After our first month of pretty much no visitors (aside from the rangers on day three, the Valley County Sheriff to check in, twice, and a quick visit from Zach’s parents before the snow hit) we have been enjoying and wading through the experience of isolation.
This weekend brought our first visitors. Deadwood lodge is located is 52 miles from Stanley, and 51 miles from Cascade, Idaho. We are the last outpost for the sheriff radio, and a cozy lodge of refuge for both ice fishers and back country snow mobile riders. We also have gas to sell for those in need, and hamburgers made hot off the grill for those that come to visit. We had about 12 people stop by, and to be honest, it was wonderful to chat, but mildly awkward to return to having a full on conversation with someone other than your partner who understands you non verbally, or through a secret language built on weird continuous jokes and puns. We gifted everyone homemade cookies, and kept the fire hot and rolling to warm up chilly fingers and dry wet coats.
This morning was a return to the cozy quiet. Zach took the pups out to pee, and I wandered into the kitchen to make breakfast. We won’t be resupplied this month, so we are rationing out the eggs for breakfast and baking, and the bacon is already gone (obviously). We are making do with a lot of hot cereal for breakfast. As I’m whipping up a batch of cream of wheat, I start feeling the itch to get creative. I rustle out some blueberries from the freezer and warm them in a bowl over the camp coffee boiler. Next I feel inspired by the protein powder we have been drinking after our hikes. It is vanilla-ee and not too bad to drink. I think to myself “this stuff tastes okay, cream of wheat tastes okay, why not..” and throw a scoop into the mix for vanilla flavored cream of wheat with warm blueberries on top.
Immediately I begin to feel that this was a bad idea. The mixture is glub-glubbing, and the smell is less scrumptious-vanilla-cake, and more thick and sickly. At this point, I’m in too deep so I throw it in a couple bowls, add some brown sugar, honey, and blue berries. It looks okay, so I call it good.
Zach comes back in and I call to him that breakfast is ready. We sit down to eat and I let him know things may have gone a bit awry, but don’t offer much more information than that. I watch him sniff the blobby mass in front of him and slowly take a bite. He looks me dead in the eye and keeps chewing, but says nothing. I’ve made a few duds in learning how to cook, most of them have been edible, so I assume/hope that the mixture has passed inspection.
I take the next bite.
It is so gross, and I can eat a lot of weird stuff. I like sweets, sours, and pungent things, but this goop has got to go.
I stare back into his stone cold face and start cracking up. I let him know he does not have to eat this concoction, he sweetly thanks me and says he doesn’t mind making breakfast today. We both laugh and joke about my epic fail. I get points for daring a flair of the creative impulse, but lost points in the is-this-even-edible round. We decide that this batch is destined for the bear pile. We will try to make it back before it snows again, to see if any wild animals can even bear to eat that stuff.
The bear pile is a compost pile located down the road from camp. We take our food scraps and shavings there. We have yet to have a wild encounter. The only tracks we have found thus far are raven and fox.
Tonight I am making my first attempt at sourdough bread. The sour dough starter was a gift from the Valley County Sheriff, but that is a story for another time. I’m following the instructions quite closely this round, so we both hope for the best. If not, our trip back out to the bear pile will be sooner rather than later.
We have another proof session after we cut the dough into the bread pans, and then baking time. So, hopefully we will have bread for dessert.
Ta ta for now,