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.

engagement photo.JPG

The Great Whiskey Road Trip Begins

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So it begins. It's September 2018, and Nora and I are officially no longer residents of New York City—after fourteen years and nine, respectively. Leaving our jobs, our friends, and our lives behind was no easy decision, but we are both ready for a new adventure, and ready to start building Lost Lantern.

Over the next few months, The Great Whiskey Road Trip will take us to many places—numerous distilleries, several national parks, and small and large cities all across the country. We don't know how many distilleries we'll visit, how many states we'll pass through, how long we'll be on the road, or where we'll live afterward. Finding that out is part of the fun.

I have written about craft whiskey for years, and I've had the chance to visit a good number of craft distilleries in that time. The Great Whiskey Road Trip will allow us to visit many more, and see for ourselves what makes each one unique.

Our first month on the road will be a little different from the rest of the road trip. We're kicking off our adventure by visiting some of the great National Parks of the West. Nothing could be more different from the hustle and bustle of New York City. In September, we're going first to the Badlands and other South Dakota parks, then to Yellowstone and Grand Teton. Starting in October, we'll be balancing our time more evenly between outdoor adventures and distillery visits.

We invite you to follow along with our adventures, whether you're a whiskey lover, someone in the whiskey industry, or friends and family. If you're a whiskey person, we hope you don't mind the forthcoming photos of mountains and buffalo; for friends and family, we hope you learn a little bit more about whiskey as we recount our adventures. But we can promise a little something for everyone.