The Dirt Road to Paradise

dirt road UT

Have you ever wandered off the beaten path and driven down a lonely dirt road just to see where it ends?

Taking time to explore is always a top priority on our trips, and it is never time wasted. Sometimes what we find is an explorers pot of gold, and other times it’s a gate with a No Trespassing sign.  But it’s always an adventure.

In 1996, while exploring the backcountry of the Chiricahua Mountains we came across to markers that said simply Unknown Arizona Pioneers.  Later research on this site revealed quite a story about the Apache War legends surrounding these gravesites.

PromPt65-05

On another trip in 2003, we drove the old transcontinental railroad grade, abandoned in the 1940’s, across the western half of northern Utah, only to breakdown on the same spot as the historic 1869 photo of the last eastbound wagon train meeting the first westbound train. We had punctured our tire with a 134 year old rusty railroad spike. Three ghost towns and miles of history later, we came out in the town of Wendover, NV.

water trough

One that sticks in my mind was this old water trough, built of hand-hewn lumber, with the spring still bubbling at the far end. Lots of antelope that day, but the rancher and his cattle had left this lonely place long ago.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

One place that we consider very special is a remote mesa at the end of a rough road in central Arizona.  The density of rock art and petroglyphs on this mesa are quite impressive, and only in recent years have archeologists begun to study this area.  This must be one of the least disturbed ancient-man sites in Arizona, and it was only our curious minds that led us there.  No signs or maps exist for this historic and remote area.

headframe

On a recent trip through Nevada, we drove a dirt road that led through the old Osceola Mining District, where mining headframes seemed to reach for the sky, and the buildings appeared as if the the miners just up and left one day, and never came back.

Each of these adventures, and others too numerous to list here, were all the result of driving down an un-mapped dirt road, just to see where it led and what we might find. Oftentimes the drive was fruitless, but on others we found memories to last a lifetime. And we have camped in some remote and incredible locations.  And there are many more dirt roads yet to follow.

Leaving time for the unexpected is important, and is the part of the journey I often anticipate most. Whether is it fixing a flat tire in the middle of no-where, or finding amazing displays of ancient rock art, the adventure never disappoints.  Take the next dirt road you pass, drive along for awhile and see what’s around the next corner.

Hoping everyone has a great summer of camping adventures!

Happy Trails,

Jeff

Cooky Jason’s Camping Recipe – May 2014

Who doesn’t like kabobs? We’re in full camping swing now and it’s high time we get into some grilling action. And kabobs are just plain fun. The key to making these special is in the marinade. Of course there are countless marinades you can do. You can play mad scientist and come up with all manner of concoctions. The idea here is to have fun with it and experiment.

Major Players

  • Beef cubes – Don’t use stew meat here. London broil is really great, but sometimes I even use New York Strip or rib eye (my personal favorite). Just make sure it’s cut into 1-inch cubes. 4 to 5 per kabob, so you’re looking at about 3lbs to serve 7 to 8 people
  • 1 ½ cups plain yogurt
  • ½ cup lemon juice
  • ¼ cup olive oil, plus 2 to 3 tsp for tossing veggies with
  • 1 Tbsp Salt and 1 Tbsp course ground pepper (white pepper if possible)
  • 6 or 7 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 heaping table spoons of chopped rosemary (Now you’re not using the dried stuff in little plastic jars, are you?)
  • Finely chopped fresh herbs (parsley, tarragon, marjoram, cilantro, etc…)
  • 3 to 4 medium-size button mushrooms per kebob
  • 1 large onion, quartered and layers separated into petals
  • Wooden skewers

OK, the fun stuff:

First we’ll start with the marinade. Combine the yogurt, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper, garlic, and rosemary in a medium mixing bole and whisk thoroughly. Add beef cubes to a gallon-size zip-top bag and pour in the marinade. Push out as much of the air as you can and seal the bag. Massage contents gently to make sure every piece is coated. Store in the refrigerator or icebox for at least 3 hours and up to 12. Also, soak the skewers in water at the same time, for a good 3 hours. I don’t like handling raw meat at the campsite so I prefer to assemble these at home and transport them in disposable aluminum baking pans covered with foil.

