On the road. Discovering who This New Man is.
People who travel and camp these days often find they have a coffee problem. There is no way around the obvious problem that, when otherwise without choices, instant brews just don’t live up to their reps. In these days of McDeals and the explosive availability of Starbucks, settling in for hot water and freeze-dried crystals just doesn’t pass muster.
As a growing connoisseur of all things SUVpacking – living as a location-independent person out of the comfortable side of a (US)America’s sports utility vehicle – I’ve grown to love the fact that I don’t have to undo my whole camping site or unpack all my own equipment to avail myself of the fresh-made appeal of coffee done well, fast and conveniently. SUVpackers, we’ve find, are hardly shut out at all from the many sweet and creamy delights of coffee made locally.
Or at least I thought that was the case. Then came Texas, where I found that not only were there limitations, but it seems nature and graphics have their own way of getting back at us when we let this addiction get too serious.
I have to admit I was getting pretty familiar with and loved having a fresh cup delivered to me each morning as I awoke. My partner had mastered the art of getting us out for a walk or to tend the fire or the Coleman Stove as he drove down a mile or two for a Grande or a Macchiato of one or another flavor.
Then, on one memorable occasion that happen to be in a Texas state park, we found that there were no coffee outlets within reach of our Ford Escape. We were stuck. Coffee was going to be instant or not at all that day. And I was not a happy camper. Bitter might be a better descriptor. I wanted my morning brew.
But it was clear it wasn’t going to happen. So instead I decided to drown my sorrows in the chill and solitude of a walk through the woods. I made everyone else stay away as I wanted to pout. The birds and the beasts may have been singing their sweet tunes, but I was grumbling with my lack of grounds! It was an ugly morning, all signs otherwise not really coming in focus.
But then it happened. I got a glimpse of what I thought was the heavenly indication of a dream come true. The movement through the patches of woods was clear. I could see a crisp, white movement with the flash of recognition. And my heart stopped. My stomach and lips trembled. The gods were actually delivering my dreams and needs right to me, on the very path of nature itself. What more could a guy demand?
But payback, as they say, is a tease. As the vehicle moved forward and came into the clearing, it was obvious that what I was looking at wasn’t what I thought. Nature was delivering not redemption but revenue for not paying attention to all the wonders that abounded.
The white SUV-style jeep was actually a park services vehicle … and the distraction? Their logo!! I mean really? Can anyone see a resemblance here? How can they do that to an urban dweller trapped in the isolation of the lands without caffeine?
Trapped in the wild and wooded grounds! Beauty yes, but I think I’d really rather have my Starbucks.
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