Camping In The Sierras. So with the car packed to capacity we left Burbank and headed out toward the Mojave desert on route to the High Sierras, The stark beauty is astounding, dry hot land dotted with sparse forests of Joshua trees standing tall and gnarly in the morning sun. Large rock formations conjure up old westerns in my mind and any minute an Indian will ride bareback from behind the rocks head held high, black hair flying in the hot desert wind.
A few miles in Bill pulls over by the rocks for me to relieve myself. I curse my button fly Levis as I crouch behind some chaparral and do my business then I nearly leaped out of my knickers when a scorpion on a mission scuttles by all legs and arms and tail.
As you near the Kern river the vegetation and landscape change dramatically and that clean sweet smell of pine floats through the open car window. Trees and mountains birds and wildlife appear. The Kern River itself rushes along side the road on its course some parts look dangerous. I can see how river rafting is a big business here. Giant smooth rocks dot the river and its riverbank and I imagine all the lovers who have sunned themselves, fished or skinny dipped into the river over the ages.
The holiday weekend is over and as Bill turns into the campground a choice spot is an easy find. There is not another soul to be seen. We scoped the sites and picked one right beside the river with a canopy of trees overhead for shade and shelter and set up camp each of us attending the tasks we liked or were best at.
Bill erected the tent without any fuss and I marveled at his brown legs and strong calves in his thick socks and mountaineering boots. In his heart he is a mountain man.
We took a short hike to stretch our legs and breathed in the fresh mountain air and soon enough my mind become quiet and a deep silence prevails. We soak up the expansive views of blue sky forest green trees. Such beauty in nature. Bills takes my hand in his and squeezes gently.
Back in camp I notice a big black crow cawing loudly at the crown of the tree. It looks down and we telepathically connect. Ted Andrew’s wonderful book “Animals Speak” is my bible and a dictionary of Bird and animal Totems.
I have come to respect the crow for its intelligence and adaptability.
Crow Keynote: The Secret Magic of Creation is Calling
Cycle of Power: All Day – All Year
“Crows always have a sentinel posted watching out, and they warn other animals and birds when hunters or threatening animals are around. The male and female build the nest together and they build it high up for protection and its kept super clean. Even the young ones don’t foul their nest. “
Did you know that the crow is a member of the songbird family because of its voice box structure. Few people think of the crow as a songbird and bemoan the deep caw. But when its alone apparently it will sing in a musical voice.
They are messengers cawing calling us about the creation and magic that is alive within our world everyday and available to us. Symbols of creation, magic and spiritual strength.
Bill with his fishing rod and tackle box in hand plants a sweet kiss on my lips and makes his way up stream to do a spot of fishing.
I organize the camp a bit, wander downstream and pluck some wild flowers and yellow weeds and stick them in an old tin coffee mug. They look lovely on the picnic table. I kick off my shoes and lay down on the blanket with my book.
The sound of the river was calming as it flowed along and a healthy looking red squirrel stops by to say hello and stands really close chattering for quite some time. I look him in the eye and for a minute he stops all the noise and stares back, then scurries away into the trees.
This encounter reminds me to be still. I put the book down and lay on my back and focus my attention on the branch of the tree above my head. A soft blurry haze occurs and I’m one with the tree for what seems like an eternity. The spell is broken by the sound of rustling bushes and Bill appears with a wide grin and a glistening trout on his line.
He cleaned the fish and got a nice fire started while I routed out the chopping board and the good knife and made the salsa with ruby tomatoes and Serrano chilies from our garden.
- 4 medium tomatoes
- 2 hot chilies or mild ones if you like
- A little finely chopped onion
- 1 – 2 cloves of garlic
- lemon or lime
- salt and pepper
- fresh cilantro pulled from the stem.
- Roast tomatoes and chilies in a pan with garlic till the
- skin blisters and slightly browns and tomatoes soften.
- Removing the chilies and garlic and chop finely to make a paste
- chop the tomatoes finely and add to the paste and stir.
- Chop the onion finely and add to the mix
- then chop cilantro .
- add juice of a large lemon or lime.
- Add some sea salt, taste and adjust .
- stir the salsa well.
OMG! its the best salsa
- Slice thinly a russet potato skin on .
- Warm up some olive oil and sauté potato at low heat for a few minutes.
- Add some chopped garlic and fresh rosemary cook till golden and tender.
With the cleaned trout, cut down the center season with salt and pepper and stuff with some fresh thyme and thin slices of lemon, Trickle some olive oil on the outside flesh and rub in well. Sauté trout gently for a few minutes, either on a grill or camping stove then place the lid on the pan and steam till it flakes away easy with a fork.
This is a simple delicious way to cook fresh trout and of course you can do it at home too, but there is nothing like eating what you catch, and cooking outdoors it brings a deep inner satisfaction and appreciation.