So I was at this hotel trying to get over my jet lag when I was awakened by a horrible noise. No, it wasn't one of the lonely, middle-aged men at the hotel having a breakdown. It was a screaming, feral cry coming from the woods. I listened and determined it was one of the large buck rabbits I had seen days earlier. It's mating season and the bucks pull back their ears, stand on their hind legs, and punch each other. The dams just watch. Well, one of these had met the fox I had seen creeping along earlier. I listened as the cries became more desperate, more wind-choked. Then it was silent. I suddenly could hear the little water feature the hotel has out back. I rode the bus to to town around noon and had another salad, this one with strips of seared beef and a huge, butter-infused potato underneath. You can get fat here on salad. I didn't see any rabbits that evening. The events of the night before had made everything scarce. It was time to split for sure. I paid my tab, picked up a bottle of rose from the hotel's cellar, and headed out to catch the last bus.
I'm in Heidelberg, Germany trying not to say the obvious: The World Cup is over-rated. And every time I order a salad I get something like this (pictured). Which is great, but huge. I checked into a hotel about 7 miles out of town. It was in the country, surrounded by hundreds of miles of paved "hiking trails", open fields where cows and goats huddled in the shade of fruit trees, a hotel visited by mostly men, lone, inveterate readers and chronicle wanderers. The bus stopped running at 8. There was no way to get back and forth to town. So I hiked, sometimes three times a day. I stumbled upon a couple making love under a blanket one evening just as the sun was setting. Remarkably, they were back at the same spot the next night, he carrying a platter of doughly-looking pizza slices, she with two bottles of cheap Brut. Germany is more beautiful than I thought--but it's not very wild. It doesn't get dark until maybe 10:30. I can't sleep, the hotel so quiet it becomes impossible to think. I looked out the window and saw the dark shape of a gray fox trotting through the open fields. He looked like he meant business. Can you blame him?
In place of my usual restaurant review, I'd like to log a general complaint about sushi, and sushi boats in particular. Just before I set off for Germany, I gorged myself on raw fish and white rice. Have you ever noticed how you tend to overeat at sushi places? And is there a bigger cliche than the sushi boat with six or seven endangered species riding the prowl, a neon green bulb of wasabi riding the rail, the fleshy, translucent ginger which nobody eats? I've never been to a sushi place without dropping at least 70 bucks (that's about 50 Euros for my new readers). I'm in Germany now, and these people don't eat that shit. I haven't seen a sushi bar or a Kum & Go yet, and I'm okay with that.
root down is a neighborhood bistro type deal somewhere (I'm fuzzy on the directions) in Denver. One minute I was shopping for a motor scooter, and the next I was sitting down in a restaurant, the smell sweet potato fries nearly knocking me over. Oh, it's hip alright, the wait staff incredibly beautiful, current and well spoken; the bartender gave off that vibe that he was happy you were here, but if you left, no big deal. I had the street tacos for $14; and my companion had the veggie sliders $15. The art on that walls was fresh, original. The floors were like old basketball courts; there were vintage scales nailed to the walls of the john. It was hip, that's for sure. Waiters and waitress this cool give you the feeling that you'll never be up to speed. Try as you might, you'll never be as cool as root down. The gush of interstate 25 is just audible as you pay the tab and wonder to yourself, "What the hell was that anyway/"
Well it's that time of the year again when wild salmon starts showing up in stores. The first variety is usually Copper River Sockeye salmon, then there with be king salmon, then pinks and more sockeye, and finally silvers, or coho as they call. Whole Foods charges about 24 bucks a pound. I just want to say one thing about cooking salmon: Never stampede wild salmon; it needs a gentle touch. Don't over-sauce it, or try any funny business with curry or "rub". For God's sake don't blacken it. (Blacken your cod or your lousy bass, but not salmon.) You need to let the wildness come through, the true taste of it. With salmon, there's nothing to hide. I cooked this wild king salmon on a cedar plank with dill and lime; that's it. Speaking of salmon, I'll be driving my truck up to Alaska for the 2014 run in July/August. I'll try to keep the reports flowing, but I hear the wi-fi is spotty at best in Anchor Point. I'm bringing Rocket, but I promise not to be overly anthropomorphic about it; I won't use a "launch" to help raise money; I'll do like everyone else and pay as I go. And I will pay dearly. Gasoline in The Yukon is horribly expensive. But the cost of not going is even higher. Know what I mean?
The North Platte looks good above Bates Creek. I went out to "The Pump House", but was caught in the rain and didn't fish. Here's a stringer of rainbows and browns taken from Pathfinder by an unnamed fisher-person. Look at the size of his hands. I bet someone has to tie his lures of for him. Notice the swamp cooler attached to the house. It's surely summer in Wyoming.
I go to Germany in two weeks and I am working on phrases like: "Are you sure about this?"; "How much for that hat?" and "Call the police."