Friday, October 24, 2008
One of the biggest questions you may face is, "Where should we go?" We are blessed to live in Central Washington. There are camping opportunities all around us. There are at least 4 nearby mountain passes (all within an hour's drive) with numerous campgrounds, and I can think of 4 other nearby areas where there is camping and some campgrounds.
First thing to do: Ask around. Find out where others' enjoy camping. Be sure to ask about the facilities, and what they do while they are camping. I know of a campground that is right on the Columbia River, but it is really meant for people with some sort of watercraft, so it's not an ideal spot for us.
Second thing to do: Look online. Check out ReserveAmerica.com, but remember they don't cover many great US Forest Service Campgrounds. So check out your local Forest Service website. For us, I check the Naches Ranger District site, to find out about burn bans, campground closures, and trail information.
Last, once you have some ideas of where you'd like to camp, take a day trip. Pack a picnic lunch, pile everyone into your vehicle and spend a Saturday or Sunday at the spot you are considering. Many have day parking for a small fee, others have parking nearby, and some may require you to purchase one night. Still a $10 fee to spend the day and decide if you would enjoy a weekend there is much better than spending $20 or $30 to camp during the weekend, and leaving because you are miserable.
Our camping trip this weekend, is now a day trip. As my header explains, it is never dull around here. Our house has been pretty crazy the last 2 weeks, and we have not had time to pack, nor have we found firewood. It is also opening weekend of elk hunting. While there are many responsible hunters out there, there are also some irresponsible ones. Just yesterday, a friend told us that he was up near Ellensburg, WA and there was a truck being driven by two women. There were two men in the back. One guy had a beer in one hand, and his firearm in the other. It was 10 a.m. That is scary! So this weekend, we will take the Jeep up Chinook Pass and go up Raven's Roost. It's a great spot where you can see for miles you are up so high. We'll have some lunch and head back home.
Camp Steaks, Who says you can't eat gourmet on a camping trip?
2 Steaks (I love rib steak or t-bone, Dana prefers sirloin tip)
Marinade (recipe below)
Marinade: Worschestire Sauce, 1 or 2 garlic cloves, red pepper flakes, seasoning salt. Chop up the garlic, use enough worschestire to coat the steaks thoroughly, add just a bit of the red pepper flakes, and about a teaspoon of seasoning salt.
Marinate your steaks in a plastic food storage bag for at least 6-8 hours. One easy thing to do is to put them in to the marinade at home, and just pack the plastic bag.
Cook your steaks on the grill to desired doneness. If you don't have a grill and are using a camp stove, you can buy a griddle that has a grill top and that works well too.
Thinly slice your pepper, onion and mushrooms. If using a stove, saute, if using your grill put them in foil with some butter and cook on the grill.
When steaks reach the desired doneness, top with the veggies and enjoy! These are great served with potatoes baked over the fire!