General

Third Month Stats

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Hello from Tahoe, where Nora and I are thoroughly snowed in—giving me time to write a longer update!

As of December 4th, we are now exactly three months into our road trip and fully settled into life on the road! November was a very successful month from both a work and personal perspective, and although we visited fewer distilleries this month, our meetings were generally very productive and promising. We also were able to spend some time catching up on more strategic work in the beautiful Willamette Valley in Oregon at the beginning of the month and again now in Tahoe. In between our work, we saw some truly incredible sights in November—probably our most scenic month so far. And, even though we’ve only been in three states all month, we’ve seen a huge variety of terrain, from the wet, rolling hills of the Willamette Valley to the High Desert of Bend, Oregon, from the coastal redwoods and Central Valley of California to the Sierra Nevada and the Great Basin. It has really driven home how diverse the West Coast can be. Of course, a special highlight of this month was Thanksgiving, which we celebrated with parts of both our families in San Francisco.

We’ve also started to have our first experiences with winter weather—and other more unexpected conditions, such as the heavy smoke and debilitatingly poor air quality in much of California (thanks, wildfires!). We spent much of the last two weeks in or near the Sierra Nevada, and for most of that time we had incredibly beautiful weather, far nicer than the mountains usually get this late in the fall. But the weather finally caught up with us as we left Sequoia National Park, when a major snowstorm arrived twelve hours early and nearly trapped us in the park just as we left. Only a serious scramble, and a very helpful park attendant who put on our tire chains, allowed us to flee down from the mountains at a hearty pace of 5 miles per hour. 

Our next stop was supposed to be Tahoe City and a visit to Nora’s cousin Will, but the same snowstorm thwarted our plans by dumping over a foot of snow on the mountain passes. Instead, we stayed in an 1850s hotel in Gold Rush country. The following day, the storm ended in the morning—just enough time for us to cross the high Sierra and make it to Reno before another storm arrived that night. The next day, after a great meeting at a farm distillery in Nevada, we had to try our luck again and make it to South Lake Tahoe. The journey proved surprisingly hairy as yet more snow arrived, but with a little good fortune and a lot of cursing, we made it to Lake Tahoe. We have a stunning view of the lake and mountains in our Airbnb, and don’t mind being snowed in for a few days. 

The rest of December will be a busy month. After Tahoe, we head to California wine country, also home to a number of impressive distilleries. Then we’ll spend a few days in San Francisco for business and pleasure before returning to the East Coast through Christmas. We are, as ever, very busy, often very tired, but always very excited about Lost Lantern and the many wonderful places our adventure is taking us.

FUN STATS
Total miles driven so far, as of Dec. 4th: 10,500
States we've been in since last update: Oregon, California, Nevada
States we’ve been in, cumulative: 20 (New York, Vermont, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, South Dakota, Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, Utah, Oregon, Washington, Texas, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, California, Nevada)
States we've spent the night in since the last update: 3 (Oregon, California, Nevada)
Most beautiful drive: Honestly too many to count
Most beautiful single spot: The Tunnel View, Yosemite National Park
Group consensus on giant trees: The coastal redwoods make you feel like you’re in Jurassic Park. The giant sequoias of Yosemite National Park’s Mariposa Grove were a little disappointing. But the much larger, much denser sequoias in Sequoia National Park are nearly unreal, difficult to comprehend and incredibly moving.
Proportion of giant trees that are named after presidents, generals, other army officers, or wealthy businessmen [sic]: Like basically all of them
Places we’re saddest to have missed: Tahoe City; Muir Woods National Monument, closed due to dangerous air quality from the wildfires
Place we didn’t plan to go to, didn’t plan to like, but actually enjoyed a great deal: Reno
Amount AP won at roulette, then immediately lost at video poker: $20
Amount NGR won at roulette after already winning a bunch at video poker: $20
Flights taken: zero, thank goodness
Number of National Parks visited since last update: 5 (Crater Lake, Redwood, Yosemite, Kings Canyon, Sequoia)
Number of National Parks visited, cumulative: 12 (Badlands, Wind Cave, Yellowstone, Grand Teton, North Cascades, Mount Rainier, Olympic, Crater Lake, Redwood, Yosemite, Kings Canyon, Sequoia) (for those keeping score at home, there are 60 National Parks overall, so we've only scratched the surface!)
Number of National Parks missed along our route so far: one (Lassen Volcanic National Park in northern California)
Animals we saw (this category is back by popular demand!): Seals (several times!), a whale (!!!!!!!!), lots of hawks, turkeys, Bigfoot, mule deer, elk, big fearless crows, lots of boring things like humans and pigeons and dogs
Times we saw elk in national parks, forests, or other wilderness places: zero
Times we saw elk in the middle of the street in broad daylight in downtown Bend, Oregon: two
Number of Bigfoot-themed roadside attractions we've visited: one
Number of times we’ve gone to In N Out Burger: two
Number of secret Bible verses hidden on In N Out Burger containers Nora has noticed: zero

