Road trips and jerky and Dwight Yoakam

Since moving to Colorado, I have come to associate road trips with jerky. Out here, at least in the warmer months, purveyors of seasoned and dried meat park their vans along heavily traveled routes, with the more enterprising staking out a series of signs a la Burma Shave leading to the mobile store.

I’m getting ready to fly to Fort Myers, Florida then drive to Kingsport and across Tennessee, so I’ve got traveling and jerky on my mind. Metro Pulse has a good article on The Beef Jerky Outlet just off I-40 next to the Bass Pro Shop. Could there be a better location?

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Despite its plebian reputation–most jerky is sold in gas stations and convenience stores at the end of the aisle with Twinkies and Ding Dongs–this stuff is not cheap. The Beef Jerky Outline online brochure lists 1.9 ounces of Elk Jerky at $5.99, which comes out to $50.44 per pound. Alaska Smokehouse Pepper Garlic Salmon Jerky is $15.95 for six ounces–a more reasonable $42.53 per pound.

Both cost more than live Maine lobsters, but it’s hard to gnaw on a lobster when you’re driving late at night, cranking Dwight Yoakam’s Dwight Live album during the part in “Long White Cadillac” when Dwight’s voice breaks and Pete Anderson’s guitar screams and you think about Hank Williams’s last ride.

With a jaw full of jerky and an endless road, it doesn’t get any better than that.

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