The Low Down – STMT X USA
We barely crossed over the mountaintop when the trees stopped and the mercury climbed. Hit the desert and the first thing we need? Ice cream. Problem was, we couldn’t find it. Our phones failed us, showin’ no results. Only thing we could find was froyo. Froyo? Hell no. ICE CREAM.
Know how we found it? The local visitor center. Old school, lo fi. Walked in, asked the lady at the desk. She pointed us down the road. We walked for close to an hour, but then we found it, an oasis in the desert. Local, homemade ice cream – dozens of flavors, dozens of options. (Most popular item on the menu? Extreme Bullz 101, a cray-zay mix of Monster Energy drinks and flavored syrup. Hello, college town!). Hen got salted caramel ice cream – I got strawberry, real, FRESH strawberries mixed right in.
What soon became the M.O. of the trip – ditch the smartphones, ask the locals. Which always happens when we’re abroad. But back home, whether you mean to or not, you rely on that handy little internetz in your pocket. Why ask someone when you can ask Google? Why rely on one person’s opinion when you got the collective opinion of Yelp?
Because that one person knows the local hot spots. People know the holes-in-the-walls, the authentic places, the cheap places, the places everyone goes to on a Friday night when they want to get some serious grub on.
After lazin’ all day in the sun, exploring the desert, hangin’ in our yurt (YES, a YURT!), we wanted easy, simple, and in-yo-face delicious dinner. Our phones told us the only dinner restaurant nearby was a fancy four-star place. Oh, but ask the awesome wine guy where he’d recommend? A Mexican grocery shop/deli, a 15 minute drive away. Was it THE best pork torta I’ve ever had in my life? Hard to say. Top 5, for sure.
Next day, same thing – asked the gal at the front desk where we could get some ice cream. She gave us directions to another Mexican place, off a side street in a quiet part of town. (AKA, NEVER would have found it on our own). Behind the counter were homemade popsicles, and in the back were women whippin’ up more ice cream. (We chose coffee ice cream, that day. In case you’re keepin’ tabs.)
Since old school became the theme of the trip – old school HAD to be the theme of the goods. We went with gear that reminds us of old-school camping supplies (or #glamping, in our case) – the classic green of the memo pad, the official ‘click’ of the pen, the honkin’ big metal clip holding all the goodies you pick up on the road. (Sage. We wanted to bring back ALL THE SAGE.)
Yurt Life is a state of mind – and its home turf is summer. Take your goods and find an adventure. Ask the locals. Eat lots of ice cream. Tell us the flavors.