Happy New Year, and greetings from sunny Los Angeles! We’re so excited for 2019, which will be a big year for Lost Lantern and a big year for us personally as we continue and eventually conclude our road trip and start to roll out our plans for the business and the next stage of our lives.
As of January 4th, we’ve arrived in Los Angeles, where we’ll be spending just about the whole month–quite a nice, warm way to ride out the depths of winter. We spent much of December exploring the sheer breadth of California, starting from the Sierra Nevada and making our way to the Mendocino coast, then to Napa and Sonoma wine country, then briefly down to San Francisco. We spent over a week back east, split between New York City, Albany, Vermont, and Massachusetts for Christmas. Then we flew back to California and made our way down the coast, through Monterey and Big Sur, then over to Palm Springs for New Year’s Eve.
We’ll stay in Los Angeles until the end of the month when we’ll head to Zion National Park and the Grand Canyon (assuming the government shutdown is over by then). Then we’ll start exploring the great cities of the Southwest, which are home to some of our favorite whiskies in the country. We can’t wait! Best of all–it will be warm there too!
Total miles driven so far, as of Jan. 4th: 12,750
States we’ve been in since last update: Nevada, California, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts
States we’ve been in, cumulative: 22 (New York, Vermont, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, South Dakota, Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, Utah, Oregon, Washington, Texas, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, California, Nevada, New Hampshire)
States we’ve spent the night in since the last update: 5 (Nevada, California, New York, Vermont, Massachusetts)
Most beautiful drive: Big Sur; Joshua Tree; Appalachian Gap and Mad River Valley in Vermont
Most beautiful single spot: Somewhere along the coast in Big Sur or Mendocino
Place we’re saddest to have missed: Pinnacles National Park, Santa Barbara
Number of National Parks visited since last update: 1 (Joshua Tree)
Number of National Parks visited, cumulative: 13 (Badlands, Wind Cave, Yellowstone, Grand Teton, North Cascades, Mount Rainier, Olympic, Crater Lake, Redwood, Yosemite, Kings Canyon, Sequoia, Joshua Tree)
Number of National Parks missed along our route so far: 2 (Lassen Volcanic National Park in northern California because of wildfires; Pinnacles National Park south of S.F. because of government shutdown)
Park we went to anyway despite the government shutdown: Joshua Tree, and everyone was very well behaved, at least while we were there… it has gotten a lot worse since the first days of the shutdown.
Animals we saw: Elephant seals and lots of ‘em
Number of days we stayed in Sonoma: three
Number of times we visited Russian River Brewing Co. while in Sonoma: four
Favorite places this month: Mendocino coast; wine country; the Mad River Valley in Vermont; Joshua Tree and the desert in general
Temperature differential, in degrees Fahrenheit, between the beach we walked on in Ipswich, Mass on Christmas Day and the beach in Santa Cruz, California we walked on two days later: 35
Number of distilleries visited this month: 6
Number of distilleries visited so far (cumulative): 23
State we spent the most time in: California (which has now passed Washington and Wyoming as the state we spent the longest amount of time in overall)
State we spent the least time in: New Hampshire
Thing we miss the most: Longer days
Miles to Wall Drug: variable
Trip highlights of the month: Returning to old haunts in the Northeast; several Christmases; getting to L.A. for a solid month of work in one place