Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Caught up together with them in the clouds

So I ended up going to Yosemite with Jeff, Ian, and Greg this weekend, and that turned out to be a very good idea. I discovered on Yosemite National Park's twitter feed that Tioga Road, which winds its way through the park and had been closed due to an early snowstorm, opened up on Thursday, just about 24 hours before we left for Yosemite. As much as I resist Twitter, it turns out that Yosemite's twitter feed is actually a lot more useful than its labyrinthine website as far as getting information about what is happening in Yosemite National Park goes. Anyway, as a result of the flurries, I think the trail to Clouds Rest ended up being a little less crowded than it otherwise would be--we were the only ones at our campsite in the wilderness, which was nestled by a gorgeous, perfectly still lake. Crisp air, a slight chill, pine needles, a hint of melting snow, the perfect autumn camping trip.
Clouds Rest itself was stunning; approaching it from the north and then walking along the last ridge to the summit it truly feels as if you're just stepping into the clear sky and hovering over Yosemite Valley. Of course, it's always better to be looking at Half Dome than to be on Half Dome, so I'm not quite sure why everybody seems to flock to that well-worn trail out of the valley in the summertime (since I did it last summer, you would think I would have some insight here, but no).
I was also in charge of camp cooking, which I have always really enjoyed, and which I'm always experimenting with. To go along with the autumn weather, this time we had black bean fajitas, guacamole bagels, magic oatmeal, and vegetable soup. Okay, guacamole bagels don't exactly say "autumn", but they're one of my favorite camping foods.

I have a lot to say about how Ad Hoc At Home is a life-changing cookbook and how it teaches you techniques and ideas instead of recipes. Suffice to say that if not for buying Ad Hoc At Home, I would not think to bring cooked quinoa and bright green vegetables that I blanched at home into the wilderness for some soup over a backpacking stove. If Thomas Keller wrote a recipe for Bear Canister Vegetable Garbure, it would probably be something like the one I made. Well, he probably would have figured out some way to utilize homemade stock and fortify it with caramelized vegetables, but he's also the one who has opened five restaurants and written five cookbooks.

No comments:

Post a Comment