We fired up the old VW over the weekend and took a little road trip to Truth or Consequences. Nope, that’s not a metaphor, just New Mexico. It’s warm down there, with hot springs, the big Rio Grande, and old friends, both human and plant, to reconnect with. And of course, we did our best to not let a little road time not devolve into one big potato chip indulgence. In other words, to keep our no new plastic ways alive in a slightly more challenging setting.
What I learned is, the same rules apply to the road as at home: Keep it simple. Make do. Substitute. And, you know, relax.
I made a batch of cookies and crackers, and goat cheese (cuajada, my favorite fresh, raw cheese) the morning we left. (Yes, we were about three hours behind schedule.) I thought of making everything in advance, but E. had the novel idea that we just wing it. Which was good, because in a way this was practice run for our plans of extended road tripping this summer. When, no doubt, some compromises will be made, but perhaps not as many as it first seems. After all, folks did a fair amount of moving around in the millennia before plastic came on the scene.
We ate things a lot like what we eat at home: eggs and potatoes, cooked with garlic and spinach. Pasta with local asparagus and chard. Sandwiches. Oatmeal. We brought along plastic jugs for water, and a few of our old plastic bags to keep the bread and greens in. We brought a supply of cloth diapers, but Cora is a natural at peeing in the woods. For snacks we brought along things from the bulk aisle of our home store: cheese sticks, nuts, granola. It was fine.
We did end up acquiring one plastic bag. When we stopped at a gas station in T or C for a six pack of beer, and they said it was illegal to bring it outside without a bag. The bag came in handy though, because trash happens. And sipping a brew by the dying coals of a cedar fire, the crescent moon setting over the mountains, well, some things in life are just meant to be.