Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Roughing it!

There's nothing like a getaway to the great outdoors to instill that sense of awe at the wonders of nature. Even if that getaway includes sleeping in the comfort of my beloved '71 Silver Streak "Sabre" trailer at a crowded Detroit Lake State Park last Sat-Tues. We did have all the requisite elements in place: great hikes, campfires, water view, and of course loads of refreshing adult beverages and some killer camp grub.

Lakeside living in the Streak!

Our first dinner at DLSP was a much anticipated, perfectly red/pink piece of wild chinook salmon w bought and I was dying to cook over an open fire. Nothing better. Simply drizzled with olive oil, a sprinkling of salt and pepper, a side of salad and rice, washed down with a perfect bottle of 2002 Westrey Wine Co. "Willamette Valley" Pinot Noir. I did say roughing it, right?

Salmon-ey goodness, hot off the fire!

Day two brought on some outdoor activity involving a 3-mile hike up to Dome Rock for some awesome views of the surrounding central Cascades.

w soaking in the view at the top of Dome Rock while Chops rests for the trek back down.

That of course was a prelude to an oh-so-refreshing Negroni back at camp, which was itself a prelude to a fantastic dinner to follow. While we were prepping our palates with some cheese and a couple of glasses of Provençal rosé, I prepped a couple of grass finished New York strips we'd picked up from a vendor at our local farmer's market. w meanwhile got busy with what I thought was the highlight of our meal, and is my new camp fave food, a foil pack filled with chopped potatoes, garlic, carrots, a couple of sprigs of fresh thyme, a quick drizz of olive oil, s&p, thrown into the coals of the campfire to steam together for about 25 minutes. Wow! I know it's kind of standard camp fare that you cab adapt almost any root veggie to, but it was new to me and it's got me thinking of all kinds of possibilities for a simple steamed dinner or side. The steaks were perfect, and washed down with my new favorite wine in the world, a 2000 Mastroberardino "Radici-Taurasi", which is a 100% aglianico from Italy's Campania region. This is some seriously stunning juice. I would love to throw this bad boy into a tasting of top flight Bordeaux and watch people be amazed.

Dinner is served!

I've heard that great effort gives great reward. Well, you can bet after day three's 11-fucking-mile hike, I was ready to be rewarded back at camp. Although I have to say that at the top of this in-and-out hike was the almost out-of-this-world scenic beauty that is Jefferson Park. The hike starts at about 4000' feet and climbs to almost 6000' elevation in about 5.2 miles. Not a difficult hike, but long and dusty. Once at the top though, with 10,500 foot Mount Jefferson looming right above you, beautiful flower filled meadows stretching for acres all around, and hidden lakes peeking though the trees, it is absolutely breathtaking.

Meadows and lakes at Jefferson Park....crazy beautiful!

Of course, then there's the walk back down, which we were so done with after about two miles. Unfortunately, we still had three more to go. We kept the complaining to a minimum...sort of...and I kept the motivating vision of ice cold beers back at the trailer foremost in my head. Plus, I had Marcella's perfect spaghetti alla carbonara all prepped and ready for cooking. After getting my equilibrium back with a couple of coldies, we wolfed down some quick, grilled roasted peppers, devoured the carbonara, and absolutely tumbled into bed.

Peppers coming out and carbonara coming up!

A great trip was had by all, Chopper admirably, if futilely, let the squirrels in camp know he was on patrol, and the trailer was, as always, the perfect cozy cabin!

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