Drain away marinade and discard. Toss mushrooms and onion petals with 2 to 3 tsp olive oil and salt. Use 3 to 4 beef cubes and 3 to 4 mushrooms per kabob, alternating, with onion petals separating the beef and mushrooms. Leave at least an inch of skewer on each end for handling. Cook over medium heat on all 4 sides until browned and slightly crisp. It should be about 4 to 5 minutes per side. Remove from heat and immediately sprinkle with the fresh-chopped herbs. Let cool for at least 5 minutes. Crowd-pleaser? I think so…

Questions/comments/requests/suggestions/limericks/thoughts on life/childhood stories? Feel free to drop me a line at jasonr@pahaque.com.

The Gear Doctor for May 2014

PahaQue Camping Checklist

There’s nothing worse than setting up camp and realizing you forgot some crucial items back at home. Use our camping checklist to make sure you have the necessary camping equipment to make your camping experience a good one.  Print this handy list to make sure your next outing is a good one!

Kitchen

Food Preparation
[  ] Spatula
[  ] Cutting Knife
[  ] Large Serving Spoon
[  ] Tongs
[  ] Strainer
[  ] Can opener/bottle opener
[  ] Pots and frying pans with lids
[  ] Griddle
[  ] Potholders/oven mitts
[  ] Plastic Utensils (forks, spoons, knives)
[  ] Plates & bowls/paper plates & bowls
[  ] Mugs/paper cups
[  ] Mixing bowl
[  ] Measuring cups
[  ] Cutting board
[  ] Soup Ladle
[  ] Coffee Pot
[  ] Cooking oil/Pam spray
[  ] Cork Screw
[  ] Skewers/grill forks
[  ] Pie irons
[  ] Potato peeler

Cooking
[  ] Stove
[  ] Propane/Fuel
[  ] Matches/lighter
[  ] Charcoal/firewood/buddy burner
[  ] Dutch oven/tin can stove/box oven/etc
[  ] Campfire grill/BBQ grill
[  ] Folding table

Cleaning
[  ] Sponge/Scrubber
[  ] Dish Pan
[  ] Dish Soap
[  ] Dish Rags/Towels
[  ] Rubber Gloves

Storage/Miscellaneous
[  ] Large water jug & water bucket
[  ] Containers for food storage
[  ] Cooler(s)
[  ] Tablecloth/thumb tacks/clips
[  ] Heavy-duty aluminum foil
[  ] Ziplock bags
[  ] Plastic grocery bags
[  ] Paper towels
[  ] Napkins
[  ] Trash bags
[  ] Thermos

Food & Drink

Condiments
[  ] Catsup
[  ] Mustard
[  ] Mayo – Small jar or squeeze bottle
[  ] Relish

Breakfast
[  ] Pancake Mix – Krusteaze, 1/2 cup per person per day (need large skillet)
[  ] Frozen hashbrowns in the bag
[  ] Eggs – 1-2 per person per day, fresh or powdered
[  ] Syrup – About 2 oz per person per day
[  ] Malt-o-meal, or Cream of Wheat
[  ] Oatmeal – Instant single serving packs
[  ] Bacon – 2 slices per person per day
[  ] Ham
[  ] Cereal

Lunch/Dinner
[  ] Hot dogs & buns
[  ] Hamburger meat (pre seasoned and ready to cook)
[  ] Hamburger Buns
[  ] Vienna Sausages
[  ] Peanut Butter & Jelly
[  ] Deli meat slices (Turkey, Ham, Salami)
[  ] Noodles (Spaghetti, Angel Hair, Ramen, or shells)
[  ] Spaghetti Sauce (In jars or dehydrated)
[  ] Soup/Chili (mix or cans)
[  ] Tuna
[  ] Corn on Cob
[  ] Taco Stuff (Meat, seasoning package, olives, lettuce, tortillas, buns)
[  ] Lil Smokies
[  ] Steak
[  ] Chicken Breasts
[  ] Fixin’s for stew
[  ] Beans

Staples
[  ] Butter (1/2 stick per person per day)
[  ] Potatoes (1-2 per person per day — freeze dried if packing)
[  ] Bouillon cubes (Chicken & Vegetable)
[  ] Rice packages
[  ] Onions
[  ] Lemons
[  ] Mushrooms
[  ] Tomatoes
[  ] Bread (One or two loaves per day if camping with a small group)
[  ] Cheese (String, Cheddar, Swiss, American)

