So as I like to do from time to time, I just spent the better part of 10 days in and out of the prairies, mountains, plains and forests of the upper Midwest and West. On the way to and from, while criss-crossing some of the most lonely and desolate back roads available anywhere (mostly in South Dakota, North Dakota and eastern Montana) I learned one very interesting thing...you can get espresso damned near anywhere in America.
It really was amazing -- some of the most rural "towns" (and the quotations are because the "towns" were nothing more than two buildings a flag pole and a post office) had drive-through espresso booths. Sure, some of them were modified 1970s Winnebagos but if it wasn't a freestanding booth, the town cafe or saloon has recently painted "espresso" on their sign right under "Cheap Beer, Lousy Food" or "Git Yer Viddles Here" or wherever it would fit.
I wonder...who the hell drinks all that espresso out there?!?
Towards the end of my trip, I was wishing I had jotted these down -- places with populations under 100 had sources of espresso. Every town I would pass through, and nowhere near an interstate. Just about the only place that DIDN'T have espresso available was a place called Sumatra (Montana). Go figure.
Anyway -- rural America is still alive and well up in those parts...it's just a little more hopped up than days gone by.