We're heading to Colorado on Friday morning for some hiking/climbing in the Buena Vista area. Fourteerners, here we come with the girls!!
We're renting a cabin this year, which will make my food issues of the past virtually disappear. We still have to take some and cook some, but it won't be "camping style" with the Jetboil, Coleman stove, and such. We can come down off the trail, shower, put on the girls' food, and cook and eat a real meal in our own little cabin. This will make all the hard work worth all the while.
And I get to eat real sandwiches this year. No more sweet bar after sweet bar after sweet bar while on the trail. Now, I love my sweets, but when you're working your body really hard, carrying a heavy pack, walking and climbing uphill for miles, you just get to where you dread another sweet granola or protein bar. you want something you can sink your teeth into. About a week back, we discovered Udi's Whole Grain Bread which our Plano Whole Foods market now carries.
"Eh, let's give it a try," I said. "If it sucks, we can compost it."
Ha! It's sooo good!! It will never seee the inside of our composter. Even J is going to be eating Udi's bread this trip. Of course, he'll pack his with turkey and stuff, I'll just do sliced cheese. I thought I'd have to be baking wrap bread for us, but Udi saved the day.
We're bringing along muesli with fruit and yogurt for our breakfasts; snacks and the sandwich stuff for the trail; veggie/tempeh chili, arepas, and salad fixings for dinner. We'll probably sleep in a little on Saturday morning and allow ourselves to adjust to the altitude. Neither one of us has ever had problems with it, but we like to take it slower on our first day (J's got an "easy" 8-mile hike to some mining cabin planned) and ease ourselves into the 7-8,000 elevation gain from Dallas. So, I'll probably bring along enough scone mix to whip up a quick batch. Or maybe we'll make pancakes. That'll be our one relaxed breakfast that we get to eat in the cabin; the rest will be eaten early mornings at the trailheads. Gotta hit the mountains early to make the summits before the early afternoon thunderstorms.
Even if we don't make any summits, we'll still see incredible things. Last year we got a late start on Mt. Belford and got rained off at about 13,000 feet. Some hikers we met on their way down told us about these little mountain orchids , fairy slippers (Calypso bulbosa), that they'd seen somewhere in the saddle between some of the fairly close peaks. We were so disappointed that we wouldn't see them but the lightning was a pretty diligent taskmaster at getting us down the mountain. I had thoughts of tossing my hiking poles lest they become lightning rods -- but we made it. But we did see them hiking down from the Maroon Bells trail on our last hike last year. Incredibly beautiful little orchids. I tried to take a few photos of them last year, but they turned out blurry. Maybe this year we'll see them again.
My favorite alpine flower is the pipsissewa (Chimaphila umbellata). Most people miss it because it grows a bit away from the main trails, usually in shady, moist areas. The tiny white or light pink blossoms are so sweetly fragrant that I wish I could bottle the scent. We look for them every year.
Most likely won't be posting till after our trip, but hope to have some great photos to put up then. Meanwhile, I'm off to munch on my delicious breakfast scones, courtesy of Pamela's Baking mix (and basic scone recipe) mixed with Bob's Red Mill Biscuit mix. I use about 1 1/2 cups Pamela's, 3/4 c Bob's, 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder, cut the sugar waaay down to about 1 tablespoon, grate in 5 tablespoons frozen butter, stir in a good 2/3 cup icy cold coconut milk mixed with an egg, toss in a handful of dried cherries, shape (drop by large tablespoon and ever so slightly flatten) and bake for about 22 minutes at 375 F. Makes about 8, which means 2 for me, 2 for J, and 2 each in the toaster tomorrow morning.
Ta....and enjoy your brekkie.