Snacks
[  ] Fruit – Small fruit cups or fresh fruit
[  ] Veggies – carrot/celery sticks daily
[  ] Nutri Grain Bars/Granola Bars
[  ] Chips/Dip/Salsa
[  ] Trail Mix
[  ] Nuts
[  ] Yogurt
[  ] Jiffy Pop or Regular Popcorn

Beverages
[  ] Tea Bags
[  ] Coffee
[  ] Milk
[  ] Juice
[  ] Water
[  ] Hot Chocolate
[  ] Drinks (soft drinks, Iced Tea, Lemonade, Kool-Aid)
[  ] Beer

Miscellaneous
[  ] Cooking Oil (About 1 oz per person per day)
[  ] Ice
[  ] Seasonings
[  ] Salt/Pepper
[  ] Sugar
[  ] Marshmallows, Graham Crackers & Hershey Bars (S’mores)
[  ] Parmesan cheese

Personal

[  ] First Aid Kit (see section below)
[  ] Sewing kit
[  ] Soap
[  ] Deodorant
[  ] Comb/Brush/Hair products
[  ] Razor
[  ] Tissues
[  ] Toilet paper
[  ] Toothbrush/Toothpaste
[  ] Wet wipes
[  ] Shower shoes/Flip Flops
[  ] Towels/Washcloth
[  ] Chapstick/Lip Balm
[  ] Insect Repellent
[  ] Sunglasses
[  ] Sunscreen
[  ] Feminine products
[  ] Shower bag or 5 gallon bucket
[  ] Camping shower/shower pump
[  ] Personal medications

Miscellaneous

Necessities
[  ] Flashlight/bulbs
[  ] Batteries
[  ] Clothes pins
[  ] Lantern with fuel/mantles
[  ] Lantern Pole/Hanger
[  ] Pocket Knife
[  ] Citronella candles
[  ] Rope/Clothes Line
[  ] Camp Chairs
[  ] Backpack/Fanny Pack
[  ] Duct Tape/Electrical Tape
[  ] Scissors
[  ] Watch
[  ] Cell Phone/Charger & 2-way radios/walkie talkies
[  ] Camera/Battery/Film/Video
[  ] Fire Extinguisher
[  ] Canteen/Water Bottle

Tools/Utilities
[  ] Small shovel
[  ] Compass
[  ] Whistle
[  ] Misc. tools
[  ] Work gloves
[  ] Bungi cords/straps

Informational Items
[  ] List of important phone numbers
[  ] Maps/directions
[  ] Reservations info./confirmation
[  ] Park map/guidebooks/trail maps
[  ] Money/ID/Credit Card/Quarters
[  ] Notepad/pen
[  ] Spare car/truck/boat/rv keys

Entertainment
[  ] Cards/Games/Toys
[  ] Books/Magazines
[  ] Musical instruments/song books
[  ] Bikes/Scooters/Helmets
[  ] Radio
[  ] Sports gear (baseball, football)
[  ] Fishing gear/license/bait

Miscellaneous
[  ] Torches
[  ] Binoculars
[  ] Water filters/purification/treatment
[  ] Travel alarm clock
[  ] Hammock
[  ] Umbrella
[  ] Collapsible drying rack
[  ] Life jackets
[  ] Toothpicks

Sleeping/Shelter

[  ] Blankets
[  ] Mallet/Hammer
[  ] Sleeping Mats/Air Mattress (air pump)
[  ] Repair kit for air mattress
[  ] Pillow
[  ] Poles/stakes
[  ] Rain Fly/Tent Topper
[  ] Sleeping bag
[  ] Tarp
[  ] Tent
[  ] Whisk Broom
[  ] Mat for tent entrance
[  ] Utility bags for storage
[  ] Shade Tarp (with poles/rope/stakes)

Fire

[  ] Axe
[  ] Bucket
[  ] Kindling
[  ] Matches
[  ] Newspaper
[  ] Shovel
[  ] Wood

Basic First Aid

Basics
[  ] Misc. Band Aides/bandages
[  ] Triangular bandages
[  ] Ace bandages
[  ] Roll bandages
[  ] Adhesive tape
[  ] Antiseptic wipes
[  ] Antibiotic cream
[  ] Sterile gauze pads
[  ] Cotton swabs
[  ] Heat/cold packs
[  ] Tweezers
[  ] Safety pins
[  ] Scissors
[  ] Burn ointment
[  ] Hydrogen Peroxide
[  ] First aid manual
[  ] Ipecac
[  ] Aspirin/Ibuprofen/Tylenol/Naproxin
[  ] Anti-acids (Tums, Rolaides)
[  ] Personal medications

