Adventures, Food, hiking, History, Philip

Hike – Silver Falls State Park

Kangaroo chose to hike at Silver Falls State Park yesterday because the teacher she works with was planning to do the Silver Falls Trail Run 7 Miler and she wanted to cheer her on. The Silver Falls Trail Runs include a 5K, the 7 Miler, a half-marathon, a marathon, and a 50K, in the main park and the backcountry of the park (where there are cougars and bears 😮). The longer races are qualifiers for other races like the Boston Marathon! The trail we took follows Silver Creek and is very scenic. It is called the Trail of Ten Falls, but we didn’t see all of them. We saw South Falls, Lower South Falls, Drake Falls, Middle North Falls, and Winter Falls on this day.

I present here the first video I have ever edited! It shows us going behind South Falls and Lower South Falls, and a video of Winter Falls.

Here are some photos of our hike. We just got drizzled on a couple of times (we needed our rain jackets more going under the waterfalls) and the rain didn’t really kick in until right after we got into the car to leave. We are blessed that that is the norm for most of our hikes in rainy weather!

Kangaroo and her friend who was running the 7-mile race.

The path to South Falls. This is one that is not far from the parking lot and probably the most popular for visitors.

South Falls

Behind South Falls looking down Silver Creek.

Witch’s Butter fungus. I call it the “mac-n-cheese” fungus!

Someone had fun with the race marking chalk!

Silver Creek

Some mushrooms.

Cat’s Tongue fungus

Drake Falls

Middle North Falls

Winter Falls

Trail up from Winter Falls

Kangaroo getting the shot of some little mushrooms.

Me also getting a shot of the little mushrooms.

The little mushrooms 😀

We stopped in the park gift shop on our way back but I didn’t get a photo of it. I should have, it is a cute log building with lots of fun stuff to buy! The log buildings in the park were built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s. For more info on the buildings and the park, go here. The store had a whole section of mushroom-related items, a t-shirt, a mushroom identifier card, and books, and other things. They have some cute stuffed birds that make authentic bird sounds. I picked some up and we heard two different kinds of woodpecker sounds and another bird I don’t remember the name of. They also have lots of stickers and other souvenirs.

On our way home we happened to see a sign for the Willamette Valley Pie Company and I suggested we drive over and try to find it. We had never been there and I had heard they had a nice store and, of course, pies! The Boy’s choir in high school sold Willamette Valley Pie Co. pies for their fundraisers for a couple of years and I knew that the pies were delicious. The store featured a lot of kitchen things and Kangaroo bought some towels and a spoon rest for the new travel trailer she and her Hubs just got. I keep telling her she has to think of a theme for the trailer so I can buy her things for it! Anyway, we each bought a cobbler to take home, I got marionberry and Kangaroo got peach.

Willamette Valley Pie Co. Goodness, the sky was foreboding!
Marionberry Cobbler. Their pies and things are frozen so you just take them home and pop them in the oven.

I baked my cobbler when I got home and ate my serving, and as expected it was super good. As I was eating Philip was very interested, and when I was finished he came and licked the plate. I bet you didn’t know kitties liked berries! He is unusual in that he enjoys sweet foods sometimes.

Philip getting some licks in.
The tape is Leukotape, I use it to tape up my feet before hiking to avoid hotspots.

Fall color

We had missed most of the fall color at Silver Falls, but there were a few pretty leaves left. It was a good day and we had a fun hike!

Just keep walking!

Ninja

Food, Reviews

Food Review – Thinsters

I bought these at Costco the other day because I thought they looked good, and probably because I was a bit hungry. Costco is dangerous when you’re hungry, ha! I thought I’d review them because they’re pretty tasty.

I hadn’t looked at the ingredients list until I got home, but was pleasantly surprised to see that they are made from actual pronounceable ingredients instead of a lot of weird chemicals. (Although, I should have known from the notations on the bag that they were made of real ingredients with nothing artificial.)

