En Route to Idaho — Day 4 : North Platte – Rock Springs

En Route to Idaho — Day 4 : North Platte – Rock Springs

En Route to Idaho — Day 4 : North Platte, Nebraska – Rock Springs, Wyoming IMG_1892

It was very rewarding to jump in the car at 7:28AM with ambient temperature at  7ºF /-14ºc & embark on another spectacular drive. First the sun rose in our backs as we left Nebraska & then huge gorgeous clear skies welcomed us into Wyoming.

 

Shortly after our gas-&-trucker-materials pit-stop, we made a further stop at a look-out to catch the views. We were surprised to meet up with a very famous tree that grows out of a boulder of pre-historic rock. The Tree Rock is located right between Cheyenne and Laramie plumb in the middle of Interstate 80, literally hugged between its east- and west-going lanes.

The tree grows out of a crack in a pre-Cambrian pink Sherman granite boulder formed anywhere from 1-4 billion years ago. (The granite that is, the tree is somewhat younger, but that species of pine can live as long as 2,000 years.)

As read on one of the The Tree Rock —a.k.a “the lone tree”— tourist-info tablets, the transcontinental railroad tracks of the Union Pacific Railroad lie a short distance to the west, as lies the Ames Monument, erected to commemorate the highest point of the railroad’s route  honor the Ames brothers.  I remembered very well that Augustus Saint-Gaudens had chiseled the bas-reliefs —from Quincy, Massachusetts, granite! — & architect H. H. Richardson designed the pyramid (as well as the Albany City Hall!) I have worked on several project on Augustus Saint Gaudens & even though this is not my favorite work of his, I was delighted to find his work here, since I have seen almost all ASG public works.



We continued our journey towards Rock Spring thru more beautiful landscapes where the speed limit went up to 80 miles p/h! I will never forget the golden pale yellows of the endless prairies illuminating the snow, the light blue sky & the pinkish granite boulders.

Our picnic at the Ames monument was a little less fancy today —since we are starting to run out of provisions— but was still nourishing: hummus, bread, cheese, apples & nuts. Tonight we went out to dinner at a local restaurant (attracted at first by the name, The Coyote Creek Steakhouse) where Pierre had a decent sirloin, turned down all five of the offered potato-versions, settling for green beans while & I had a bison burger — sans buns but with more green beans.

Today we also passed the 2000 miles marker. One more day on the road before Boise.  Tomorrow through Pocatello to give a thought to Pierre’s old friend Ed Dorn & on to Blackfoot to visit the potato museum.

En Route to Idaho — Day 3 : Des Moines – North Platte

En Route to Idaho — Day 3 : Des Moines – North Platte

Day #3  Des Moines, Iowa – North Platte, Nebraska: 400 Miles 644Kms
We left Des Moines a little after 9AM since we opted for a lighter driving day . It was 19ºF /-7ºc when we left Iowa. The light fog wrapping the windmills was beautifully quixotic. The fog had cleared by the time we reached Nebraska and clear skies accompanied us to North Platte.

We filled up the car & had breakfast before leaving so we stopped only for lunch. No rest stop extravaganza today, au contraire we opted to lunch at the Mormon Island State Recreation Area conveniently located off I-80. Named for the winter stopover used by Mormon emigrants heading westward we enjoyed lunching by the frozen lake and watching some locals ice fishing.

We then headed to North Platte where we had a blast visiting the Buffalo Bill residence’s outdoors grounds since the location is closed for the winter. On this Sunday afternoon North Platte was a pretty empty town and very few of its 24 000 inhabitants were visible. But the world’s largest Rail Yard sure was! After spotting the longest train we had ever seen going through town, we decided to visit the train yard and got there right on time to climb to the top of the The Golden Spike Tower and Visitor Center & what an amazing view!

This location was chosen because of its close proximity to the Platte river and to Grand Island. Nebraska’s been a railroad center since the Union Pacific Railroad first reached here in July 1866 & that first train rolled through what was known at the time as “Hell on Wheels” town. Today Bailey Yard, named for former Union Pacific president Edd H. Bailey, is the world’s largest train yard. Covering a massive 2,850 acres, each day Bailey Yard manages 10,000 railroad cars. Of those, 3,000 are sorted to make sure the cargo reaches its final destination. We sure did see some action from the Golden Spike Tower. We watched a gorgeous sunset and went to find our motel for the night.

