas station. There's really no other way to arrive.
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