Favorite places this month: Crater Lake, the coastal redwood forests, the Sonoma coast, pretty much everything about the Sierra Nevada
Number of times my mom said "wow" at some beautiful sight: Uncountable
Number of times we’ve had to put on tire chains: two
Number of times putting on tire chains was harrowing and nerve-wracking: two
Number of times we had to pay people to help us put on the tire chains: two
Number of people on this road trip who are still wimpy city folk at heart: two
Number of distilleries visited this month: 6
Number of distilleries visited so far (cumulative): 17
State we spent the most time in: California
State we spent the least time in: Nevada
Number of places that smelled like rotten eggs: None, freakin’ finally
Maximum number of seasons experienced in a single day: three, when crossing the Sierra Nevada from fall to winter to summer
Thing we miss the most: States that don't have insane wildfires
Highest elevation we stayed at: 7,200' (Wuksachi Lodge, Sequoia National Park)
Miles to Wall Drug: variable
Trip highlights of the month: Bringing our families together for Thanksgiving; giant trees; climbing Moro Rock in Sequoia National Park

Until next time!

Second Month Stats

North Cascades National Park in northern Washington

North Cascades National Park in northern Washington

As of November 4th, we’ve finished our second month on the road, and although we logged a lot fewer miles on our car in October, we still saw a great deal—and began to visit distilleries in earnest for initial discussions of what Lost Lantern is all about. We’ve tried some great whiskies and had some great conversations, and we’re very excited to start bringing our vision for an American independent bottler, inspired by the great and historic Scottish blending houses, to fruition. Although we can’t get too specific about what we’re planning just yet, the roadmap for Lost Lantern is already looking very bright.

But our second month brought more than just meetings. We spent most of the month in Washington, but we still found time to enjoy nature as the fall started to set in. The month proved extremely busy, and we’re excited to take things a little slower for the rest of November as the cold weather approaches and as we head south along the Pacific coast.

FUN STATS

Total miles driven so far, as of Nov. 4th: 7,200

States we've been in since last update: Utah, Idaho, Washington, Texas, Oregon, Massachusetts, Rhode Island

States we’ve been in, cumulative: 18 (New York, Vermont, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, South Dakota, Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, Utah, Oregon, Washington, Texas, Massachusetts, Rhode Island)

States we've spent the night in: 7 (Utah, Idaho, Washington, Texas, Oregon, Massachusetts, Rhode Island)

Most beautiful drive: North Cascades Highway in northern Washington

First place we’ve seen snow: Washington Pass Overlook, North Cascades

Place we’re saddest to have missed: Craters of the Moon National Monument, Idaho

Towns we’ve driven through that have a dude’s first name: Roy, Utah; Perry, Utah; Layton, Utah; Rupert, Idaho; Paul, Idaho; Jerome, Idaho; Connor, Idaho; Dietrich, Idaho; Gilbert, Washington; Sherman, Texas; Allen, Texas

Town where we bought way more whiskey than we expected: Winthrop, Washington

Silliest town name: Humptulips, Washington

Ferries taken: 1, to Bainbridge Island and back

Number of National Parks visited since last update: 3 (North Cascades, Mount Rainier, Olympic)

