Monday, March 26, 2007

A glorious day of sun, snow and soaking

Idaho never ceases to amaze me. Every turn of every corner one finds something different. This past weekend I traveled into the Krassel district, near Warm Lake. In the mountains where winter is trying to hold on tight while spring pushes through, the sun warms your skin. The roads were clear all the way to Mile 16 hot springs. I arrived to see a few people soaking, which is not uncommon. It gave me the opportunity to go for a small hike that was a few miles down the road.
During my hike I heard a choir of frogs and toads. I made my way down to the marshes along the South fork of the Salmon River. Nary a sight of the musical creatures was to be seen, but it was truly amazing. I then traversed back to the small pull out to enjoy my much anticipated soak.
The pool was freshly refilled, and was a perfect 104 degrees. Sitting a few feet above the river, Mile 16 offers breathtaking views of the Salmon River. (It is important to note that during winter months the drive can be quite treacherous, a 4x4 is highly advised. Also, spring run off can affect the pool. I visited last June to find the pool completely submerged, a first in my experience.)The pool is deep, covering most of your body while sitting. It is fed by a man made spout. There is plenty of room for your closest friends to enjoy. Swim suits are optional, but be aware that you can be seen from most of the trail. The river makes enough noise to hide footsteps coming down the trail. A serene soak in a majestic setting. What a wonderful way to spend my Saturday.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Outdoor Cooking

With backpacking season approaching, it's time to start thinking about food. What to bring is always a huge concern. There are so many things to ask yourself; Does this have enough calories? Does this have enough nutrition? Will this sustain me? How hard is it to put together? How about the weight? How difficult is it to make on the trail? Does this taste good? There are endless questions when it comes to prepping for your pack meals. I would like to share one of my favorite recipes that is a main staple on my pack trips. Everything is prepared before hand, placed in a freezer bag, and is ready to go! Just add hot water. I hope you enjoy!

Fiesta Taco
makes 2

hamburger 1/2 pound (aprox)
instant rice 1 cup divided
taco seasoning 2 - 3 tsp. or to taste
salt (to taste)
pepper (to taste)
tortillas - optional
freezer bags 2-1 quart
Heavy dut aluminum foil

You will need a dehydrator to prepare this.

*Brown hamburger until fully cookes. Rinse and rinse hamburger to remove as much grease as possible. Pat dry.
*Slice olives and dice onions. The amount you use will be to your liking.
Put hamburger, olives, and onions in dehydrator on seperate racks and dry until ready.
*In your freezer bags mix half the hamburger, olives, onions, seasonings, and rice. Voila! Your meal is prepped. Take the heavy duty foil and fold it into a pouch shape, making sure the edges are tight, leaving an opening at the top to slide in your freezer bag meal.
At camp, boil water, about 1 - 1 1/2 cups
*Place freezer bag meal inside foil pouch and pour in boiling water. Close freezer bag and fold over top of foil pouch. Give everything a good squish around to mix. Let it sit for about 10 min, then you're ready to eat. You can scoop the mixture into tortillas if you like. I usually just eat as is. The foil pouches can be reused many times. When you're done with it just fold it back up and put with your food items.

I hope you all enjoy this. I will be sharing recipes that I have tested throughout this blog, and encourage all of us to share and share alike.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Day hike at Juniper Gulch, OR

An enjoyable day hike to start off the season can be found at Juniper Gulch in southeast Oregon by lake Owyhee, just before Leslie Gulch. Sandy trails, breathtaking rock formations, sage brush, and the occasional pine tree greet the senses. The hike is set in the gulch, with rock cliffs towering above your head. As you gaze around, soaking up the scenery on this short hike (aprox 3.5 mi) you'll notice a multitude of holes in the rocks where bats, birds, and other critters call home. My personal notes for this trip: make sure to stay hydrated. Although the hike isn't strenous you are in the desert, summer months are especially hot with out much shade. The answer to every woman's questions...yes, there are restroom facilities. A semi-well ventilated out house is at the trailhead. Also, make sure your camera is handy. You won't want to miss a thing!