How do you handle travelling through 4 States in 2 days? You plan your stops according to the gastropubs you want to try!!
We finished climbing in J-Tree last Wednesday and made the quick 1-hour journey down to Palm Desert for the afternoon. Google told us we should try Schmidy’s Tavern, Babe’s Bar-B-Que & Brewhouse and The Yardhouse.
We timed our visit really well – the day after St Patrick’s Day! We thought we were smart. Well, two out of the three places had basically run out of beer on tap and hadn’t replaced a lot of their kegs yet. So our selections were quite limited. Oh well. Babe’s was the only place that brewed on site, so we had a meal there and sampled their stock. The food was really good (I think we consumed our weekly protein quota in one sitting!) and, as expected, we both really liked their darker stout.
We also ate ice cream. Go big or go home!
The next day we left California (after over a month!) and made the four-hour trek to Phoenix. We may or may not have made a dramatic U-turn when Mr. Eagle-Eye spotted some Mercedes-Benz RV’s in a Camping World parking lot…
While navigating through Phoenix rush-hour traffic (6 lanes of traffic all going balls-to-the-walls), I discovered a little nugget of a gastropub. We found a place to park Eddie for the night, and spent the next few hours decompressing in The Perch Pub & Brewery. This gastropub has been open less than a year, but seems to be doing quite well! They had a really great selection of local craft beers, and the taster they gave us sampled both their locally-brewed beer as well as a few others.
We shared a salad (after all the meat we consumed at Babe’s, we needed it!!) and their Sausage Board (okay, we caved on the meat… the sausage was house-made!). The spicy mustard they served with the Sausage Board was really tasty. So tasty, that Jonty asked if we could buy some – guess what, you can! We bought an 8 oz tub of their homemade mustard, we were very happy campers 🙂
The following day (Friday? I dunno, I seem to be losing track of the days of the week!) made our way down to Tucson, through New Mexico and then over to El Paso, Texas. I thought it was only supposed to be 5 hours from Phoenix. Turns out, it was a solid 5 hours from Tucson. It was a long day. We saw a lot of big-rig trucks, a lot of sky and a lot of very straight roads.
FYI – there is basically nothing along southern New Mexico but gas stations and tumbleweeds (i.e. NO gastropubs!) and the thought of truck-stop coffee is not very appealing. So we forged on, stopping in a parking lot to make dinner (ah, the benefits of traveling in an RV!), then rolled into El Paso around 7pm that night (no, wait, that’s 8pm: time-zone change!).
So begins the process of figuring out a new city – where to sleep, where to climb, where to cycle and where to get good coffee. Wish us luck! 🙂