🛶 In this Issue of the Statesider 🛶
Roadside treasures, a sandwich mystery, a provocative proposal to protect the National Parks, the people that chase cicada swarms, doggos of the Last Frontier, eating the vine that ate the South, and Azerbaijani treats.
Treading Water in the Dark
For some people, a free canoe on the side of the road wouldn’t warrant a second glance. Vashon Island resident Jesse Gardner hit the brakes. She needed that canoe, even if she couldn’t understand why at the time — or how on earth she was going to get it home. 🛶 Read this story — and catch the audio version too! 🛶
Island people can sense a good adventure-in-the-making.
Stories Across USA
Sub-Par Sandwiches: This story has everything we want from a golf story: a mystery, a weird obsession, lots of sandwiches, and — most importantly — absolutely no golf talk. Luke Fater, Atlas Obscura
The problem began more than 20 years ago, when the Masters chose not to renew the contract for the tournament’s longtime pimento cheese vendor.
Who Should Protect the Parks? What would happen if the US government gave the National Parks back to their original stewards: the Native Americans who once lived on the lands? David Treuer, The Atlantic
➡️ Part of a larger collection from The Atlantic “Who Owns America’s Wilderness?“
Meet the Neighbors: Ready to get out of the house? Yeah, we get it. Texas Monthly thinks Texans might be ready to get out of Texas entirely, so they pulled together these stories on road trips in Arkansas, Colorado, Louisiana, New Mexico, and Oklahoma. Texas Monthly
Here in Alaska: It’s a newsletter, it’s a podcast, it has…the Alaska Dog of the Week! Your new source for all things Alaska: Jenna Schnuer, Here in Alaska
Wonder Weed: Kudzu is sometimes called the vine that ate the South. Some enterprising Southerners think we can turn that around by using the vine as food, building material, and more. Ayurella Horn-Muller, Southerly
Tatooine is so hot right now: With Joshua Tree over, where else are you going to get your desert on? The otherworldly Trona Pinnacles, apparently. (With pointers to more terrestrial So Cal getaways). Rachel Schnalzer, LA Times
➡️ Wait, Joshua Tree is really over? Chris Clarke, Letters from the Desert
From being a place where people go to be left alone to make beauty, we became a place where people go so that they could be thought of as the kind of people that go to a place like this.
A dozen of each: Ilhama Safarova is baking Azerbaijani pastry in DC’s Adams Morgan neighborhood. I mean… “goghal, a flaky pastry redolent with cumin, black pepper, and aniseed.” Gimme. Nevin Martell, DCist
Is That a Tweeter in your Pocket? Did you hear the odd news story about the man who was caught trying to smuggle 35 songbirds stuffed into hair curlers into the US? It wasn’t just for fun. Inside the songbird competitions of Queens. Emily S. Rueb, New York Times
Square Meal: Why are ice cream containers round, anyway? Apparently square melts faster. Bettina Makalintal, Vice
The Brood X Files
Thanks for the Icky Memories: Every time cicadas emerge, they leave their mark on everyone who experiences the rare event. Kevin Ambrose, Washington Post
Or You Could Stay Home and Not? You’ve heard of storm chasers — this year meet an even rarer breed: the cicada chasers. Leslie Katz, CNET
Cicadas Contain Multitudes: Sure, there may be billions of cicadas swarming this year in certain parts of the US, but each cicada turns out to be a swarm unto itself. Ed Yong, The Atlantic
What’s That Smell? Our California-based and cicada-ignorant editor asked: Wait, what happens at the end of the cicada invasion? This happens. Ted Gregory, Chicago Tribune
What We’re Reading
The Lager Queen of Minnesota by J. Ryan Stradal. Helen—obsessed with beer since she was a teenager—stiffs Edith out of the family farm because she wants the money to start a brewery. Edith’s calling is for pie; she became Minnesota famous for the pie she produced while working the kitchen in a small town nursing home. Helen’s life feels so much easier than Edith’s, while Edith embodies a midwestern acceptance of hard times. I picture plain white women dressed in Wal-Mart sweatshirts, their mouths set in determination, their creativity wildly unappreciated. Plus, they want you to eat pie and drink beer. Hard to argue with those goals. Buy now and support your local bookshops
Doug started it! Sometimes, things get silly in the writers room. Sometimes, we can’t let go of a joke. Sometimes, we let it go on for way too long because we can’t stop ourselves and then, sometimes, we want to share that nonsense with you.
For more Statesider nonsense (with bouts of extreme earnestness) follow us on Twitter. (Note: This is not our publication’s last issue.)