Here are the nutrition facts:

The calorie count isn’t too terribly high for cookies dipped in chocolate. The only problem is that they’re small so you want to eat more than one serving, but I’m pretty sure that’s common for other sweets as well. Other than that, these Thinsters are a win!

Food, Kitchen

Okra

Yesterday I decided to make some fried okra in the air fryer for my lunch, since I had some cut okra in the freezer.

I found a recipe on the Southern Living website here. I altered the recipe and just used cornmeal without flour, and no paprika, and garlic salt instead of garlic powder. I used garlic salt because I had no onion salt, which is what I usually use with pepper when frying okra. I mainly wanted a recipe so I would know at what temperature and for how long to cook the okra in the air fryer.

The okra turned out pretty well, but I couldn’t taste the garlic salt. It was fairly peppery though. I was all set to take a photo of the okra in the air fryer before I cooked it, except The Hubs needed my help outside and when I got back in the house I forgot about taking photos. Here is a photo of the okra after I ate most of it:

It was pretty good.

Next time I might do the recipe like it’s written and see how that tastes!

Animals, Doing Things Differently, Food, Hmm..., Pets, Philip

Adventures in Eating

When I was at Copper Creek Mercantile the other day buying cat food, Jen told me that they had something new. When she showed it to me I knew I had to get a can for Philip to try.

Can you imagine?

Here is what the food looks like:

Pretty normal looking pâté-style cat food.

Now, I don’t know if Philip’s mama kitty ever brought him a mouse to eat when they were still living outside, but Philip didn’t want this. He would barely even get near it. He jumped down and went away until I got out some of his regular, non-pâté food. He likes his food to have chunks, like real chicken or fish, and he has never been a fan of the pâté style. There really isn’t any way of knowing whether he rejected it because of the mouse, other ingredients, or the style of the food, but Philip says no, thank you.

Animals, Food, Fun, Life

State Fair

Today Marnie and I went to the opening day of the Oregon State Fair. I enjoy the Fair but The Hubs isn’t all that interested, so I asked Marnie to go with me.

Fair selfie in the Forestry Service area

The last few times I’ve been to the Fair we’ve gone toward the end of its run of 11 days, and this time I really wanted to go at the beginning when everything is fresh. I think we might have been too early though, because it looked like some of the animals hadn’t arrived yet.

We entered through the blue gate where the livestock barns are (after accidentally pulling into the handicapped parking and having to exit over a curb) and went to see the animals. We were looking especially for alpacas. There were many kinds of sheep, cows, and a couple of Belgian horses. I didn’t get any photos of regular cows, but here are sheep and one of the big horses:

Katahdin Hair Sheep
Have you ever heard of this kind of sheep? They have hair instead of wool, and they shed instead of being sheared.
Kids showing sheep.
Belgian Horse. His name is Maverick.

We saw these Longhorns in a pen in a different part of the Fair. Every time we went to take a photo they would turn away, ha. I finally got this one:

Look at those horns!

But could only get the back end of this one:

We should have asked the people to learn more about them, but we spent too much time trying to photograph them!

We watched a little bit of a horse showing — we missed the announcement but it looked like the horse was being judged on how well it was trained. In the livestock pavilion we saw this pony and a couple of others. This one also didn’t want her photo taken:

No photos, please.
We appreciate the sign, although we aren’t in the habit of feeding our fingers to horses.

The horse event barn.
Horses and people getting ready to show at a different barn.

Here are some other critters we saw (the bunnies came on a different day, and there were no chickens in the poultry barn either):

American Roller pigeon.
Western painted turtle, native to Oregon. There were other turtles who are not native and illegal to have.
Chinook salmon

Me pretending to be a Western Pond Turtle. You can see my arm trying to hold myself up, it was a very low turtle.

