Join us as Gretchen Powers of the Alaska-based Powers Provisions invites us into a fun, silly, and moving conversation between her and her sister as they road trip halfway across the country in today's Weekend Agenda.
Regardless of who you go on a road trip with, it’s an incredible way to test a relationship. My sister, Dominique, and I are proclaimed besties, we love a lot of the same things from eating lots of veggies, to getting adequate exercise, to going to bed early. So, we thought we would set off to drive from Salt Lake City to San Francisco, stopping along the way to climb! We took the new MiiR Pourigami™ for a 750-mile test drive and used the time to ask each other a few questions, hopefully also giving you a few insights on what to expect when traveling with the people you love.
Dominique | It's kind of cool that we've done this drive before, many years ago — do you have any strong memories from doing this as kids?
Gretchen | I don’t remember scenic details of the numerous times we did the drive from CO to SF as kids, [our dad would bring the whole family out when he announced the San Francisco marathon], but I do remember listening to the Wicked soundtrack on my walkman over and over again while our siblings played games on their Game Boys or napped. I remember being super fascinated by the Donner Party when we stopped at Donner Pass. We did most of the drive at night to avoid traffic, so I remember not really being able to take in the scenery. I was excited to be able to do this drive again as an adult to be able to take in the wild nature and see a landscape I have yet to explore.
G | What made this 750-mile drive sound appealing when we could have flown to San Francisco in an hour and a half?
D | I’ve always wanted to road trip across the country on my own volition. Driving with the family as kids was wonderful, but there’s an extra sense of adventure when you’re the one who gets to decide where your wheels go. Living in between New York and LA working as a Digitech has made me yearn for the outdoors and spending quality time with quality people (*ahem,* you), so this was the perfect opportunity to explore a new part of the country and hang out with my favorite person!
D | How many ways can you make a cup of coffee?
G | While I‘m not a coffee drinker, I’m surrounded by people who love a good brew. After two years of running to the coffee shop in the morning to get my (now) wife a cuppa Joe, I determined that I needed to figure out how to make it myself. It has taken years of training, but I feel like I’ve mastered the Aero Press, percolator, French Press, and now pour over, but I’m completely useless with a drip coffee maker.
G | As someone who actually makes pour over coffee every morning, how does the Pourigami™ compare to your standard pour over device?
D | As someone who has broken several ceramic pour over devices (...sorry college roommate, Eliza), I love that it’s basically indestructible. It folds down so I can stick it in any pocket, and it’s super sleek an aesthetically pleasing. Also, I was obsessed with origami as a kid, so setting it up was super fun, and the triangle shape makes it extremely stable. I like making pour over coffee in the morning because it slows me down first thing and reminds me to be mindful about how I start my day.
The morning ritual of making a pour over coffee definitely requires patience and attention, but there is something special about watching your cup of coffee come into being — adding a little water at a time and seeing the results in your cup. It’s my favorite way to start the day.
D | Coffee is my go-to morning starter...and is the key that keeps you sane while traveling with me?
G | Ha, I never plan to do anything before 10am, and I really cherish using that morning window slowly and intentionally do the things needed to get my day off onto the right foot. I like to make a cup of tea — or just drink a lot of water, — make breakfast, read or journal, do some yoga or light stretching and get stoked for the day ahead.
D | How about general tips for traveling with a loved one?
G | Compromise is key — whether it’s the music you’re playing, where you stop, what food you eat, communicating your needs and wants while being respectful, or just understanding of your travel partner’s preferences. It's helpful to have an idea of how they generally feel about eating out verse cooking at home, stopping to take photos at touristy pullouts, the idea of whoever is driving gets to DJ...speaking of can you skip this song?
D | But I love Andrew bird, the second half of the song is the best part!
G | I’m driving!
G | What was the highlight and lowlight of the trip?
D | Oof! So many good things. All the good things. Snuggling with Ella (the pup!) and you in the mornings, or watching the sunset over mountains in the evenings... All of the rock climbing we got to do. Pushing myself to lead routes that scared me a little, but knowing I was capable and then following through. Which leads to the most challenging part of our trip — not researching the climbing routes enough and clearly communicating before getting on the wall. This trip was our first time lead climbing outside together, and getting on a slippery 5.9 as our first climb wasn’t the brightest idea. But we made it! You were patient with me while I took deep breaths between draws, and knowing that you had me on the other end of the rope kept me calm.
D | What surprised you most this trip?
G | The bugs! I forgot about the bugs! How many poor little buggers died on our windshield! Ha, in all seriousness, I surprised myself by leading a few climbs, which pushed me way past my fear of heights which I found particularly gripping on this trip. Oh, and that we actually had a blast and didn’t kill each other — it’s a miracle that as we’ve gotten older, we actually bicker less and get along better!