Carla Jean Lauter

The Beer Babe

Portland to Portland

12:30 am, Portland, ME : Stepping onto my front step, I felt the sea air of my Portland – laden with warmth and moisture – greet me, and simultaneously bid me farewell. I walked the few steps to my car in silence, still a little in denial about the trip ahead. Do I have everything? Will my beer survive the journey? Will I be able to participate in today’s activities considering the “all nighter” I’m about to pull? Time will tell. I hoisted my suitcase into my car and drove off into the night air.

“Say goodbye know it’s true, I know you’re leaving me, but you know it too…”

2:50 am, Portsmouth, NH: I smile as I tell the bus attendant which airline I am flying, and cling protectively to my boarding documents. There was no sleep to be had in the terminal, so I decided to wait for the relatively increased comfort of the bus to lull me into dreamland. The bus is half full, even at 3am. I wonder where their adventures are taking them.

4:15 am, Boston, MA: I wake up with a start, seemingly only minutes after my head hit the chair and I was out. Now I am awake, and fumbling to get my fingers and body to obey my early-morning commands. I see a faint light on the horizon. Pre-dawn.

“waitin’ on a train…feelin near as faded as my jeans..”

6:02 am, Boston, MA: I make my way to the back of the plane that will take me to the other coast. An adorable Korean 6 year old sits next to me, beaming as she figures out how to buckle and unbuckle her seatbelt. “It’s an alligator!” she exclaims while opening and closing the clip. I smile.

9:41 am, Somewhere over the Midwest: I awake from sleep that’s made my neck feel like it has a permanent bend in it, and I open the window halfway and watch the sun start to light up the clouds. I catch my reflection and realize that my hair looks like hell but I laugh. I am getting an opportunity to see old friends and new friends and if they are concerned about my travel-worn appearance, I’d be seriously surprised. This is an adventure after all.

“I’m flying over back roads, country homes and ranches, watching life between the branches below…”

3:10 pm, Portland, OR: Flying over golden hills, the plane gently touches down in Portland, Oregon. Can’t wait for the adventure ahead.

Posts as they happen and as they are remembered… all conference.


Firestone Walker – Double Jack (Double IPA)


Growing Craft Beer


  1. We did this in reverse a couple months back. Left PDX at 4am local time (1am Portland, ME time) and arrived I think around noon in Maine. We were eating lunch in O’Hare at nine am local time.

    But still, it’s cool to say you went Portland to Portland.

  2. And I complained about the traffic on I-5 yesterday! Silly me.
    Glad you are here

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