“Today I’m in the Yellowstone Park, and I wish I were dead.”

The author in his natural habitat. Watch the account of his journey here. all media via.

So begins Rudyard “Mowgli” Kipling’s epic tale of the worst-roadtrip-ever, as told by PBS’s The National Parks: America’s Best Idea (a Ken Burns joint). In 1889, the British author/cranky traveller took the “grand tour” of Yellowstone Park, paying about $150 for the privilege of only barely enjoying this freshly minted national wonder. “The park is just a howling wilderness,” he whines, and goes on to complain generally about the poor cuisine (tinned beef and beer), his gum-snapping Chicagoan companions, and a wealth of other annoyances. You may never love Kipling as much as you will after watching this clip. Or you can read a section of his immensely entertaining takedown here.

What’s the worst trip you’ve ever taken?

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LocalYokel: Knox County, Maine

LocalYokel brings you the goods from someone who should know, since you’re in their backyard. This one’s from our plainspoken Senior Ayuh Correspondent, midcoast born and raised.

The Farnsworth in Rockland, Maine.  image via

EAT

Billy’s Tavern [1 Starr St., Thomaston] Giant jenga. Fresh seafood. Largest selection of single malt and irish whiskey in Maine.

Thomaston Cafe [154 Main St., Thomaston] Fresh, natural and local food, dictates the menu.  Early morning breakfast and brunch. They make great ‘to go’ lunch boxes.

Rock City Coffee [254 Main St., Rockland] Kinda eat?  Drink coffee at least. Smells awesome. Sells fresh roasted beans as well.

SLEEPGranite Inn [546 Main St., Rockland] Pet friendly, eco friendly.

The Inn at Camden Place [14 Tannery Lane, Camden] On the canal in downtown Camden. Historical — it used to be a shirt factory.

Samoset Inn [220 Warrenton St., Rockport] Not small, but if you want a resort this is it. Private cottages, golf course(s?), and multiple pools, one with a swim up bar.

GO

Rockland Farmers Market [Harbor Park, Rockland] Seasonal market, kinda goes in the ‘eat’ section as well. And they have pickled fiddleheads!

Maine State Prison Showroom [358 Main St., Thomaston] Cheep cheep convict-made products. The former grounds of the prison are now a cool park out back to walk around in.

Maine Wine Trail [vineyards of midcoast Maine; yes there’s more than one] Well, firstly, it exists. And only in Maine do they have a ‘drive yourself’ wine and hard alcohol trail.

Are YOU more local than this yokel? Tell us what we missed!

RoadReads: “The Republic of Marfa”

Elmgreen & Dragset’s Prada Marfa joins the surrealism of the desert. image via

“It’s situated in one of the least populated sections of the contiguous United States, known locally as el despoblado (the uninhabited place), a twelve-hour car-and-plane trip from the east coast, and seven from the west. It is nowhere near any interstates, major cities, or significant non-military airfields; it hosts an active population of dangerous animals and insects (a gas station clerk died of a spider bite the summer I first visited); and its 2,424 inhabitants represent the densest concentration of people in a county that covers over 6,000 square miles—an area larger than the states of Connecticut and Rhode Island combined. The isolation is such that if you laid out the islands of the Hawaiian archipelago, and the deep ocean channels that separate them, on the road between Marfa and the East Texas of strip shopping and George Bush Jr., you’d still have 100 miles of blank highway stretching away in front of you.”

From reading Dostoevsky in the original, to Gehry’s bitching, to abandoned avocado sandwiches and those mysterious lights — Sean Wilsey and his comprehensive look at Marfa makes you want to take that trek too. (Read it in full here.)

Weekend warrior: New England.

Greenery of Boston's Public Garden.

The greenery of Boston's Public Garden.

Here on the East Coast of the states, it’s been like June: warm sunny days with a brisk little breeze at night. This weekend the streak continues— good conditions for a road trip, or the inaugural journey to the beach. (To tan! Never to swim. Atlantic swimmers, you are all crazy, forever.) So get up from your couch/your endless Law & Order marathon… and get some air. From Boston, you could easily hit Crane Beach (1 hour north), Providence, RI (1 hour south) or the elbow of the Cape (2.5 hours east). So what are you doing this weekend?

RoadReads: “Henry Rollins: Punk Rock World Traveler”

HR talks travel aboard punk rock camel. Image via

“I beg young people to travel. If you don’t have a passport, get one. Take a summer, get a backpack and go to Delhi, go to Saigon, go to Bangkok, go to Kenya. Have your mind blown. Eat interesting food. Dig some interesting people. Have an adventure. Be careful. Come back and you’re going to see your country differently, you’re going to see your president differently, no matter who it is.”

Oh boy does Henry Rollins has some words for you — and Jim Benning caught them for WorldHum (read it here).

OKC to NYC: the Abernathy Kids.

you can find more historical road warriors on the Road Eternal.

Swag.

Billyburg hipsters on fixies: consider yourselves outswagged. Image via LoC

By the ages of 10 and 6 respectively, Bud and Temple Abernathy had sought out and captured a level of coolness that you will never achieve. 

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