All Dried Up
I meant to leave home at the solstice yesterday, for purely symbolic reasons, but I couldn’t get my crap together fast enough.
No matter, though – I got to my friend Mike’s house outside of Roanoke in time for us to go into the city and get some kick-ass barbecue and beer.
Neither place was a brewery, but that’s never stopped me before. I did sample a couple of brews the BBQ joint had on tap and, uncharacteristically for me, I ordered an IPA. I don’t usually like IPAs because a) they’re too hoppy and b) they’re too popular. But all of the beer snob sites assure me that the Next Big Things in Craft Brewing are sours.
Compared to sours, IPAs are nectar. Sours are just that – sour. I was sampling some sours at a brewery in Richmond one day a couple months ago, among their other selections, and by the time I was done there, I was just buzzed enough to hand the sample glasses back to the bartender – all empty except for the three sours, which I’d dutifully tasted, made faces at, and left most of behind – and reply to her question about how I liked the beers with, “Great, except for the sours. I just can’t drink something that tastes the same going down as it does coming back up.”
Really, I’m not usually that rude. I still feel bad about it.
But it’s true.
Anyway, so, I guess some IPAs aren’t that bad after all. And some of them make a fine accompaniment to real Southern barbecue.
Then we caught the first part of a blues act. This 17 year old ginger kid was seriously singing the blues at this other bar in Roanoke. I really don’t know how you get to be that good at the blues when you’re 17. And ginger. Well, at least we know that, unlike Robert Johnson, this kid won’t be able to sell his soul – being ginger and all.
. . .
This morning, after seeing that there’s a fairly clear forecast across the middle of the US, I just pointed my GPS at Vegas, told it to avoid highways, and drove through the incredibly cool (as long as you don’t stop to listen for banjos) Appalachians, in Virginia, a bit of West Virginia, and Kentucky.
Now, since one of my purposes here is to see the countryside, I decided that when it started to get dark, I’d find a place to stay. It’s even harder to see the country in the dark than it is from an interstate.
This landed me in a little city called Monticello (yes, named after a famous landmark from home) in south-central Kentucky.
And then I discovered the true horror of south-central Kentucky:
This is a dry county.
Not that I’d planned on drinking anything tonight. It’s the principle of the thing, dammit.
I think I found the one decent restaurant in town, incidentally. Well, decent except for the no-alcohol thing. The place had a horse for a logo, which I trust was because this is Kentucky horse country and not for the same reason that a lot of barbecue restaurants have pigs in the logo. I’m pretty sure the whinnying sound I heard when I bit into the steak sandwich was my new phone making unfamiliar noises.
I’m going to try to get an early start tomorrow, get out of this hellpit* as soon as I can. No idea where I’ll end up tomorrow night.
Hopefully not Arkansas.
. . .
*the hotel is actually quite nice. It’s just that ALL dry counties are automatically hellpits.