Okay, it wasn't exactly Jack London, or camping at altitude in the Himalayas, but there were some tense moments during our overnight camping trip July 4th which we used as a method to get our poor dogs as far away from fireworks trauma as possible. There was that moment where I was frozen in fear that I had left my can opener at home (luckily my man K had a backup). Then the terror that took hold when I couldn't find the corkscrew to open that 2002 Cali Cab. When I did manage to dig it out of the glove box of my car, the collective sigh of relief was probably heard around the campground! Such was just a sampling of the drama during our "adventure" to the beautiful, and easily accessible from Portland, Paradise Creek campground in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest.
My oft-repeated mantra is "just because one is staying in the wild doesn't mean one has to become wild". Luckily my friend Denise believes this as well (much to the consternation of our respective spouses K & w, who both have to keep telling us...repeatedly..."we're just going away for one night, you know"). This trip it all came together for everyone I think, starting when, after setting up our "base camp", K made a batch of his refreshing Manhattans (left in process and below right two happy campers, k on left, moi on right) which immediately made me feel more in touch with nature. That was followed by some delicious artisan cheeses, some foie gras that I had brought back from France a couple of years ago (which makes this my response to the foie gras protesters mentioned in yesterday's post), more cocktails and wine, then the piéce de resistance, thick NY Steaks grilled over the campfire with grilled fresh ears of corn. And luckily I managed to save enough foie to smear a nice thick slice over the tops of the steaks. Decadence you are my mine! Steak and foie.....so wrong and yet SO right! Washed down with several glasses of red (and the 2002 Alexander Valley Vineyards "Estate" Cabernet was drinking perfectly), calling this satisfying doesn't even come close. And don't tell me we weren't roughing it. Did you notice we were eating off of paper plates?!