My trips often start with a frantic trip in rush hour traffic on a Friday, going late into the night hours, and finding a place to call good for the night.
Why this less-than-relaxed pace? Because though I am a passionate outdoors person, I have a day job that gives me limited free time. And sometimes when I think my time is free, a Weekly Crisis of The Century takes away from those allegedly free hours.
I have to squeeze the most I can out of the time allotted.
The time bank, afterall, is limited.
And how I do add more time to this bank? By often chemically enhancing myself with good ole caffeine to stay awake. And almost always in the form of black coffee. No cream. No sugar. Just bitter, dark, and hot.
And this late night consumption of my socially acceptable stimulant is typically done on a Friday night. Sipped over the miles when I am driving hours into the evening.
The coffee I drink is not particularly good on these later night drives. The coffee may be the dregs of the office swill I grab before heading out.
Or, more typically, some gas station coffee brew with the distinctive burnt taste consumed driving somewhere in Wyoming, Utah, or New Mexico. And always sipped from my trusty Contigo coffee mug.
It is what I call Survival Coffee.
Coffee that is not good. Nor delightful. Coffee that is more utilitarian than enjoyable. But it caffeinates me and gets me to the trailhead.
Good coffee is for a relaxing and cold, rainy Sunday morning. When I can give myself the excuse to be lazy, sip a dark French roast coffee, and finish that book I’ve been reading on and off the past week.
Survival coffee? It is consumed somewhere on I-80 past Rawlins as the miles go by one at a time.
Finally, I reach some BLM or FS road, find a flat spot to make a quick camp and call it home for the night.
And the reward for a week of work and perhaps a bit too much Survival Coffee? A camp chair, a starry night sky, and a cold beer.
It is now time for my version of an after work happy hour. And it is an equally important part of my trip.
And if I finish a trip late and have a long drive back home on a Sunday? Well, Survival Coffee will be there waiting for me. Burnt a bit on a pot at some gas station at 11 PM. But doing the trick to get me back home to start the cycle all over again. 🙂
While old age has ruined my night vision, since I’m long since retired I don’t have to go through the tortures described in your post! Plus I can go on weekdays, with no problems with weekend traffic or crowds. There are some advantages to getting old!
Send me one of your clients and I’ll tell them what a real “emergency” is lol (I work on a MH crisis hotline).
My youngest brother had a paid vacation to Baghdad with his ANG unit a decade ago. He was there in a medical capacity at the Balad AB hospital.
When he came back, he was astounded at what people considered an “emergency”.
My day job is making electronic widgets. As most of my friends who are engineers or techies in some capacity. And none of it is really that important. 🙂
Dunkin’ Donuts’ coffee was highly rated in Consumer Reports a few years ago. I think it’s delicious.
I grew up with it. I have a soft spot for it. And I always get some when I go back East. But since moving out West these past 20 yrs, my palate has changed. I prefer something richer, darker, and more complex. As for CR? Taste is subjective. The same people who do an excellent job rating washing machines are not my go to for rating food, to be honest. 🙂 I still love Dunkies iced coffee the best, however.