In what could be called the most original ad campaign, Oscar Mayer is sponsoring the cross-country trip of comedian and actor Josh Sankey...using only bacon as currency.
Sankey has so far traveled from New York (where he bartered his way to Jets tickets) to Illionois in a trailer along with 3,000 pounds of Oscar Mayer's new Butcher Thick Cut bacon, which he calls his "wing man."
HuffPost Travel caught up with him on Saturday after he spent the night in Chicago's Bucktown neighborhood at the local firehouse (engine company 35, truck 28).
Follow his journey on Twitter @baconbarter.
Huffington Post Travel: So where are you and what are you doing?
Josh Sankey: I crashed at a firehouse in Bucktown in Chicago last night for 150 bricks of bacon. Tony, from the firehouse here, is a huge bacon fan and he Tweeted at us to come meet up. I bartered for pillows and sheets--they weren't giving up easy. I was up with the guys talking and then we went on call. We cooked up a big breakfast with the bacon and I just climbed up one of those 100 foot extension ladders and my heart is pounding. Today we'll be in Chicago--we definitely wanted to hit up Chicago--and we're getting blasted with offers so we'll see where we end up.
HPT: How has the trip been so far?
JS: It's been great. I'm becoming friends with these people. It's really an eye-opening experience. There's so many genuine people out there and there is so much heart and sweetness in America.
HPT: What's you're ultimate goal?
JS: Kevin, the guy in Louisville, got a permanent tattoo, so I have to up the ante. We're already upgrading--I was on couches and now I just had a bed. I'm thinking the ultimate would be a suite, being shown the town, taking in a great show somewhere...We definitely want to do it up in Vegas.
HPT: What's been the most interesting thing you've learned so far?
JS: I love traveling. It'll be 10 years in October that I quit my day job and started zigzagging across the country doing comedy. I'm back on the road in my element. On a human level, there is so much perceived cynicism and negativity in the media and elsewhere but I'm having a great time. There is such a community, a heartbeat to America that you just don't get to see unless you're on the road and I'm experiencing it first hand.
All photos courtesy of Bacon Barter/Oscar Mayer.
In West Virginia, sitting over a campfire at night.
With Kevin aka the permanent tattoo guy in Louisville, Kentucky.
Bartering in New York.