Extra
[  ] Bee Sting Kit
[  ] Snake Bite Kit
[  ] Eye Drops
[  ] Sinus medications
[  ] Poison Ivy cream/cleansers
[  ] Latex gloves
[  ] Sterile compresses
[  ] Antibacterial soap
[  ] Splinting materials
[  ] Thermometer
[  ] Coins for emergency phone calls
[  ] Antibiotic soap
[  ] Butterfly bandages
[  ] Razor blades
[  ] Twine
[  ] Plastic bags
[  ] Mole skin for blisters
[  ] Small bottle of water
[  ] Sunburn lotion
[  ] Road flares
[  ] Blanket
[  ] Other personal needs
[  ] Nail Clippers
[  ] Small Mirror

Camping with Children

[  ] Current photos of the children in case they get lost
[  ] Diapers
[  ] Swim Diapers
[  ] Wipes
[  ] Bottles/Sippy Cups
[  ] Playyards
[  ] Jogging strollers
[  ] Backpack carriers
[  ] MANY sets of clothing
[  ] Extra pair(s) of shoes
[  ] Formula
[  ] Jar foods
[  ] Gerber toddler foods
[  ] Hats
[  ] Toys,
[  ] Favorite blanket or stuffed toy (very important!)
[  ] Powdered milk (for children that have outgrown formula)
[  ] Snacks
[  ] Storybooks
[  ] Baby Hammock
[  ] Baby Swing
[  ] Kid-safe Bug spray
[  ] Sunblock
[  ] Portapotty with grocery bag liner (easy cleanup

 

Celestial Navigator by PahaQue May 2014

There are few things more enjoyable during a night in camp than staring at the night sky.  Now you can be a celestial expert and dazzle your camp mates with your night sky knowledge.  There’s lots going in this May so grab your telescope and your tent and get out there!imagesnewmoon

  • May 10 – Saturn at Opposition. The ringed planet will be at its closest approach to Earth and its face will be fully illuminated by the Sun. This is the best time to view and photograph Saturn and its moons. A medium-sized or larger telescope will allow you to see Saturn’s rings and a few of its brightest moons.
  • May 10 – Astronomy Day Part 1. Astronomy Day is an annual event intended to provide a means of interaction between the general public and various astronomy enthusiasts, groups and professionals. The theme of Astronomy Day is “Bringing Astronomy to the People,” and on this day astronomy and stargazing clubs and other organizations around the world will plan special events. You can find out about special local events by contacting your local astronomy club or planetarium. 
  • May 14 – Full Moon. The Moon will be directly opposite the Earth from the Sun and will be fully illuminated as seen from Earth. This phase occurs at 19:16 UTC. This full moon was known by early Native American tribes as the Full Flower Moon because this was the time of year when spring flowers appeared in abundance. This moon has also been known as the Full Corn Planting Moon and the Milk Moon.
  • May 24 – Possible Meteor Storm. In the early morning hours of Saturday, May 24, the Earth will pass through the debris field left behind by a small comet known as P/209 LINEAR. Astronomers are predicting that this interaction may result in a brief but intense burst of meteor activity that could range from dozens to hundreds of meteors per hour. Nothing is certain, but many mathematical models are predicting that this could be the most intense meteor shower in more than a decade.
  • May 28 – New Moon. The Moon will be directly between the Earth and the Sun and will not be visible from Earth. This phase occurs at 18:40 UTC. This is the best time of the month to observe faint objects such as galaxies and star clusters because there is no moonlight to interfere.

PahaQue May Photo Contest 2014

Share your favorite camping photo with your PahaQue tent on our page, and you will be entered to win a brand new PahaQue Single Hammock!  Your choice of color (navy/light blue, or green/khaki).

1.  Enter as many times as you would like.
2.  Entries must be posted to the PahaQue Wilderness Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/PahaQueWilderness
3.  This contest is not administered by Facebook.
4.  Contest ends Friday June 6 at which time we will announce three winners on our Facebook page.
5.  All inquiries should be directed to happytrails@pahaque.com