In the 1977 hit comedy Smokey and the Bandit, Big Enos (Pat McCormick) and Little Enos (Paul Williams) offer The Bandit (Burt Reynolds) $80,000 to drive from the Georgia State Truck Rodeo (Atlanta) to Texarkana in order to ‘bootleg’ 400 cases of Coors beer back in less than 28 hours.

Inspired, we sent two Metropolitan correspondents on a similar challenge; deliver four tubs of Hudsonville Blue Moon Ice Cream from Detroit to Birmingham, Alabama and return with four cases of Buffalo Rock Ginger Ale in under 18 hours. As we understand the importance of good snacks on any roadtrip, we threw in a few to help our team focus while putting the pedal to the metal.

The following is their story …


Friday, 6am | Mayorga Coffee

We got a long way to go and a short time to get there, so the morning began by filling vintage thermoses and travel mugs with plenty of Muy Macho, Muy Dark Roast, Mayorga Coffee Organic, sustainable, Muy Macho is a no nonsense, delicious dark roast; perfect for just such a challenge.

Muy Macho delivered dark, smooth, notes of chocolate while we spent the first 60 plus minutes stuck in gridlock – just south of Detroit – due to an accidente. Regardless, we were highly caffeinated and quite satisfied with this organic blend of Peruvian/Honduran, high grown, 100% Arabica roast.

According to Mayorga, “Lucha Libre” is the perfect balance of showmanship, flashiness, athleticism and entertainment. They love it so much they created their own character: MUY MACHO. Apparently, He is the toughest, strongest and most daring “Luchador” that ever lived! Well, consider our team part of the “Cult-like followers” who drink Muy Macho as part of their regular routine.




11am | Old Trapper Beef Jerky

After running the gauntlet of Ohio in record pace, we slammed straight into a nonsensical traffic jam – just north of Cincinnati – that bottlenecked into fewer and fewer lanes, eventually grinding us out on a bridge that delivered us like sludge into Kentucky.

We continued south up a blue hill where a water tower read Florence Y’all. Spent, we were in need of protein. My partner pulled out Old Trapper Beef Jerky and we made a meal of Old Fashioned and Teriyaki while we worked on making up some time. Unfortunately, my partner also had to use the restroom so we pulled over and headed up a trail.

I don’t know if Kentucky is known for bear but it sure looked like a Grizzly to me. Literally, caught with our pants down, I wasn’t sure if we should run, fight, or play dead. Fortunately, we had plenty of Jerky. The Grizzly’s nostrils flared the moment I opened the seal.  I took a step forward.

“What are you doing?” my partner asked.

“I’m going to give him a piece of Jerky,” I replied.

Taking a few steps closer I heard her whisper, “What if he wants two of them?”

Old Trapper is an essential summer snack for road trips, camping, days at the beach or lake and, as you can see, any time a satisfying snack is needed.



 3pm | Busch’s Kettle Chips (lightly salted)

In the mountains of Tennessee we picked up the Osborn Brothers picking’ and singin’, Rocky Top on the local AM radio station. Ain’t no smoggy smoke on Rocky Top, Ain’t no telephone bills …



But, there was Busch’s Kettle Chips and my partner had apparently opened a bag. Made in Michigan, these lightly salted chips are the product of Busch’s Fresh Food Market – established 1975. Great potato flavor, lightly salted (as advertised), and a delightful crunch. What more do you want in a chip?

Wild as a mink, but sweet as soda pop

I still dream about that.


Matthew considers his first taste of Blue Moon ice cream




5:45pm | Hudsonville Blue Moon Ice Cream

Our contact was a Deadhead. His wife, Michigan born and raised, made the move to Bama some time ago, and longed for a taste of home – Faygo Rock & Rye, Downey’s Potato Chips (until they removed the cute little leprechaun from the bag), and Blue Moon Ice Cream.

According to Hudsonville, Blue Moon is a Sweet, fruity, mystery … A creamy and smooth, mysterious flavor that was born in the state of Michigan.

While they do not provide the particulars of the recipe we thought we detected notes of Nutmeg, Almond Extract, and Citrus; all combining to produce a Space Age flavor that one might encounter on the Moon. Found only in Michigan and Wisconsin, thank House of Flavors  in Ludington, Michigan for making the prized ice cream Midwest famous.

Our contact, Matthew, opened the cooler immediately to check out the product and quickly engineered a single scoop, with sugar cone.

“You like the Dead?” he asked.

“Not really,” I said. ” I mean, I’m not too familiar with them.”

“Listen to this,” Matthew proceeded to a collection of vinyl, pulled an album from its sleeve, and carefully placed it on a record player. “American Beauty has to be the Dead’s best album.”

The music began.

Box of Rain,” he said. “It’s a good song, but the 5/9/77 live version of Music Never Stopped is what turned me into a Deadhead.”

“Really?” I said. “We’re in a bit of a hurry. If we could just grab the Buffalo Rock...”

Matthew was licking his cone and swaying a little to the music. I noticed some guy sitting quietly in the corner on a patio sofa, gazing into his hands waving slowly before him.

“This is great,” Matthew said. “You guys wanna cone?” He began scooping but then reached into his pocket.

“Here, try these,” Handing us a few rainbow teddybear gummies. “10/9/76 Franklin’s Tower is my favorite song, but let me be clear: I’m still looking for the best Franklin’s Tower.



Buffalo Rock Ginger Ale, Birmingham AL

We woke up to what smelled like fresh biscuits and sounded like ‘live’ Dead music. Country reggae, or something. We were indoors now,  shades and curtains drawn. Matthew produced our Buffalo Rock Ginger Ale, placing the cases before us in a reverential fashion.

Buffalo Rock is a product of Birmingham, Alabama, born in the basement of a grocer in the early 1900s. It is a southern, spicy, ginger ale, with few rivals. And, if you’ve had it, you know it’s quite worth the drive.

The soda has a deliciously sweet kick, flourishing for decades in a region known as the Deep South. In fact, it has earned the reputation of being one of the Deep South’s defining beverages. In recent years, Buffalo Rock has been used by bartenders to spice up handcrafted cocktails throughout the southeast, while becoming the root of Birmingham’s “Iron Fashioned” cocktail.

Works well with BBQ, ribs, pulled pork, smoked chicken, jerky, chips, and just about anything else that can handle its bite. Perhaps, not too surprisingly, this very publication wrote about the then hard-to-procure beverage years ago (while we were still in hardcopy).

Matthew pulled open the drapes. Blinding white light attacked our eyes. I thought I could see the fit silhouettes of a few hippy girls dancing outside in the yard.

“What time is it,” I asked?

“Nine ah clock,” he said.

Nine O’ clock? I struggled to work out the math.

“How bout’ some coffee and biscuits?” he asked.

“C’mon,” I said to my road partner. “We can still make it!” She grabbed two cases, I grabbed two cases; then discovered we were missing our shoes.

“They’re very good,” Matthew said. “I make them every Sunday morning.”

Wildflower seed on the sand and wind

May the four winds blow you home again …