Wednesday, June 18th, to Saturday, June 21, 2014, I enjoyed camping with my brothers, brother-in-law, and a family friend, at little-known Jerseydale campground, near Yosemite National Park, in rural Mariposa County.
Photo: Wednesday, June 18, 2014, Greg and Michael look on, as Dan cooks the stir-fry vegetables and meat for tonight's dinner. Dan is a gracious host, and an outstanding camping cook. We stayed at Jerseydale campground for three nights, so we really had a chance to set things up. Jerseydale is a little-known campground in Mariposa County, so perhaps I'm doing a bad thing by publishing this adventure.
Photo: Tonight's dinner: Tacos! Steak, stir-fried veggies, camp-made guacamole, over a grilled flour tortilla. Quite a feast for a Wednesday evening dinner in Mariposa County!
Photo: Thursday, June 19, 2014, we decided to take a trip up the Bull Creek Road, but it's know to the locals as the "Burma Road" due to the steep grades, rough terrain, and sharp curves. We took my truck on this road, as it definitely requires high clearance, and four wheel drive. Photo shows Briceburg, the Merced River, and California Highway 140. Quite a view from this location!
Photo: Later in the day, we took a tour of Yosemite National Park, and photographed iconic Yosemite Falls. 2014 has been the driest year since records have been kept, so Yosemite Creek looks like late October, rather than early June. To be honest, I was surprised that the falls actually were flowing...
Photo: Dan makes stir fry dinner for tonight, on his propane-fired wok. Tonight's dinner was stir fried veggies, and sausage, which we made for tacos. Dan toasted tortillas on his griddle, over the propane-fired cooker.
Photo: My dinner was good! Two tacos using toasted flour tortillas, grilled sausage, salsa, camp-made salsa, shredded cheese, sour cream and a lot more. Delicious! Dan Weir is an excellent campfire cook!
Photo: Friday, June 20, 2012, we enjoyed breakfast at Pete's Place, in Oakhurst. Eggs cooked to order, sausage, biscuits and gravy, what could be a better breakfast?
Photo: After breakfast, we elected to ride the Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad, which is a historic railroad in the mountains, east of Oakhurst. Engine Number 10, a narrow gauge Shay, blows off steam, as she pulls our train up the mountain. Number 10 is a veteran of the long-defunct Westside Lumber Company.
Photo: Classic photo of #10 getting watered-up at the half-way point of the one hour trip. If you've never experienced a railroad trip behind a narrow gauge Shay, in the mountains, you should "Google" this railroad, as the hour trip is a really fun experience.
Photo: After riding on the steam train, it was time to take a hike to Fresno Done. It's a short, mile or so, trail from the parking lot to the top of the dome, but at 7500 feet in elevation, and a 600 foot altitude gain, it's not for the faint of heart. Yet, here I am, not a lot worse for wear, enjoying the view from the dome, looking west the beautiful city of Fresno, 50 miles to the west. Internet access in the High Sierra is spotty, at best, and after climbing to Fresno Dome, my iPhone started giving me "push tones," including one from my wife, congratulating me on our 17th wedding anniversary. Ooooops...
Photo: As you head down the hill, on the way back to Oakhurst, there is a place that offers an outstanding view of Fresno Dome, the granite rock that we had just climbed. We tamed the beast! Grrrrrrr!
Photo: Friday evening, June 20, 2014, back at camp. Left to right, Michael Rench, Paul Rench, Greg Wilson, and Dan Wier, who proudly shows the wok of veggies that he'd just stir-fried. Quite a camp, with a great group of guys!
Photo: Tonight, the "plan" was to grill meat, so we grilled steak and pork over my Webber charcoal-fired camping grill. Of course we added oak chunks to add smoke, flavor, and to enhance the meat. Michael rubbed the beat with a "Cajun" rub, which enhanced the flavor. Because the grill was so small, we had to cook the meat in two stages, but there were no worries, as we put the previously cooked meat into the large Dutch oven, that we had heating over the fire. We jokingly refereed to it as our "microwave oven." Not quite true, as a Dutch oven is as "low tech" as it gets.
Photo: Your author, Eric Rench, struts his "stuff" as he shows steak and sausage cooking on the charcoal-fired grill. Brother, Michael, looks on, and anticipates a good dinner.
Photo: Greg and Paul are enjoying a ride around the campground on Dan's Honda Rancher quad. Yes, it's perfectly legal to "quad" in the Sierra National Forest, including Jerseydale campground.
Photo: My brother, Paul Rench, enjoys a stogie, and a brew at camp.
Photo: Long-time family friend, Dan Wier, is cookin' stir fry for tonight's dinner. Tonight's Friday dinner was a combined effort between Dan and I, and all of our "happy campers" agreed that things worked out well.
Photo: Dinner, Friday, June 20, 2014: Grilled sausage, pork, steak potatoes, and stir-fried veggies. Garnish includes grated cheese and sour cream. How this for camp cookin'? All of us love to eat, so our camping trips morph into gourmet dining, in the High Sierras. Woo hoo!
This was a great trip, and a great time to "hang" with my brothers, brother-in-law, and long-time family friend. Great company, great camping, scenery, fun, and so much more...
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