This is the official planning post for Vulture Bait 2015. A work in progressssss, this is an attempt to prioritize. The idea isn't to go to all of these places; it's to never have no idea where to go. We don't have time to fuck around.
5 to 20 PHOENIX
Richardson's. The only restaurant I visit every visit. Real Southwestern Food, it remains to be seen what a vegetarian will eat here.
El Norteño. Home of the chimichanga.
Waffle House. A undeniable part of my youth.
21 to LAS VEGAS (5 hours?)
Well how could I not. Plus this is where we pick up "The Van". Other than that, the goal here is to "not do anything tooooooo stupid." In bed by midnight, asleep by 00:15.
Wikieup Trading Post. Place to get gas and buy stupid things between Phoenix and Las Vegas.
Yardbird Southern Table. Besides Waffle House, this is the closest The Captain is going to get to real southern food during this doomed adventure.
Yard House. Advanced vegetarian fast food.
Dino's Lounge. 24-hour classic.
Frankie's Tiki Room. Kitsch and fire. And open 24 hours.
Circus Circus. Fear and Loathing.
Club Platinum. Yeah, well, it's right next to the hotel...come on. Research! Cultural interchange!
Ronald's Donuts. Vegan donuts. Open 4am-4pm.
Sunrise Coffee. Vegan/vegetarian coffeeshop.
Hash House. For those non-vegan non-donut food groups.
In-N-Out Burger. On the way out of town in Vegas. For a vegetarian, the only point of this would be to demonstrate a "secret menu".
22 to LONE PINE/WHITNEY PORTAL/ALABAMA HILLS/STOVEPIPE WELLS/DEATH VALLEY NP (4 hours?)
Here are the directions to THE VALLEY OF DEATH. The idea was to stay at the legendary Amargosa Opera House and Hotel, because, well, it's legendary. But the opera performances are only on weekends. Please make a note here about what seems smart to do on the way to Lone Pine. Stovepipe Wells is the place to buy gas.
Amargosa Opera House & Hotel. "A once-in-a-lifetime experience".
The Badwater Saloon. Maybe the place to eat in Stovepipe Wells.
Alabama Hills Cafe. kind of seems like if you eat breakfast anywhere in Lone Pine it should be here.
Margie's Merry-Go-Round. Winner by name. Of course it's Chinese and Mexican food, but according to Yelp, "Don't order the Mexican food. Repeat, do not order from the Mexican menu."
23 to CRANE FLAT/YOSEMITE NP/TUOLUMNE GROVE/MONO LAKE (5 hours)
There's so much to see in Yosemite and we have time for none of it. Primary goal is to not be eaten by bears. Or even one bear.
Erick Schat's Bakkerÿ. "European" breads. Just because it seems like the best option between Lone Pine and Tioga Pass.
Tioga Mobil Gas Mart/Whoa Nellies. A gas station with fish tacos and live bands.
Crane Flat Campgrounds. "Dispose of garbage immediately in bear-proof dumpsters."
Tangled Hearts Bakery. For breakfast the next morning if we still have our heads and stomachs.
24 to NAPA/BOTHE SP/SUGARLOAF (4 hours)
Primary goal: have at least one glass of wine. I'm trying to make these goals "realistic and achievable" in order to keep morale high.
Frog's Leap Winery. Recommendation from a trusted source and reviews on TA are also glowing.
Gott's Roadside. A classic? Too many people have recommended it not to pay attention.
Oxbow Public Market. Seems like the least uptight option.
Mustards Grill. Although my dad says we shouldn't miss the fries here.
Brix. And Brix, which is the last place I remember eating in Napa, still looks good.
Dean & Deluca. We will need supplies.
Cal Mart Specialty Grocery & Deli. Probably the last place to get quality supplies for the next few nights. Open 0700-2100.
Cafe Sarafornia. For breakfast the next morning unless we wait for Ardella's.
25 to FERNDALE (4 hours)
The beginning of "true adventure". Main goal is to "get to bed early", because the next day is full of death-defying driving.
Ardella's Kitchen. In Willits, this looks like a good breakfast idea.
Hotel Ivanhoe. The kind of historic small-town hotel where locals go out to dinner on weekend nights. Remind me to make a reservation (I did, 7pm).
26 to SHELTER COVE/BLACK SANDS BEACH/ABALONE POINT (undetermined amount of time, read here for spoilers, here for guidance)
This is a bit of a mystery stretch, and the portion of the journey where we are most likely to disappear forever. There are bears on the beaches, sharks in the water, meth-heads in the woods, etc. "It was Nelson's idea," I just want to officially go on record with that, but I'll also admit that yes, how could I not consider staying somewhere (Leggett) described as having not much other than "a creepy and expensive gas station (cash only), pizza joint and two markets (not always open)".
Cove Restaurant. There are 6 restaurants in Shelter Cove, two of which are open for dinner (reservations at 7:30).
27 to FORT BRAGG/MENDOCINO (1.5 hours, details)
Dick's Place. This was just about the first definite thing on the itinerary.
Harvest at Mendoza's. Grocery store if we don't feel brave enough for fancy vegan.
The Ravens. Fancy vegan, reviews wildly mixed.
North Coast Brewing Company. Sounds like the consensus for good beer in Fort Bragg.
Piaci Pub & Pizzeria. Sounds like the consensus for dinner in Fort Bragg.
28 to WRIGHT'S BEACH/GOAT ROCK BEACH (3 hours tops)
The point here is the beach where we're camping.
River's End. Place for a glass of wine in the evening.
29 to POINT REYES/SAN FRANCISCO (1.5 hours)
This is tough, we really need to 1) see Point Reyes, 2) drop off the van, and 3) go to the Ferry Building. It could be that we skip.....which one of these things?
Ferry Building Marketplace. I think the point would be Il Cane Rosso or Mijita or Acme or Cowgirl, etc.
4505 Burgers & BBQ. Supposedly one of the best burgers in America.
Hopwater Distribution. Close to the hotel.