Over the past five years the Big Idaho Potato Truck has passed through all of the contiguous 48 states, but there are definitely regions that see our big beautiful behind much more than others. The Pacific Northwest has definitely not been one of those areas. And that’s sad. Being from Idaho we are all big cheerleaders for this part of the country. The natural beauty, the people… and the fact that the region produces over half of the countries potatoes are all great reasons to love it. This year looked to change that and this last week we were able to take full of advantage of some of the gems we’ve been deprived of over the past few years.
The first of these gems was Chelan, Washington. We were brought to this region at the request of one of our old teammates: Kristie. If you don’t remember who that is, she is the long bushy-haired girl that traveled with the truck the second and third year. It was a productive trip full of pizza eating, ice cream licking, lake swimming, and, oh yeah, working. We had a great event in downtown Chelan where we raised $500 for the local rotary club via our Big Helping initiative. Afterwards, we took our shoes off and ventured up into the hills towards Middle Earth. By the time that we arrived at the Hobbit House Kristie had built, we had foot hair long enough to star in our own trilogy… we’re just waiting for Hollywood to call.
After Chelan we headed up to Seattle. But with a long holiday weekend keeping us immobilized, the Spud Studs (and Larry) headed for the border! Two of the three of us had never been and, to our great surprise, we found out that the day after we got there was one of their big national holidays: Canada Day or Canada D’eh. We stayed in the fun neighborhood of Kitsilano, which had beach access and great city/mountain views. Our days were filled with exploring the city, playing beach volleyball with the locals, eating food (and ice cream again), fireworks and dancing at one of the hottest live music venues in the city! The trip was short, sweet and everything we needed for our first international venture together. There was definitely a consensus among the group for a return trip. Maybe we’ll bring the potato next time eh?
The culmination of the week, however, was back stateside for what I like to call ‘Murica Day’. The venue was Gasworks Park along Seattle’s waterfront and of course the park sported old industrial structures that definitely support the name. We parked among the ancient gas fixtures and prepared to celebrate with our countrymen. Just imagine how much shorter the Revolutionary War would have been if those Yankees had used potatoes instead of tea at their party… you can throw them much further and they hurt a lot more; just saying. Anyways, this was one party we didn’t have to face alone. We had some great help come and visit us from Idaho. Mark from the Idaho Growers and Shippers Association brought his wife, Valerie, and son, Dalin, to provide some extra muscle for the day. The family was great and their camaraderie was much appreciated as we skirted questions from the Seattleites, played a prank on our boss, had a dance competition and ended the day by watching the epic firework show from on top of the potato.
Yes, it was a patriotic birthday for the ages with good friends both new and old. We definitely have to add it to the list of moments that make us think ‘wow, I can’t believe we get paid to do this.’
Stay crisp Tater Nation,
Ellis- The OG Spud Stud