Ahhhhh, sweet relief. We have been flat out, pedal to the metal since we got to Oregon. Two of our top priorities were a truck and trailer. Our whole plan for the next year hinges on these two items, they are big, they are expensive and what we wanted was very specific.
For a trailer we wanted a small 5th wheel with a decent sized slide and a bunk house. The bunk house is perfect for George, it will be his own personal room, where he can nap and get out of the way while I work, and it gives Aimee and I a little separation at night so we won’t wake up and rush to his side every time he snorts in his sleep. The slide is a big deal for a couple reasons, first it gives us more room and second it gives us more room. Remember, I will be working my regular 40-60 hour a week job during the entire year, we needed the room for a designated office space, a place where I will be in the zone and can focus. We also need the extra room for George, he is six months right now, and sometime during the trip he will begin to walk. We wanted the space for him to be able to roam inside the camper on those foul weather days.
If you have looked at the map of our proposed trip you know that we may be borderline psychotic, er, you know that we are going to be driving and pulling our trailer a lot of miles. From all the research that we have done the best tow vehicle for this sort of trip is a diesel. Since we have George it needs to be a crew cab diesel so he’s got room to spread out in the back seat, and since we wanted a 5th wheel we need a long bed. Have you ever priced crew cab long bed diesels? I thought that Toyota’s and Subaru’s held their value – holy crap diesels are expensive. For fun I priced a new Ford that would fit our needs, came out upwards of $55,000. Yeah, we looked at a lot of ’95-’97 Ford 7.3L diesels and most were too expensive. Yes, a 16-19 year old truck was too expensive.
This past week we managed to lock up both a trailer and a truck. The trailer is a 2004 Fleetwood Prowler 255BH 5th wheel. It rules. Only 28 feet from tip to tail, which means only 26 or so behind the bed of the truck, its pretty light, has heated holding tanks and double thick insulation, and a super rad tiger on the front. And it is a bunk house with a large slide. Awesome.
The truck is a 2002 F350 Super Duty 7.3L Turbo Diesel. No chips, no mods, no lift, no gigantic tires, just a sweet long bed stock truck with only 170,000 miles on it. The thing is a tank. We are still working on a name. I haven’t managed to park it between the lines yet, but it will pull the Prowler like it isn’t even there.
On Friday, we had both the truck and trailer at the house and could finally let out a big sigh of relief. For the first time in 3 weeks we didn’t have to be checking craigslist every 30 seconds to see if the perfect truck had finally been posted. In celebration I headed out to the closest Growler Guys fill station to see what they had. Unfortunately I forgot my glasses so I relied on the pourer to help me out with a decision. I ended up with Shake Chocolate Porter from Boulder Brewing, which is only unfortunate because I was hoping to get a local beer. It certainly wasn’t unfortunate for drinking!
You can definitely tell that its a beer, but if you really take a good pull you can almost believe its a chocolate milkshake for a couple seconds. It is smooth, not too sweet and surprisingly drinkable. I am definitely happy I tried it and will definitely buy it again (after I have tried every other dark beer in Oregon!).
Appearance: Clear brown, really dark mahogany. A two finger tan head that receded quickly and left lacing on the glass.
Smell: Cocoa! A sweet smelling beer with really strong cocoa notes and a hint of underlying vanilla. (Aimee says it smells like cream soda!)
Taste/Mouthfeel: So, its called chocolate shake…. Yeah, I definitely get some of that. Not as much as I expected and not near as chocolately as I expected. All the cocoa is up front, followed by a vanilla splash and a drier, roasted finish. Really nice carbonation, just right, nice light bubbles (Aimee called it effervescent!) – with the shake name I was expecting it to be much thicker/heavier.
Overall: Good! I found that the faster I drank the more this tasted like a milkshake. Easy to drink and delicious. Granted I felt like celebrating, but I easily finished the growler in two days, delicious!Stats:
Brewery: Boulder Beer Company, Boulder, CO