🌺 In this Issue of the Statesider 🌺
Releasing the river, saying no to cruise ships and yes to canoes, replanting cacti, heading to the diner, and letting dead whales lie. Plus, a Colorado wildflower field that’s going to stay a secret.
The Road to Columbine Heaven
Who can you trust with your travel secrets? Should writers stay quiet about some places in order to save them? If you stumble into an unmapped wildflower Shangri-La in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, like Shara Johnson did, what should you do? 🌼 Read this Statesider Original Story 🌼
Stories Across the US
A Cruise Story Worth Reading: It’s rare that we come across a story set on a cruise that really catches our attention, but this Letter to a Stranger is such a gorgeous coming-of-age story. It just happens to be set on a cruise ship. Erika Veurink, Off Assignment
Key West Says No: Cruises? No thanks. Key West is done. The cruise industry thinks otherwise. Ryan Krogh, Outside Online
Can We Save the Saguaro? The Forest Service is replanting an ecosystem populated by cactus never meant to withstand fire. Elizabeth Miller, bioGraphic
Black History Train: Black Pullman porters paved the way for the Civil Rights movement — while logging thousands of hours and miles on the rails. Sojourner White, Travel + Leisure
Marble Madness: The world’s biggest marble treasure hunt, and event that gives new meaning to the phrase “taking home all the marbles.” (Also perhaps “losing your marbles.”) Stephanie McGeary, Lost Coast Outpost
Grab a Seat at the Counter: It’s Diner Week. “12 essays by the Autostraddle team all about memories and meanings of diners.” Silence our phones, set us to away on Slack. We’re reading — and ordering the biscuits, of course. Autostraddle
Where is “The South”? A definitive map that everyone will agree with. No arguments will erupt from this. Not a one. Andrew Van Dam, Washington Post
Wheelchair Air: What it’s like to travel by plane in the US for people in wheelchairs. Spoiler: It’s not easy. And it’s worse than that. Amanda Morris, New York Times
Dead Whale Etiquette: Hey you over there with the dead whale — you want to dispose of the body? You’re probably doing it wrong. Ben Goldfarb, Nautilus
Too Dangerous for Dangerville: We’re suckers for an Action Park story; now there’s a book. In this excerpt, Frank gets in the ball, the ball rolls down the track and… Andy Mulvihill with Jake Rossen, Slate
Frank was apparently an employee of the resort’s wintertime operations. I had never seen him before. Depending on what my father had planned, I might never see him again.
Okay, Fine: A Listicle. The only good news about flying right now is that you can eat really well during that 37 hour unanticipated delay. Gabe Hiatt, Natalie B. Compton, Hannah Sampson, Amanda Finnegan and Katty Huertas, Washington Post
Unleashing the Mississippi: “…we’ve often failed to imagine the delta of the present. Despite all the focus on land loss and land building, we rarely pause to discuss what we mean by land. And here in Louisiana, land—and who should control it—is a sometimes squishy idea.” Boyce Upholt, Hakai
Hawaii’s Legendary Third-Gender Nightclub: In the 60s and 70s, The Glade was a refuge for Hawaii’s third-gender performers, the mahu. They defied over a century of missionary oppression — and apparently put on a helluva show. Christine Hitt, SF Gate
Bubbie, this is an Arby’s: “With their military experience and ivy league educations, the brothers were primed for professional success and immediately set their sights on becoming big names in food service.” Wait, what? Joanna O’Leary, My Jewish Learning
New Hood Just Dropped: It seems impossible that this Anaheim, California neighborhood is the first officially Arab American cultural district. Meet us there for all the pastry. Hossam Alattar, Voice of OC
With a Paddle
Brave Canoe World: A woman must have a canoe of her own if she is to complete the Seven Carries. Megan Mayhew Bergman, The Guardian
Rio Not-Quite-So Grande: Stretches of the Rio Grande are so dry that they’re now “more of a hike than a boat trip.” David Courtney Texas Monthly
Having a Gourd Old Time: This guy is floating down the Missouri River in (checks notes) a pumpkin.
What We’re Reading
KosherSoul: Michael Twitty’s newest book about food, being Black and Jewish, about history and racism, and oh so many things has me experiencing all kinds of Big Jewish Feelings about identity, chosen family, and what’s for dinner. It is a Passover Haggadah of a book, a story of oppression and joy and lovingly prepared meals; it makes me want to cook at cry at the same time. Life goal: Seder at the Twitty table. Buy a copy today through the Statesider shop
ICYMI: Revisit Jill Robinson’s conversation with Michael Twitty about his previous book, The Cooking Gene.