Number of National Parks visited, cumulative: 7 (Badlands, Wind Cave, Yellowstone, Grand Teton, North Cascades, Mount Rainier, Olympic)

Number of National Parks missed along our route so far: zero

Other fun natural places we visited: Multnomah Falls, Mount Hood National Forest, Columbia River Gorge

Favorite places in October: North Cascades, Mount Rainier, Olympic rainforest, Columbia River Gorge, Seattle

Number of distilleries visited this month: 10

Number of distilleries visited so far (cumulative): 11

Number of malt houses visited: 1 (Skagit Valley Malting)

State we spent the most time in: Washington

State we spent the least time in: Idaho (which took the prize last month too)

Places we liked far more than we expected and are telling everyone to go to: North Cascades

Number of places that smelled like rotten eggs: Blessedly few, but not none

Thing we like a lot: being back in places with great coffee and beer on almost every corner

Thing we miss about Brooklyn: high-end craft beer bars that aren’t brewpubs

Highest elevation reached: 7’000 (Park City, Utah)

Highest mountain visited: Mount Rainier (14,441’)

Miles to Wall Drug: variable

Trip highlight of the month: Having our first meetings with distilleries and explaining the vision for Lost Lantern; exploring Olympic National Park with family

November will be the first month since we started when we don’t have to fly anywhere, which is a nice treat, and we’ll spend the whole month in just two states: Oregon and California. But they’re both big states, with lots of ground to cover, and we couldn’t be more excited for some of the great sights ahead—Crater Lake, the Redwoods, Yosemite, Sequoia, and, of course, lots of great wineries and distilleries.

First Month Stats

We’ve finished our first month on the road, and it was a big one, most of it spent in the wilds of South Dakota and Wyoming without cell phone service (hence the lack of updates). Still, we wanted to share some details from the beginning of our trip.

FUN STATS

Total miles driven so far, as of Oct. 1st: 4,800

States we've been in: 13 (New York, Vermont, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, South Dakota, Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, Utah)

States we've spent the night in: 7 (New York, Ohio, Minnesota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Utah, Pennsylvania)

Biggest place we've been in: Chicago (pop. 2.7 million)

Smallest place we've been in: Kirby, Wyoming (pop. 92)

Most beautiful drive: Beartooth Pass, leading into Yellowstone

Most difficult drive: 50 miles on gravel roads in the Pine Ridge reservation, heading toward the Black Hills from the Badlands

Mammals we've seen: Buffalo, black bear, grizzly bear, moose, elk, mule deer, regular deer, pronghorn antelope, bighorn sheep, prairie dogs, regular dogs, squirrels, chipmunks, mice, cats, humans

Mammals we might have seen but didn't: Wolves, mountain lions, lynx, mountain goats, black-footed ferrets, Bigfoot

Number of National Parks visited: 4 (Badlands, Wind Cave, Yellowstone, Grand Teton)

Number of other parks visited: Lots (Custer State Park, Devils Tower National Monument, and lots of National Forests)

Number of podcasts listened to (Adam edition): Way too many

Number of podcasts listened to (Nora edition): Not nearly enough

Favorite places so far: Custer State Park, the Black Hills, Beartooth Pass, Grand Teton, Wind River Canyon

Number of distilleries visited so far: 1 (Wyoming Whiskey)

State we've spent the most time in: Wyoming

State we spent the least time in: Idaho

Places we liked far more than we expected and are telling everyone to go to: South Dakota

Number of places that smelled like rotten eggs: Way too many

Bottles of Whiskey Consumed: 1 (Buffalo Trace)

Thing we miss the most: Places that have actual coffee instead of just little things of creamer (also, friends and family)

Highest elevation reached: 10,947' (Beartooth Pass)

Trip highlight of the month: Getting engaged!!!!!!!! A kind stranger took this photo of us about a minute before I asked Nora to marry me, and we’ll always have it as a reminder of that special sunny day in Grand Teton.

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