This was a fun thing, I’m always fascinated by how Slinkies go down stairs:

Ohmigosh, but my FACE! I have like 15 chins! I was concentrating on getting an action photo of the Slinky, but Marnie got a better photo of it going down the stairs and the letters on the stairs.

We toured some very nice RVs:

This one had massage chairs!

Then we went into the Creative Living building and saw a lot of fun exhibits:

My favorite exhibit of the Fair, someone’s Nancy Drew collection!
I had never seen a Nancy Drew book with this style of cover.
A collection of juicers.
I have one of these “plaid” juicers, but mine is just clear, not green or pink.
Cakes
Decorated Cakes — this one was my favorite. It won the Judge’s Choice ribbon.
Some of the table settings had a Route 66 theme. This one was my fave.
A pretty princess dress. How fun would this be to make?
State Flowers quilt.
Felted wool picture using an old window for a frame.

There were wood carvers, spinners/weavers, and authors showing off their work. One of the authors was William Sullivan, who has written many books about hiking in Oregon. I resisted the urge to tell him that his hike ratings are inaccurate!

Cute bear made out of wood.

We walked through the vendor building and the outside vendors, but didn’t see anything to buy that we couldn’t live without. We got hungry and decided to get some lunch, and corn dogs were on the menu. I won’t say how much the food cost because it was a painful amount.

We also got garlic fries.

A show was starting just as we finished lunch, so we went over to see what it was all about. The “Nerveless Nocks” do a daredevil show. They don’t use any safety devices so had to do a disclaimer by telling the kids in the audience to “not try this at home”. Here is Michaelangelo Nock balancing on four chairs.

He makes it look easy, but he also had to climb up there.

Here is Angelina Nock and her aerial act:

Here is Angelina standing in the metal ball while a young Venezuelan man rides a motorcycle around and around. It was hard to get a good photo of this.

She did flinch once.

Someday I will try one of these deep-fried delicacies. They actually have deep-fried Kool-Aid. That flummoxed us! I got a jumbo bag of cotton candy and we chomped on some of that as we walked. I brought the rest home and was going to take a photo of it, but I forgot and eated it all up instead.

I’m squinting because the sun was in my eyes and I forgot my sunglasses in the car.

And then there’s always this food booth:

Mmmm…tentaclessss…

As we were heading back to the car we saw an alpaca go by near the livestock barns, and hurried after it. We missed when it went in though, and never did find the alpacas. We did, however, find llamas.

They all had their own rugs.

And I will leave you with this:

Lovely Llama.
Backpacking, Food, Gear, hiking, PCT

So. Much. Food.

Hey, remember how I was talking here about how much food I have and how I need to organize it before I go hiking? Well, looky here at the food that was in the resupply boxes in my office.

Each box contained at least 5 days of food, and various other supplies.

Here is a large pile of assorted snacks:

Probably more snacks than necessary…

Let’s just look at it from another angle, shall we?

Yeeks.

Wish me luck!

Just keep walking!

~Ninja

Backpacking, Food, Gear, hiking, PCT

Hike Prep

Since we leave for the Oregon/California border of the Pacific Crest Trail in a few short weeks, I have started to prepare for various aspects of the hike. This means ordering assorted gear and attempting to organize food for the trip. The most recent order that arrived for the hike is this “vet” tape, or self-adhesive first aid tape. It can be used to affix a piece of gauze (or a ladies’ panty liner) for a bandage in case you fall and skin your knee and most of your shin, like I did a couple of years ago. The vet tape sticks only to itself instead of pulling off all your hair and 6 layers of skin like regular paper first aid tape will. Also, it comes in all sorts of nifty colors for fun.

Vet tape

When you order it on Amazon it comes in bulk, but I got all this for just $5.99. I obviously will not be bringing all of this tape with me on our hike, probably just one roll (pink), but what a deal, right? And there is plenty to give some to my friends who might like it to put in their first aid kits as well, with enough left over to have some in the home first aid basket and have plenty for next year’s hiking.