Again we were able to make our lunch, dinner, coffees & teas. Lunch was a tuna fish salad into which I mixed the last of the grains — faro, rye & oats mixture — diced daikon, carrot, celery, red pepper, dressed w/ PJ’s Meyer lemon vinaigrette. Pierre had cheddar I had goat cheese with bran crackers,nuts & a clementine. For tonight’s dinner we finished the lentils as a soup, made a salad & used the last of PJ’s dressing, Blue Iowa Maytag plus apples & walnuts for dessert. Tomorrow a longer ride: trying to get to Rock Spring Wyoming!

And now if you have travel so far with us you might want to watch a freight train passing by for almost 3 minutes — and that is not even the full train. Mesmerizing!

En Route to Idaho — Day 2 : Maumee – Des Moines

En Route to Idaho — Day 2 : Maumee – Des Moines

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Day #2  Maumee, Ohio – Des Moines, Iowa: 558 Miles or 898 Kms

After drinking Pierre’s prepared cup of warm water with lemon & cayenne pepper water & our travelling green magic juice we hopped in the car at 7:50am to resume our journey West on I-80.

When we stopped for gas in Greenfield, Indiana we were reminded that if we wanted a soda, we should ask for “pop”! The lady at the Hardee’s was eager to take our order but we had our solid breakfast of pumpernickel bread, butter & cheese & we made coffee in the car.


Second stop was in Morris, Illinois & the R-Place Restaurant with its collection of antique toy displays, including a wonderful puppet show kept me busy filming & photographing for a while. I did ask for 4 quarters to play the puppet show. The clerk was proud to tell me that the puppet show grossed $80 per month, that was 320 plays.

Again we didn’t get any food though I considered the Strawberry Pillows for a solid minute — but by looking at the thing intensely I could almost taste it & that was enough to feel the sugar rush!

We left Illinois, crossed the Mississippi, & drove into Iowa.

I had noticed on the Waze app that the World’s Largest Truckstop was coming up on I-80 at the Walcott Exit. We stopped there & lunched on Romaine lettuce with carrots, celery, left-over pork roast, sardines, cheddar dressed with Pierre’s delicious Meyer lemon & olive oil vinaigrette & concluded with our usual plain yogurt with cinnamon, stevia & grilled seeds.

Then we had molto fun visiting the amazing World’s Largest Truckstop. We didn’t make it to the adjacent truck museum but we had a lovely time talking to several truckers who were trying new truck seats. Pierre joined them for a tryout of new-fangled special rubber seating. We exchanged our destinations & they advised us that road conditions between Cheyenne & Idaho can be very bad & told us to make sure to have a full tank of gas when starting this portion of the trip. Another trucker & his wife from New Orleans gave us the price of some of the chromes on display. “A $1000 for that apron. I’m gonna put some on my truck soon”. The sword & knife window display was open & a family was deciding what kind of knife to buy; a lady bought a mini gun. Pierre checked out the library section & considered buying a Louis L’amour Western audio book but since we had just started listening to the Lewis & Clark journal diaries  available free here,  we decided to pass.

Settled into our comfy Sterling Hotel suite —with terrible internet, after a quick trip to the Wholefood to pick up a salad & some cheese (a chunk of excellent! Iowa Maytag Blue — same family making blue cheese since 1941!) we had dinner, i.e. yesterday’s lentil salad turned into a stew to which I added some grains (farro & oats), followed by apples, nuts & cheese — the Iowa maytag, of course. & now some zzzz before heading to Wyoming. From here on out the route is new, for Pierre too who had driven this part of I-80 only to turn south here in Des Moines to visit with Ken Irby in Lawrence, Kansas. But that was in 1987, & this is today. Onwards! Let the wagons roll…

 

 

