Friday, June 13, 2014

Every Good Boy Scout Knows To Always Be Prepared - Travelling Gluten Free

The day I left Arkansas to go into St. Louis, the skies were still gray and foreboding, but the temps had remained cooler. I felt rested and ready to take on another city, so the Highlander, my music and I started the 6 hour trek Northwest through the fields of farm land. I had asked a farmer at a Starbuck's stop what route to take, rather than trust my GPS again, and I was glad. Before long, I edged into the hills of the Ozarks and was amazed at how beautiful it really was.

Those two summers ago when Doodle and I had made the trip through St Louis to Memphis, we made the simple mistake of going through Missouri into Branson. I say it was a mistake because Branson sort of looks like a mini Vegas in a rock quarry pit. No offense to anyone intended, but the tourist trap showplaces make me want to run away like I have done from Myrtle Beach SC - Ripley's Believe It Or Not just isn't my idea of fun for me or my family, but that's just me.

I remember looking at Doodle and jibed at her, "I don't know about you, but I think that guy telling us the Ozarks were going to be pretty needs to come visit NC, what do you think Doodle?"
She laughed and agreed. We stopped in at a Quality Inn and booked a room until we realized that the room was disgustingly old, moldy smelling, and just...questionable. We loaded back up and decided to trek on through to Tennessee, as road burned as we were.

The scenery became prettier, but then night time fell, which made roads difficult to maneuver in the Boonies because there are just no lights to help. We didn't find a decent hotel until 1:00 am, after witnessing a high speed chase at the Arkansas/Tennessee line! Never a dull moment on Allergy Free Back Roads...

As far as gluten free options in between small towns, they are far and few between, so we are thankful for a few Enjoy Life Bars we always have stashed in our travel emergency kit. If you don't have a travel kit and are taking a trip this summer, I highly recommend one. You don't have to purchase one ready made either. Just go to Walmart/Office Depot/Lowe's and purchase an appropriate sized plastic bin.

Fill this bin with your choice of items. Below are my contents:

Oster Single burner is space saving or purchase
a double burner if you have a larger family

Now you, at least, never need to fear starvation or no food options when travelling! If you read this and think you have nothing to fear: The one thing travelling has taught me, the best practice is to be like a Boy Scout and always be prepared.  
For example, one time when we rented a cabin in the mountains, we arrived and started to cook dinner. It turned out the stove wasn't working and the grill looked like it had never been cleaned in the history of its use. Another time you may be glad you prepared is if  you unluckily get stuck in a traffic jam in inclement weather, like those unfortunate people stuck in Atlanta for 24 hours on the roadside during the snow storm...You just never know.

However, as unlikable as Branson was to me, I was literally stunned at the Ozark's natural beauty when I stopped into Cherokee Pass, MO to get out, stretch my legs, and take in the scenery. Afterwards, while driving onward to "the Lou", the sunset let off amazing fiery bursts of orange that literally reflected on the blacktop - And only then, did I know what the Okie in Nebraska had meant about the Ozarks...

Happy Allergen Free Travels!