The food organization is another thing entirely. I am not a foodie, I don’t know how to food, in fact I stopped eating dinner because I was just tired of trying to figure out how to food. I like to eat food, I just don’t really like to deal with it.

This is 90% food.

Do you see all of this? This is my bedroom corner full of food. It is all food that I bought to fill resupply boxes for me to send myself on trail when we thought we were going to hike the whole PCT. There are also five large flat rate USPS mailing boxes in my office full of food, each box filled with five days’ worth of food. This week I need to go through all of the food, and figure out what I need for meals and snacks to fill boxes to send to the places we will be stopping where there is no food. We often carry too much food, since we aren’t usually very hungry the first couple weeks of hiking. Can you tell that I find this the least fun part of organizing the trip?

I absolutely love putting together my lighterpack.com gear list (which I will share upon request) with links, photos, and weights. I enjoy making the list of things to take on the hike so I don’t forget anything. I like making lists of things I need to buy. I am tickled to death to put together cute little “calling cards” for my friends and me to carry with us, and labels for our gear. Writing up emergency instructions and filling a file full of photos of me, my friends, and all my gear in case something happens to me and they can’t find me just makes me happy as a clam. But food? Nope. Do not enjoy, do not love, don’t like, not tickled, and not happy. It is certainly high up there on the importance list, but it is a chore. Your prayers for me as I organize my food are much appreciated!

Just keep walking!

~Ninja

Food

Zucchini for Lunch

I made this low carb Easy Cheesy Zucchini Bake today. It is meant to be a side dish, but I’m having it as my main lunch. It was indeed easy, but not as cheesy as it could be. Next time I will add more cheese (mozzarella and parmesan), and thus add more protein. You just slice all the things, mix everything together, and toss it in a baking dish to bake at 350F.

The recipe calls for thyme, which I couldn’t find in my spice cupboard, so there was no thyme added. It also calls for “salt and pepper to taste” so I liberally salted and peppered, but I think I was too heavy on the pepper as it tastes spicier than I’d like.

While a bit funny-looking, it is very tasty and makes a great warm lunch on this rainy day. I think I’ll have another helping!

Cool Stuff, Food, Holidays, Uncategorized

Mom’s Applesauce Fruitcake

It’s so good that before you think to get a photo, you’ve eaten half of it!

By popular demand, here is Mom’s Applesauce Fruitcake recipe, taken from a long ago edition of the Farm Journal. Note: We like these best baked in cupcake size. If you bake some, let me know in the comments!

3 cups        thick applesauce
1 cup         shortening
2 cups        sugar

1 lb            dates, pitted and chopped
1 lb            raisins
1 lb            walnuts (4 cups), chopped
¾ lb           candied fruit (red and green cherries, pineapple), chopped
Save some whole walnuts and cherries to decorate tops of fruitcakes.

4 ½ cups      flour
4 tsp          baking soda
1 tsp          nutmeg
½ tsp         ground cloves
1 tsp          salt

*Boil applesauce, shortening, and sugar together five minutes, stirring occasionally.  Be careful, it will pop out of pot.  Let stand until cool.

*Line pans with waxed paper or grease and flour.

*Mix fruit and nuts together.  Mix dry ingredients together and mix with fruit and nuts until each piece of fruit is coated.

*Stir in cooled applesauce mixture.  Spoon into pans. 

*Bake at 250˚ in loaf pans for 2 hours (less for small or cupcake pans) until wooden pick comes out clean. 

*Peel off paper while cakes are still warm (or it won’t want to come off at all).  Cool on racks.  Pour glaze over cold cakes (recipe below).  Store in plastic bags for two weeks to mellow. (Or gobble them up right now, they’re just as good either way!)

Fruitcake Glaze
*Bring to a boil:
½ cup   light corn syrup
¼ cup   water

Cool to lukewarm, pour over cold cakes for a shiny glaze.  Decorate immediately with whole candied fruit and whole nuts.