2013: A Locavaux Retrospect

It's that time of year where everyone and their mother releases 2013 "Best of" Lists, full of superlatives and highlights from the past 365 days.  Some of our favorites that have been released so far?  A list of all of the things James Franco did that you did not, the top scientific discoveries of 2013, the top things we searched for on Google in 2013, and NPR's list of the best music of 2013.  And so, in light of these bullet points and numbered lists, The Locavaux Project thought it might produce it's own "Best of" list, highlighting the most memorable moments, individuals, music, and places the Locavaux Crew has come in contact with over the past few months.  It might be a bit lengthy, but hey, this past year has been one of the best we've ever known.  Cheers to more moments in 2014 that will make all of your "best of" lists this time next year!


Most Out-of-this-World-Looking National Park:  The Badlands, South Dakota

If that’s not what Mars looks like up close and personal, then we don’t know what does.

Best Sandwich: Any Sandwich from Paseo in Seattle, Washington

Baguette + aoli + cilantro + pickled jalapeños + romaine + caramelized onions + meat = why have we never eaten Caribbean food before?

Most Used-Phone App:  (two-way tie) GoogleMaps and Shindig

For when we were lost (often) and for when we wanted our friends to be jealous of what cool, new craft beers we’re drinking (often).

Best Beer:  (two-way tie) The Alchemist’s Heady Topper from Stowe, Vermont and Good Nature Brewing’s Rabbit in the Rye-PA from Hamilton, New York

We would do terrible, awful things to get our hands on either of these two craft brews again.  Trust us.

Most Scenic (and Entertaining) Road Side Dinner:  Somewhere on the Coast of Oregon

Georgia pulled up on the sand, mere feet from the Pacific Ocean, with Pat grilling burgers on the Grooler?  Yeah, that happened. 

Best Highway Travel Feature:  Rumble Strips

Ask Chase Jackson and Pat Connolly about the many perks of a rumble strip.

Most Professional Bus Driver:  Chase Jackson

We wouldn’t have gotten anywhere without him.  Seriously.

Most Underutilized Appliance on the Bus:  The Grooler Grill-Cooler

It holds all of our beer and it grills out food?  Thank you Frantzen Family for the gift that kept on giving!

Best Bus Dance Partner:  Meegan Smith

When we were tired, hungry, and thinking that our brakes weren’t working, Meegan always knew that she could lift our spirits with a little Whitney Houston-inspire song and dance.

Best Bus Greeting:  Park City, Utah

Four square underway, friends to wave us in with a saved parking spot, a welcome party raging inside, and house drinks in the Locavaux Project’s honor.  Thanks Ryan Gerstner and Crew!

Best Rock Show:  West Water Outlaws of Boulder, Colorado playing at Cervantes Other Side in Denver, Colorado

We actually wanted to head bang along with these guys.

Best Bus Dance Party Ever:  The last evening of filming in Iowa City, Iowa

Thank you DJ Pat Connolly, Avicii, and Missy Elliott.

Best Kept Secret:  Skunk Hollow Tavern Open Mic Night in Hartland Four Corners, Vermont

Sometimes the most talented folks come out of the middle of nowhere.

Most Mouth-Watering Pie: Noon Mark Diner in Keene Valley, New York

That blueberry crumble tastes just as good sober as it does not-so-sober.

Best Bus Fun-Fact Provider:  Ellie Schmidt

We’re not kidding—the girl is an endless fountain of “Did you guys know?” trivia.  Perfect for long drives through the Western states.

Funniest Interview:  (three-way tie) The Olympics of Iowa City, Iowa and Postmadonna of Seattle, Washington and Valentiger of Grand Rapids, Michigan

Ask The Olympics about the history behind their band sticker; Postmadonna about The French Fry song, The Hobbit song, and the Bill of Rights song; Valentiger about why they love hecklers in audience crowds.

Best Highway:  The 101 in California, Oregon, and Washington

No question.

Busiest Music-Centered Community Event Calendar:  Portland, Maine

From battle of the bands to cover band sing-offs, this town has something happening every night of the week.  Check out Food Fight Portland Summer 2014!

Cheeriest Morning Person:  Hallie Kohler

This is what we like to call a sarcastic award.

Best Collaborative Effort on Stage:  Chasing Shade and The Olympics at the Blue Moose in Iowa City, Iowa

A goodbye-concert for Chasing Shade as they headed to Los Angeles, a welcome back-concert for The Olympics after a summer regional tour, and a classic Fleetwood Mac song made for the perfect last evening of the Locavaux bus tour. 

Friendliest Bar:  Green Lantern Pub in Copalis Beach, Washington

Thank you for the giant box of Pop Tarts—you fed us breakfast for the rest of the trip!

Most Mesmerizing Live Music Act:  Billy Strings & Don Julen of Traverse City, Michigan

True talent is incredible finger picking while playing on a catamaran on Lake Michigan.

CD Played on the Bus on Repeat:  Tabled Fables by Rabbit in the Rye of Hamilton, New York

If you haven’t listened to their EP yet, be prepared to become obsessed.  Fast.

Best Bridge:  (two-way tie) Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, California and Astoria-Megler Bridge in Astoria, Oregon

Bridges are more fun when seen from a bus seat.

Most Consumed Food on Bus:  Hard-boiled eggs

Yes—weird, but so true.

Best Boom Mike Guy:  Pat Connolly

He even had the creepy beard to prove it.

Best Farmer’s Market:  Ferry Plaza Farmer’s Market in San Francisco, California

Hallie and Katie’s paradise.

Most Inspiring Not-For-Profit:  (two-way tie) The VERA Project in Seattle, Washington and Hear Nebraska in Omaha, Nebraska

We’ll always get behind people who support their community’s own local music.

Most Entertaining Dogs:  (two-way tie) Postmadonna’s Finn of Seattle, Washington and Dave Worthen’s Lucy of Seattle, Washington

What the Locavaux Crew would have done to have its own bus dog…

Best Underdog of a City:  (two-way tie) Omaha, Nebraska and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Our new favorite US cities!

Most Adventurous Bus Companion:  Nora Edmonds

Seriously, the girl was down to do anything, at all times.

Best Cover Song: Mr. Wacky of Wacky’s Warhouse in Pacific Beach, Washington play John Prine’s “Angel From Montgomery”

A wacky man with a talent to make us all pause and listen.

Most Likely to be Found at a Bar Talking to Complete Strangers:  Katie Scribner

She has a knack for getting herself into odd conversations with odd people.

Best Way to See The United States:  Through the many windows of a school bus.

Trust us on this one.