The Big Breakfast Adventure | Rusty Pelican Cafe


It’s very quiet in here.

Is there anyone out there?

Oh, HI!

How’ve you been?  I’ve missed you.  And I’ve thought about you a lot.

There’s so much we have to catch up on – and gosh – I don’t even know where to start.  I think I’ll start with the Sunday-before-last, since the Sunday-before-last was a perfectly splendid day.  Because ROAD TRIP.  It’s true.  After eight months of abstinence I went on a road trip – something I was beginning to think might never happen again, but that’s another story for another time.

It began in Mill Creek when I stepped out for a Big Breakfast Adventure with my friend, Suzanne, and ended some 13 hours and 475 miles later after I decided a jaunt over the Cascades would be quite the lovely drive after a *SANE and hearty breakfast.  The sun was shining and I’d always had a hankering to go to Twisp.  So I did.

It was just after 8 o’clock as I was reading the menu at the Rusty Pelican Café that I realized how addicted to starch we Americans are.  I don’t recall ever seeing a starch-fest quite that extensive.  Typical diner fare paraded across the pages – dish upon dish of starch stared back at me as my eyes flicked over the black type.  I scoured the plastic-covered sheets for something SANE – surely there must be some scrambles and omelets somewhere.  Anywhere?  They were lurking near the back but even those came with a veritable mountain of starch on the side: potatoes, toast, pancakes, biscuits.  Some of the omelets even had potatoes inside them as well.  Starch, starch, starch.  Sigh.

Given that neither Suzanne nor I wanted to be in a coma by 9 am, we got ready with our requests to swap in some SANEity.  Unlike every other eatery I’ve taken the Big Breakfast Adventure to this year, the Rusty Pelican’s best compromise was a small bowl of fruit – hardly a fair trade for a stomach full of starch – but my appeal for some greenery was ignored and it became obvious that they were not geared up for the anti-grain brigade.  In their defense the décor is delightful, and lucky for me Suzanne has the ability to make any breakfast interesting with her lively tales of family life and plans for a move to Alaska. I secretly hope I’ll get an invitation to visit. Carrie Brown  |  Rusty Pelican Cafe

Suzanne ordered up an omelet while I plumped for the California Scrambler: Artichoke, mushrooms, tomatoes and onion scrambled with eggs and topped with avocado and cheddar cheese – sour cream and salsa served on the side.  Now I’m looking at that picture though – if you can see past the horrible, contrasty, badly exposed shot it is – I swear I see spinach poking out.  Worked for me, even if it didn’t match the description.

Once the plate showed up I wasn’t sure where they had planned to pile all those potatoes and swathes of toast or pancakes.  We certainly couldn’t complain about the portion sizes – that was one huge plate of egg and vegetably goodness, with a hefty amount of avocado plopped on top for good measure.  In the end it was plenty enough to power me half way across the State and back.  The other noteworthy thing about the Rusty Pelican is their use of heavy cream for your coffee – so thick it almost needed spooning out of the jug.  Awesome!

We could have sat there all morning nattering away and supping on coffee with lashings of cream dolloped in, but the lines were long and the wait staff were getting restless, so we shuffled off with full bellies and brains suitably caffeinated.  The bathrooms, by the way, are quite lovely.

Suzanne headed home to her merry brood while I pointed the car east and meandered through the back roads to Highway 2.  I didn’t know exactly where Twisp was, but I did know it was over the mountains and far away.  Just how far away I didn’t appreciate until I was past the point of no return and realized a) I had to drive all the way back again and b) I didn’t have time to stop and shoot anything, except for a few images of the aftermath of the Carlton Fire.  Oh, and a fence.  Because I just dig fences.

Notwithstanding that it was one heck of a road trip for one day, I made my destination, had a cup of coffee and a Cinnamon Twisp (gasp!!) – oh c’mon, I couldn’t drive all the way to Twisp and not partake of the legendary local pastry now could I? – turned around and drove back again.  It was a long drive for a cup of coffee, but boy was it the most fantastic Sunday joyride, made all the more blissful by the sunshine streaming down from the sapphire sky.  A visually stunning 10 hours taking in glorious vistas that would have taken my breath away had I not needed to stay conscious in order to get home before midnight.

It made me feel alive.  It made me want to embrace life to the fullest.  It made my heart full.  And whatever can do all that is a really good thing.

Whatever makes you feel good – do more of that.



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  • Minta Hale - So happy you’re back!ReplyCancel

  • Dr Mike Keen - GO GIRL!!!ReplyCancel

  • Audrene Welch - Seeing your name in my inbox made be happy. I have really missed you.ReplyCancel

  • Debra - I love those drives when there’s no traffic and lots to look at. Thanks for sharing!ReplyCancel

  • Dawn Randall - THIS made my heart sing. I felt like I was there. I wanted to see (and partake of) Twisp. I even LOVE the name Twisp. The writing and photos are as beautiful as ever! Wish I could have been on that road trip, too!ReplyCancel

  • Kara - Beautiful post!ReplyCancel

  • Dieanna Mercurio - Hi Carrie……so happy to see you, your blog and your pics. I just love reading about your adventures. You look fabulous. Keep up the great work and keep those delicious Sane recipes coming!ReplyCancel

  • Marian - Carrie, I enjoyed your road trip and it makes me want to take one myself! I have a small… OK HUGE phobia about driving on strange roads, but you have given me hope. I’m thinking that a short ride to an unknown place might be just the thing I need to break the chains this crazy fear has on me. Thank you for all you do! If there’s a SANE plate of non-starchy veggies and lean protein at the end of that little trip, I’ll be well rewarded! Bless you! PS I recently visited TWO chain restaurants who were more than happy to hold the starches and double the SANE veggies, so don’t lose hope, folks!ReplyCancel

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