Dec 2011

Blog, North America

DISCUSSION 10 Comments

Leaving Flagstaff

Last summer we found ourselves at the house where our Nepalese friends live to celebrate Naresh having earned his US citizenship.  A few years ago I told his brother Ramesh about the tandoor oven I made in our back yard, so he showed me his tandoor and let me try my hand at making naan in it.  I burned all of the hair off of my arm, but my bread came out great.  Since then my hair has grown back and we’ve become friends with the whole family.  The evening at the Poudels’ house was one of the more memorable evenings in recent memory.  Our faces were sore from laughing, Karan showed us why the Punjab are the best dancers, Ramesh’s daughter Priana danced to the theme song from the only Bollywood film I’ve ever seen, we drank, and somehow Sheena and I were tricked into mimicking Karan’s Punjabi dance moves.  In doing so we made them understand why white people should never ever try to dance to Indian music.

On Thursday night we went to the Himalayan Grill, the restaurant owned and operated by the Poudel family, for the last time.  They’re not an easy bunch to say goodbye to, but their kindness and generosity makes us hell bent on getting to Nepal in Nacho.  Until then, I’ll work on perfecting my Nepalese curry in our Dutch oven.

Last night Sheena and I were up until one in the morning cleaning the Dollhouse and collecting materials to bring with us to Phoenix for all of next week’s van projects.  At the end of the night we sat in the middle of the floor and celebrated our completion by eating leftover cake from my company’s Christmas party.

A couple of nights ago our good friend Nate stopped by the Dollhouse.  You may recognize Nate as the man behind the curtain over at Handlebar Sandwich.  He’s an engineer and avid outdoorsman, but if this guy will be known for one thing 100 years from now, it will be for his unbelievable skill as a beer brewer.  Last year he brewed an Oak Aged Belgian Tripel that knocked my socks off.  A couple of months ago he produced a Coffee Vanilla Stout that still haunts Sheena in her dreams, and makes her voice rise by an octave whenever she talks about it.  On this visit to the Dollhouse he was slinging his latest brew, World Wide Quadrupel.  It’s a special brew just in time for our trip, made in my favorite style, the Belgian Quadrupel. If this guy ever opens up a commercial brewery, do whatever you have to do to get your hands on his stuff.  These will be done bottle conditioning in January, so watch for a review.

He dropped off six 750ml bottles, and six 330ml bottles.  We decided to convert Nacho’s toilet paper storage cabinet into a beer storage cabinet until it’s gone.  Priorities.

This morning we woke up in the guest bedroom at Bret and Brigit’s house.  We cooked a breakfast of pancakes as fuel for the road.  All four of us were leaving on road trips; they were headed to Salt Lake City for Christmas, we would be going a little farther.  It just felt like another day.

After loading up the van and our other car, we hit the road.  As we rolled out of town I hit the button on our GPS tracker and added the first point to our live trip map (link coming soon).  Goodbye to Flagstaff.  It’s not an easy place to leave.

The last task for the day was to sell our car.  Amid the sadness of leaving Flagstaff, we found some solace in knowing that our car would remain in good hands back home.  The buyer was none other than the mayor of Flagstaff.  She promised to use the car only for good and not for evil, and as Nacho’s little sister, decided that a fitting name would be “The Little Enchilada”.  The mayor of Chicago would never say that.  The mayor of San Diego would never say that either.  The people of Flagstaff are a special bunch.

That night last summer at the Poudels’ house, Naresh told us that it’s people like us that make Flagstaff great.  We figured he was drunk or mistook us for some other people, but now that we’ve left town, I’ve been thinking more about his words.  Reflecting on our 10 years in Flagstaff, I’ve come to realize that the quality of our lives is not a result of the place where we live, but of the friends we make while we live there.  Thanks to all of our friends for making our lives so rich.

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  1. Kelly

    Excellent decision on the beer storage location. Toilet paper can go anywhere. You can even string it together tightly and make a pillow…or mattress. I don’t know how many sh*t tickets you guys are packing. Happy holidays!

    Comment by Kelly on December 25, 2011 at 3:47 pm

  2. Kelly, Sheena is a little apprehensive about this decision, but I keep telling her the same thing. You can live without toilet paper, but you can’t live without good beer. And although that statement makes me seem like an alcoholic, I promise I’m not.

    Comment by Brad on December 25, 2011 at 4:30 pm

  3. Glenn

    I have really enjoyed every post so far. I found out about you from The Samba. I have a 83.5 wbx’er Westy, same soul as Nacho. So cool to see that the same van making this trip.
    I also race cross country MTBs. What bikes are both of you bring?
    But todays post about Himalayan Grill is right on. We ate there about 3 years ago while on vacation to Flagstaff. The Poudels’ family did have some roots from Long Beach,Ca.?
    Beer for TP made me laugh! Be safe my friends.

    Comment by Glenn on December 25, 2011 at 11:53 pm

  4. Khoa

    Dear brad and sheena,
    I just broke out in tears of joy for you.
    Safe travels. We will be watching!

    Comment by Khoa on December 26, 2011 at 12:58 am

  5. Thanks Khoa! I’m sure Nate has some more beer; be sure to hit him up once it’s ready for consumption. I’m pretty excited about it.

    Glenn: We decided not to bring bikes because of weight, space, and hassle. It’ll be quite a life change for us as we’ve been riding almost daily since we were in middle school. Ramesh and Naresh’s other brother Danesh runs the Himalayan Grill in Huntington Beach. That was the first one to open. He’s a cool guy too.

    Comment by Brad on December 26, 2011 at 3:34 am

  6. charlie

    And you’re off!! Go Nacho, go. I’m very excited for you and wish you an amazing journey. Flagstaff kinda gets in your blood. It is a hard place to leave and it is, indeed, all about the people here. I’ve known many who’ve left for adventure. Some for a few months, others for years. Most return at some point in time. Perhaps you will too, but in the meantime, enjoy the planet. Seems that with jet travel and more recently instant, worldwide communication, the planet has gotten smaller. But I think that exploring it slowly and carefully, like you’re going to be doing will make it a big and wondrous place again. I’ll be following your blog with keen interest. Buen Viaje.

    Comment by charlie on December 27, 2011 at 12:27 am

  7. Corey

    Brad & Sheena
    What an all out awesome journey ahead for both of you.
    May your days ahead be filled with joy and wonder.

    Comment by Corey on December 27, 2011 at 2:27 am

  8. Good for you guys! It was good to see you two at the overland expo in Amado. Sharon and I know first hand how crazy it is to leave full time jobs, empty out and give up a house and hit the road long term. We are rapidly approaching the one year mark of our journey and it seems to have gone by in the blink of an eye. You are not crazy. Sharon and I feel very strongly that it would be crazy not to do this. I am going to enjoy following this blog. Sharon and I will also be leaving Phoenix soon too to continue onward with our trip.
    As some one from the NOVA days I am seriously shocked that there will be no bikes in that van. I am very excited for you. In the coming weeks I am sure I will want to give you guys a plug on our blog cause this is awesome.

    Best of Luck


    Comment by Jay Holt on January 2, 2012 at 5:00 am

  9. Taking the cats?!

    Comment by Dana Marshall on January 2, 2012 at 3:20 pm

  10. […] we started eight months ago, Nathan had brewed a special batch of Belgian Quadrupel for us; a beer he called World Wide Quadrupel. We took a case of it on our […]

    Pingback by Drive Nacho Drive » The Great White North on August 28, 2012 at 1:34 pm

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