[Pictured above: "Tandy," the Hinton Family Headquarters]
In May of 2019 the Hinton family sold it all in exchange for an RV to travel the Red, White, and Blue in her entirety, mile by mile, from roadside attraction to National Park, and back again. After downsizing to fuel a life of big adventure, they journeyed from the White Mountains to the Grand Canyon, into valleys and caverns and across the Canadian border. Righteous Felon airdropped these legends a care-package of culinary contraband along the way. At this journey’s close, we check in with Chris Hinton, commander-and-chief of Hinton the Trail.
Chris, at long last your epic journey is done! Congrats on selling the RV and finishing strong. For those of us looking to take life by the horns and live the nomadic life like you and your family did for three years, can you share a few tips?
Thank you, that last three years have been amazing and living a nomadic life gave us experiences we wouldn’t have had otherwise. If someone wants to hit the trail and live life with new views every few weeks then the first tip I have is take it slow. Give yourself enough time in a place to really explore it. You’ll quickly learn what places speak to you and which ones don’t. The next tip is don’t be afraid to leave. If you don’t like where you’re at, move.
The last tip is this. Whether you want to live a nomadic life or not, do it on your terms. It’s harder for life to kick you in the nuts when you’re riding on its back. Grab it by the horns and steer it where you want to go.
[Pictured above: Chris Hinton, Captain of the USS Tandy & Chief Operating Officer of Hinton the Trail, getting his hands dirty with Righteous Felons]
As peddlers of world’s MOST WANTED jerky, the perps of Righteous Felon fancy themselves foodies of the highest order. Any under-the-radar dives or hidden drive-thru gems along the interstate you’ll never forget?
I could go on for days about food experiences we’ve had over our three years of travel but there are a few that instantly come to mind. Best BBQ you’ll ever have, DB’s Rustic Iron BBQ in the eccentric town of Terlingua, Texas. Mouthwatering, fall off the bone BBQ that you have to get there early for. Once he sells out he doesn’t make more!
If you want to experience real Cuban food, and bread that uses lard as an ingredient, then head to Key West and El Siboney. When you see the locals filling a place up day after day you know it’s going to be good. Get the Siboney Steak with rice and beans and your life will be forever better.
If you’re more in to burgers, but want to keep things spicy with a hint of outlaw lore, then take the Billy the Kid scenic byway in New Mexico to the small town of Capitan.. Saunter in to the Oso Grill and order their award winning green chili cheeseburger.
My family loves Mexican food and we’ve been to countless restaurants, but the one that always comes to mind is La Casita de Cortez in Cortez, Colorado. Order the carne asada tacos and a Cadillac Margarita and get right with the world.
If you can’t tell, the places that stick out the most are the ones that you have to seek out. Food just seems to taste better when it’s part of an adventure.
[Pictured above: The contraband reached its receiver unscathed. Jerky, meat Tandy. Tandy, meat Jerky!]
When we established contact with Team Hinton, it became imperative to get you a Righteous Felon Sampler, for a high-protein, low-in-sugar road trip snack. What RF flavor was your favorite, and which flavor that we don’t yet make should we have our R&D department whip up?
I am literally sitting here eating Habanero Escobar while answering these and it’s freaking delicious, but I think my overall favorite right now is The Darth Garlic Biltong. The texture of the biltong is like nothing else on the market and the flavor is awesome.
I'm going to preface our idea for a RF jerky flavor with the fact that our son has never had a drop of alcohol but he has been to multiple locations where we've sampled things . . . like rum. His idea for a flavor is inspired by pirates so here goes. Make a "Rum Runner Biltong" using rum with a sweetener and then some spice to give it a kick. He's a good kid!
[Click Above to watch the Chaos Unfold]
When you shared your Voodoo Chile video (linked above) with us, it inspired our upcoming Voodoo Chile Challenge, where culprits who can down an entire two-ouncer of Voodoo in under 60 seconds will get Righteous Rewards points for FREE jerky. Any advice you want to impart on the brave souls who sign up for this suicide mission?
This is so cool and we can’t wait to see people take the challenge. If this was for regular cookie cutter beef jerky I’d say the reward might not be worth the pain, but Righteous Felon is not average jerky. If you’re doing the challenge then take a page out of my son Corbin’s book and get a glass of milk, you’re gonna need it!
[Pictured above: Corbin "Have No Mercy" Hinton's Infamous Glass of Milk]
What is it about beef jerky that makes it the last word in behind-the-wheel snacks? Was there a site along your journey that made you think to yourself, “A bag of Righteous Felon O.G. Hickory would pair perfectly with this . . . ?”
Jerky has always been a staple on our road trips. It’s easy to find, you don’t have to keep it cold, you can reseal it, and it’s lean so you’re filling up on protein and not a ton of carbs.
I’m not sure if there is really just one trigger for my need to eat some Righteous Felon…but many times when we passed a cattle ranch I’d find myself reaching for a bag of it.
Before we head out, tell us what’s in store for the future. Rumor has it you’re embarking on an Appalachian Trail trek. What are the details? The boys in shipping tell me there’s an RF Sampler with your name on it for your next adventure!
Hiking the Appalachian Trail has been a dream of mine since I was a kid. I’m not getting any younger and every year the dream seems further and further away from achievable so now’s the time to do something about it. Suzannah is 100% supportive of me doing the AT so it’s finally going to happen. A buddy of mine is all in as well and we’ll be starting in late February 2023. I’ve never done any long-distance hiking and as of a few months ago had no gear. The pieces have been coming together though and I can’t wait to get on the trail.
I’ll be sharing all of my experiences, from planning to gear selection, to my journey along the trail, on YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook under the name Tracking Hopper. Watching a complete novice try to conquer the world’s longest hiking only footpath at 46-years of age should make for good content.
Thanks for your time, Chris. Keep your eyes on the trail, brother, may the wind be at your back, and of course . . . Stay Righteous!
[Pictured above: Tandy, beside Mando the trusty Truck!]