En Route to Idaho — Day 1 : Brooklyn – Maumee

En Route to Idaho — Day 1 : Brooklyn – Maumee

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January 1 2016

Nice first day on the road to Idaho. Smooth ride with with very little traffic . We left Bayridge, Brooklyn  at 7:56 & got to Maumee, Ohio 5:58PM. We drove 566 miles (910 kms) out of 2475 miles (3983 kms) to get to Boise Idaho. We crossed New-Jersey, Pennsylvania & two third of Ohio.
We made our coffees, teas, lunch (Braised d’Artagnan Berkshire Pork; Lentil Salad; Greens, Goat Yogurt w/ Cinammon/Stevia & Roasted Seeds) & dinner (Red Miso Soup with Oats,Rye & Farro; Pumpernickel Buttered Bread; Hard Boiled Egg, Carrot & Celery, Cheddar w/ Apples & Cashew Nuts.
We listened to France Culture, NPR, John Coltrane, Matthew Ship, Michael Bisio & Cheikha Rimitti.
Below is the photo reportage, stay tuned!

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Pennsylvania

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Mooch-o-colat for Valentine’s day (Eng-Fr)

Mooch-o-colat for Valentine’s day  (Eng-Fr)

MoochocolatSérie: Recettes pour Jean & Renée Peyrafitte —Français en suivant—

Just in time for Valentine’s day: the ultimate healthy chocolate dessert made with unsweetened 100% coco organic chocolate bar. I call it Mooch-o-colat. Its very creamy texture & the crunchy orange zest will never let anyone guess that there is no dairy  & no added sugar. Voilà! A low-carb delight very easy to make.

4 small ramekins

2 oz of unsweetened organic 100% cocoa bar
1/2 scraped organic vanilla beans
1 teaspoon of chia seeds
1 lb of silk tofu
1/4 cup of cashew nuts
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon drops of stevia (this the one I use)
1 organic washed orange for roasted orange zest
1 teaspoon of rasted seeds (flax, sesame, pumpkin, sunflower)

Melt the chocolate in a small pan.
Important: in order to be smooth, silky & homogeneous chocolate must not come into contact with any liquid. So place the chocolate ONLY in the pan & melt it very slowly. You can also melt it in a double boiler to avoid burning.
Add tofu, cashews, chia seeds, cinnamon & stevia into a blender. Mix thoroughly & add the melted chocolate. Fill the ramequins and keep in the fridge for a few hours.
Peel the orange with a good vegetable peeler, remove the white inner skin (see pix below), slice very thin, pat dry. roast them gently in a pan or in the oven until dry. Roast the seeds the same way. Garnish just before serving.

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EN FRANÇAIS:
Juste à temps pour la St Valentin, voilà un superbe dessert au chocolat 100% cacao —sans sucre ajouté, sans produit laitier, sans cuisson, pauvre en glucides et en calories. Je l’ai baptisé Mooch-o-colat; la texture onctueuse se marie magnifiquement avec le craquant délicat des zestes d’orange et des graines grillés.

4 petits ramequins

55gr  100% chocolat noir
1/2 gousse de vanille — coupez la gousse de vanille en 2 dans le sens de sa longueur. Séparez la gousse en 2 et raclez l’intérieur
1 cuillère à soupe de graines de chia
450 gr de tofu soyeux
35 gr de noix de cajou
1/3 de cuillère à café de cannelle moulue
15/20 (1.25ml) gouttes de stevia
1 orange pour les zestes rôtis
quelques graines grillés (lin, sésame, citrouille, tournesol)

Faire fondre le chocolat à sec à feu très doux— le chocolat n’apprécie guère la chaleur directe. Vous pouvez très facilement le brûler et en altérer le goût et la consistance; si vous avez peur de le brûler faites le fondre au bain marie.
Dans le mixer ajouter le tofu, les noix de cajou, les graines de chia, la cannelle moulue & et la stevia.
Une fois le tout bien mixé — laisser tourner un moment pour donner le temps aux noix de cajou de devenir onctueuses — ajouter le chocolat fondu. Remplir les ramequins et réserver au frigo quelques heures.
Peler une orange avec un pèle légume. Pour éviter l’amertume ôter la peau blanche avec un couteau à plat (voir photo ci-dessus). Couper en très fines lamelles et faire griller soit dans une poêle à sec soit au four jusqu’à ce que les zestes sont “secs;” faire griller les graines de la même façon. Décorer au moment de servir.
Bon Appétit et Happy Valentine’s day!

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