Vernon was born in the Pacific Northwest and still lives in the shadow of Mt. Hood, near the small town where he grew up. Vernon has spent decades wandering the hills, hunting mushrooms, camping and riding motorcycles into the remotest nooks and crannies to be found in the region.
Next week we are going camping. Jason and I thought we’d take a wander and see if the roads were clear to the campsite.. To our dismay, they were not.
You got this, Jason.
Or maybe not. 9″ clearance and we were dragging the under-carriage.
We walked up the road a little ways, but it didn’t look like a happening thing.The snow was heavy, but too soft to drive on top of. It took some horsing around to get the car pointed back down the hill.
Plan B. We parked across from a little dead end road, about two miles in from the junction. We hiked into the woods.
If we can’t get any further in next weekend, we will camp here.
It was a real struggle getting the fire going. I cut some dead branches into short lengths and batoned them to reach the dry wood in the center. Even so, it took several candles and a generous slather of Purell to get it to take. I built the fire on a slab of bark on top of a log to get it up out of the snow. The bark made a hot bed of coals which helped get the fire established.
After getting the fire going, the first order of business was hot spiced wine. We mixed 2 to 1 red wine and cognac in our tin cups and squeezed in a little orange juice. We sprinkled this with cinnamon, ginger, allspice, cloves. and nutmeg. After stirring it all together I plunged a red hot flip iron into the cup bringing the wine to an instant boil.
The steaming mugs of wine warmed us from our fingertips to the roots of our hair.
We lashed up a tripod. I mixed a can of beans with some red wine and diced onions and whittled a trammel to hang the pot over the fire.
The damp wood required close attention to keep the fire from going out. Jason and I took turns using the blow tube to keep it stoked.
When we got the fire hot again, it was time to roast some franks.
Beans and franks, washed down with hot spiced wine. This is living!
Despite a dismal weather forecast, we enjoyed a pretty decent day. Temperatures hovered around 40f, there was no wind and no rain.
We packed up our gear and shoveled some snow on the fire.
It was a short hike back to the car.
And a fast ride home.
I guess I’ll see if my brother wants to see if we can make it into the campsite on the motorcycles tomorrow.
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