Friday, June 21, 2013

Tettegouche State Park - Cart-In Experience

Tettegouche!  We knew this year that we wanted to have a slightly different camping experience, so we booked at a park that has cart-in sites.  These sites provide a little distance between you and your car while cutting down on traffic from cars driving the loop and proximity to other campers.  We really enjoyed the experience!

Our site was right beside the water, which meant we could hear the waves hitting the shore and had a beautiful view.  Sadly, we could also hear the traffic on route 61.  It was especially loud when we got there, because the storm that we experienced in Duluth was present at the park and made the roadway wet.  As we carted our things to the site in the drizzle, we saw the remnants of the hail storm that had just swept through.  Out of the cart-in sites, we had chosen pretty well for reduced traffic noise, but it is still a factor to be aware of should you decide to camp here.

I don't have any pictures from that first day because setting up camp in the rain when the bugs are biting you doesn't make for good photo inspiration.  Luckily we have a good tent!  With our bellies full of soup cooked during a break in the rain, we slept well while it rained through the night.  We have a new set-up for camping, which means Tchazo gets to sleep cuddled up next to us.  He liked it.

I think I've got this knitting in the tent thing down, too!

Part of the challenge with getting away from car based camping is food.  In the past we have brought a cooler and have not been concerned about the size and weight of our food and cooking supplies.  We still want to eat well, so we are playing around with lighter foods that don't require refrigeration and can be cooked over the fire or on a small camping stove.

Paul wanted to see if he could make a pizza from scratch at camp.  He prepared well with dehydrated sauce and pre-measured ingredients.

He rehydrated apples, sundried tomatoes, garlic and onions over the fire.

The crust was mixed in a bag and left to rise a bit.

The one perishable item was cheese, but the temps were cold enough that we felt fine eating it on our 2nd day at camp. Shredding cheese with a knife is a bit labor intensive, but in most cases, we've got nothing but time when we are cooking at the site.  If we were really serious about making this with non-perishable foods, we could use dehydrated cheese.

Pizza ready to be cooked!

Paul using his fry/bake pan, utilizing heat from the top and bottom.

Pizza!  It tasted good!  Paul already has plans for modifications to yield a more perfect crust.

Smores for dessert!  I finally wizened up and brought fancy chocolate for the smores.  Our smores this time were made with dark chocolate that had bits of cherry and almond in it.  Wayyyy better than Hershey's.  Did you know marshmallows have gone the way of Hummers?

We bummed some smores ingredients from my dad and the marshmallows he had were twice the size of regular marshmallows.  Totally unnecessary and way too big for smores!  My solution was to roast it, eat the outside layer and then roast it again for use on the smores.  Taking one for the team, I am.

Paul was not as interested in smores as he was in his "vitamin water".

We ended up having to cut our trip short (more on that tomorrow), so we didn't get to cook all of the meals we had planned.  This fancy, nutty rice was a hit, though. It had instant brown rice, pecans, pine nuts, currants, saffron threads, vegetable broth, garlic, onion and parsley in it.  I think the saffron really made it shine.

Our second morning at camp was picture perfect, so we climbed down from our site to the water's edge to have our tea.  All of my senses were satisfied by our time on the rocks.  I paid the price with a sunburn, though!

We had a little friend join us or maybe we joined him?  You can see the face of a woodchuck peaking out from the rocks in the upper right of this picture.  He was sunbathing, too.

Tomorrow I will share our hike with you and explain why we had to come home early.

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