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Thursday, November 15, 2007 - Oneonta NY


Really Good Fresh Jerky [34 mi] ( CA 62 west of Vidal Jct) taken February 23rd on My 2007 Road Trip

On the road at last

I finally made it out of the driveway and onto the road about 4:00 pm, at that point with the modest goal of spending my first night at the Wal-Mart parking lot in Oneonta NY. This trip will be my first real experience with using Wal-Mart and other parking lots as a way to keep my travel budget in modest territory. I'll write a review of my experiences after I get a few under my belt.

Getting it all together

It's amazing how long it can take to get everything in order for a six month trip, especially a winter one. In addition to the packing of the RV there is ones house to get settled in for a largely unattended winter where the threat of a power failure or furnace failure is all too real. Frozen and ruptured pipes, or the odd frozen and burst jar of whatever could make a real mess of things.

Night camp

Wal-Mart Parking Lot in Oneonta NY

Wal-Mart Supercenter in Oneonta NY

Wal-Mart Supercenter Store #2262, 5054 State Hwy 23, Oneonta, NY 13820 - (607) 431-9557

Teosinte and the Improbability of Maize

The ancestors of wheat, rice, millet, and barley look like their domesticated descendants; because they are both edible and highly productive, one can easily imagine how the idea of planting them for food came up. Maize can't reproduce itself, because its kernals are securely wrapped in the husk, so Indians must have developed it from some other species. But there are no wild species that resemble maize. Its closest genetic relative is a mountain grass called teosinte that looks strikingly different - for one thing, it "ears" are smaller than baby corn served in Chinese restaurants. No one eats teosinte, because it produces too little grain to be worth harvesting. In creating modern maize from this unpromising plant, Indians performed a feat so improbable that archaeologists and biologists have argued for decades over how it was achieved. Coupled with squash, beans, and avocados, maize provided Mesoamerica with a balanced diet, one arguably more nutritious than its Middle Eastern or Asian equivalent.

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