The Future Home of Iditarod Dreams: Pandemonium and Home Depot


Going to college in the Pacific Northwest and practically cutting my teeth in the music world in Seattle in the height of the Grunge Movement I have had my share of great coffee. I have been to the original Starbucks coffee cafe and every mom and pop joint from Beaverton to Key West. I am always looking for just that great cup of Joe that will keep me coming back for more.

I will admit that there is some comfort in knowing that a mega-coffee chain is in your “backyard” sort of like many kids (and parents alike) want to know what fast food places are in the new town that they are moving too. I for one cant stand Mickey D’s and paraphrasing from comedian and Radio God Adam Carolla: we are a nation of fat people and are making our kids weak because kids can no longer pick on the fat kid. For God’s sake they have apples in McDonalds. If I went into a McDonalds when I was a kid I would have had a meltdown kicking and screaming.

Yesterday as I was heading to Home Depot to price out roofing materials for the house I found the Holy Grail of coffee (at least in my opinion) it is called Pandemonium Bookstore and Cafe. They even have Sockeye salmon in the outdoor seating area and I think it has a saddle on it! I ordered a Turtle Latte and was expecting the typical white coffee cup with one of those sissy cardboard sleeves on it. I just have to ask: do places actually make the coffee so hot that someone sued someplace because of it?

The barista gave me one of those little number thingy’s that you set on your table while they prepare your coffee and I headed to a table to wait. When the waitress arrived my drink was in one of those coffee cups like you used to see on the TV show Friend’s (think HUGE fishbowl size), I took one sip and could not believe what my taste buds were experiencing. It was chocolate decadence with a hint of vanilla and a splash of carmel. It was the best D*mn cup of coffee I have had in my life and I almost experienced a moment like on that Meg Ryan movie: When Harry met Sally, well not quite but it was close to those Herbal Essences shampoo commercials anyway.

What do they say on those Folger’s commercials: Good to the Last Drop? With this cup of Joe I could practically lick the cup like little kids do the spoon when mommy is making brownies.

After my caffeine bliss started to set in I headed over across the parking lot to the Home Depot and took Raegan in with me. It was her first trip to the Mega-Lo-Mart that you can practically get lost in. By the way do you remember the old school Bevis and Butthead shows with Mr. Anderson (that soon got his own show as Hank Hill in King of the Hill), the episode I am thinking had something to do with toilet tissue. What a riot!

We priced out steel roofing panels. Way expensive and they no longer make red, and picked up a couple of things including some green paint to paint my dog houses and then headed home.

In the evening it was another night running dogs in the cool night air on some of the best trails I have ever seen and of course I was still zooming from the caffeine kick from hours before. What a treat!

I welcome your comments and suggestions. Please comment below.

Robert Forto | Team Ineka | Alaska Dog Works | Mushing Radio


Robert Forto is the host of The Dog Works Radio Show and is the training director of Alaska Dog Works. Robert Forto can be reached through his website at