There is a perception in the adventure community that every meal must be exotic, made from ingredients that are either unpronounceable, unobtainable, or both. That cooking apparatus is a requirement. That time is required. That one must work for their food.
I am here to disabuse you of such notions.
While breakfast and dinner avail themselves of culinary chicanery, being that one is often in camp and either in the process of waking up or settling down, lunch does not. Lunch is a special meal, one partaken of because it is required to maintain the adventurer’s physical self, not because it is an event in and of itself. Lunch does not lend itself to an hour of preparation or a trip to the supermarket. Lunch is best enjoyed en route, with an eye toward maximizing the use of daylight for enjoyment of one’s motorbike.
Speaking of motorbikes, one must not forget that motorbikes also need to be fed. This occurs at so-called “gas stations”, where a chemical libation derived from petroleum can be pumped into the tank of the motorcycle for some fee. This feeds the bike, but what about the human rider? Today’s gas stations have convenient options, particularly east of the Mississippi.
Some time in the recent past, a marketer had the glorious idea that people on the go might like to buy fresh food, or at least, food that was not treated with every manner of life-extending chemistry. Far from the dirty past full of salmonella-laden nacho cheese and shriveled hot dogs, today’s fueling villages now offer nominally fresh foods with reasonable nutritional values. Some have full-on delis, but those involve a wait and time is fleeting. States encompassing the Appalchain ridge have some particularly unique offerings that can fuel a rider for the rest of the day without adding the weight of cookware or consuming valuable time. Imagine that – one simple stop for bike and rider.
Hermetically sealed sandwiches, pickles, cooked eggs, and jerky are readily available, but the big luncheon prize goes to the lowly Cheesewich. A combination of two slices of cheese (colbyjack or pepperjack!) and two slices of meat (salami or bologna!), the simple Cheesewich packs enough calories, protein, and fat to fuel an afternoon of adventure. Have two if you wish!
Paired with a sack of chips – I prefer Baked Lays – and a piece of fruit, one has the perfect blend of nutrition required to hit the trail. I like to complement with a bottle of sparkling water, because small luxuries matter. SP for those in the know, Perrier in a pinch, but don’t bother with Smart Water as it is devoid of the minerals that any rider worth their choke cable would have sweated out before the break. No guilt required: it’s an inexpensive square meal that takes no more than a few minutes out of your day scarf down. Simply tear at the notch and enjoy. Do dispose of your wrappers properly. The environment and all.
Why does enjoying the lowly Cheesewich matter? Because shooting one’s adventuring expectations into the sky is a sure way to be disappointed. Instead of worrying about the correct spice blend or how you are going to get the sauce made in a timely manner, stop for gas and grab a Cheesewich. Hell, grab two. Dinner is most certainly not going to make itself.