Monday, February 20, 2012

Welcome to Death Valley

Just stuffed a load of bike clothes into the washer and hit Power Wash. Now there's time to look back on the past week in Death Valley. A recap of logistics:

  1. Friday, stuffed camping and bike gear into panniers and rode 50 miles south. Left in garage of another rider, whom I had never met. Rode 2 buses home.
  2. Flew to Las Vegas Sat am. Took taxi to strip, then bus 21 miles north to a casino in North Las Vegas. Mike and Scott arrive at 2:30pm.
  3. Scott drove 2.5 hours east to DV. Arrived at campground and set up tent just at dusk. Reunited with bike and gear.
All this to avoid I-5 and the scene of the accident. Just couldn't do it. If I'm hurt again I don't know how to dig myself out.

Thankfully, Mike and Scott are driving 13 hours from the Denver area to Death Valley and agreed to pick me up. They are great company, very funny and warm. I am lucky.

Coming into the park at dusk, again there is that lucky feeling. The mountains and rock outcroppings around our campground are colored pink. The dry air is warm and cool at the same time. It's good to breathe. Sometimes you have to go away to feel at home.

Most other tents are already up; we find 3 sites, set up, and head to dinner. There are introductions, and the week of adventures in front of us. Besides us there are riders from Marin, Berkeley Davis, Oregon. Life is good.

I'm also looking forward to a week of no cooking! And dry backpacking food this is not. Here are the menus:

DINNER ONE- Feb. 11th.

THREE CHEESE BALLS- blue cheese, feta, parmesan, walnuts. With crackers and grapes.
MAGRUDER BEEF STEW-  local beef, with carrots, potatoes, onions, stewed tomatoes, garlic, thyme, red wine, salt, pepper, bay leaf, parsley.
GARDEN GREEN SALAD- salad mix, cucumbers, purple and green cabbage, grated carrots.
BALSAMIC VINAIGRETTE- olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, garlic, tarragon, dill.
FREY RANCH BREAD- made with local Frey Ranch wheat.
ROSEMARY GARLIC BUTTER- butter, rosemary, olive  oil, garlic, salt. 
APPLE COBBLER- with Frey apples, and an oat streusel topping. Gluten free.
VANILLA CREAM- whipped cream, vanilla, sugar.
 
DINNER TWO- Feb. 12th.
 
TAMALES-  Choice of chicken, pork, veggie. Served with sour cream, cilantro, shredded cheese.
GUACAMOLE- avocados, tomato, onion, garlic, lime juice, salt, cilantro.
SALSA MEXICANA- tomato, onion, jalapeno, cilantro, lemon juice, garlic, salt.
WHITE BEAN SOUP WITH KALE & CARROTS- white beans, stock, garlic, cumin, kale, carrots, onions, celery,  red pepper, salt, pepper.
GARDEN GREEN SALAD AND BALSAMIC VINAIGRETTE
FLOSSIE’S CHOCOLATE CAKE WITH CRÈME FRAICHE- sour cream, whipped cream, sugar.
 
DINNER THREE- Feb. 13th.
 
BURRITO BAR- with tortilla chips, and fresh salsa. With grated cheese and sour cream.
SALSA- tomato, onion, jalapeno, cilantro, lemon juice, salt.
MEXICANA HAMBURGUESA- Local grass fed hamburger, cilantro, Chile powder, onions, garlic, cayenne, salt.
PINTO BEANS- salt, pepper, olive oil, garlic, herbs.
MEXICAN RICE- rice, onion, tomato, garlic, olive oil, parsley, salt.
COLE SLAW WITH BALSAMIC VINAIGRETTE
APPLE PIES WITH MAPLE CREAM-  with cinnamon, cardamom, lemon peel. Topped with:
MAPLE CREAM- whipped cream, vanilla, maple syrup.
 
DINNER FOUR- Feb. 14th. VALENTINES DAY!!!! 
 
APPS. Fine cheeses, crackers, fruit, olives, tamari almonds.
CHICKEN CACCIATORE- chicken, marinara, black olives, various peppers, onions, Italian seasoning, garlic, rosemary, bay, salt, pepper.
ITALIAN POLENTA- with leeks, green beans, fresh tomato and Parmesan garnish. 
Polenta, onion, fennel seed, tarragon, salt, pepper, olive oil.
SALAD WITH BALSAMIC VINEAIGRETTE AND BLUE CHEESE.
FREY BREADS WITH ROSEMARY GARLIC BUTTER
DEVILS FOOD CAKE WITH CHOCOLATE GANACH
CHOCOLATE VALENTINE HEARTS! WITH DESSERT WINE!! WE LOVE YOU!
 
DINNER FIVE- Feb. 15th.
 
CURRIED FISH STEW
White fish, sweet potatoes, turnips, potatoes, celery, seaweed, golden beets, rutabaga, kale, leeks, curry powder, ginger, garlic, coconut milk, coconut oil, salt, pepper. With toasted coconut and pumpkin seed garnish.
COCONUT ORANGE QUINOA-  quinoa, coconut oil, orange zest, salt, pepper, parsley, scallion, spinach.
CARROT BEET SALAD WITH LEMON DILL DRESSING AND TOASTED ALMONDS.
BREAD AND ROSEMARY GARLIC BUTTER
CHOCOLATE BARS AND FRUIT
 
DINNER SIX- Feb. 16th.
 
SPAGHETTI AND MEAT BALLS- meatballs- local hamburger, onions, garlic, Italian seasoning, olive oil. 
Marinara, onions, mushrooms, peppers, zucchini, eggplant, garlic, olive oil, parsley. Asiago or Rumano.
FETTUCCINE PASTA- olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, parsley.
FREY RANCH PESTO
GARDEN SALAD WITH BALSAMIC VINAIGRETTE
CITRUS POPPY SEED CAKE WITH VANILLA CREAM CHEESE ICING.

DINNER SEVEN- Feb. 17th.
 
GERMAN SAUSAGES- sausage, fennel, peppers, onion, cabbage, apples.
Sauerkraut, cayenne.
SPINACH FETA POTATOES- with garlic, potatoes, spinach, feta, milk, butter, salt, pepper.
GERMAN CABBAGE SALAD- with dill dressing and grated carrots, and celery.
COOKIES AND ICE CREAM!!!!! 

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