The Mighty Junebugg – a June of all Trades


Gourmet Freeway Camping
August 18, 2010, 5:14 am
Filed under: camping, Cooking, Friends, Life, Travel | Tags: ,

A few weeks ago my friends and I were itchin to get out of town. One of the girls found a campground in San Diego that had a pool, a jacuzzi and supposedly… it was “right near the beach”. We packed up 4 cars deep and rolled down to the Chula Vista KOA (Kampgrounds of America).

We arrived happy as shit, only to discover that the Chula Vista KOA was like the Motel 6 of campgrounds. They mainly cater to families with RVs and only had 4 tent sites… we took two of them. The campsites looked like an afterthought. They were on the side of the road even before the main office. The craziest part is that we were setting up our tents right along the fence next to the FREEWAY. To make matters worse, the only decent beach was a 30 minute drive away… Oh Well, all we could do was laugh!

There were 10 of us on this trip. The part about this camping mission that made it “gourmet” was our meals. I took the chance to break in the Camping Oven I got for my birthday. Here is the unruley bunch

(left to right in the back row: AC, Toya, Tiffatty, Yassi, Omer, Junebugg & Junko. left to right in the front row: C-Minus, Ani & Rocio. Dogs left to right: Ruby & Olivia)

Here are some things we saw, ate & did

My new over worked great! Thank you so much for hooking it up on my birthday!!! The first dish I cooked in it was some blackbean nachos for our afternoon snack

Of course we needed some adult beverages to keep us warm at night, so we chose these as our poison…

You know we mixed this with some juice and kept it Long Beach drankin Gin & Juice… laid back!

And some Jack & Coke...
Jack & coke is always a nice camping drink

See the freeway in the background? I wasn’t lying… we were right up under that bitch!

This was our janky ass fire pit, it looked like it was gonna fall over at any moment.

For dinner we enjoyed Baked Salmon, BBQ Chicken Legs, Baked Sweet Potato, Green Beans with lemon butter and a salad.

Yassi held it down on the BBQ grill and sported her smoke goggles (for saftey purposes)

Dessert that night was S’mores made with Strawberry marshmallows. It was so good! We went to sleep after that and tried to pretend that the freeway sounded like the ocean.

The next morning we actually went to the dog beach so Olivia & Ruby could play. There was no sun for us to enjoy but we all had fun BSing. After the Dog Beach, we went to Sunset Cliffs in Ocean Beach to wander around. The sun finally came out and we really enjoyed exploring our surroundings.

For dessert that night I baked some cookies in a muffin tin, when they came hot out the oven I topped them with vanilla ice cream and a splash of some White Russian on top. It was pretty spectacular!

The End.

Advertisements


HAPPY CAMPERS – NOW TAKING RESERVATIONS!!!

Has the economy got you down? Are you yearning for a vacation but just can’t afford a plane ticket to paradise? Fear not my friend, PARADISE is in our own backyard, explore the great outdoors! Happy Campers is a unique camping tour service. For those that don’t know “how” to camp, we teach you. For those that do, we show you more! Your trip guides are a chef and an archaeologist. Both of us are experienced campers and will show you the ropes on everything from pitching a tent and building a fire to hiking “smart” and getting the most out of your nature experience.

We take groups of 2-12 people on camping trips lasting from 3 days to 2 weeks. Each trip is custom fit to YOUR NEEDS & DESIRES. We can camp on the beach an hour away or at one of our Nation’s beautiful National Parks 5-6 hours away. We tell you what to bring, show you how to set up camp like a pro and even cook gourmet campsite meals for you! Abigail, our resident archaeologist, will teach you about the geography of the area we camp and hike in as well as show you how to keep an eye open for traces of old civilizations. We will also teach you basic survival skills. Don’t worry, this isn’t boot camp, there is plenty of time for relaxing and just enjoying your surroundings.

Trips start as cheap as $50/person. This fee includes all your meals, snacks, firewood and campsite fees for the trip. You bring your tent & sleeping bag and we’ll show you how to use it. Make your reservations now! We will be guiding trips from April to August anywhere within 8 hours driving distance from Southern California. Camping is fun & affordable and there are many BEAUTIFUL places here in the US worth exploring. Come enjoy Nature with us!

Leave a comment with your email address and we will contact you about planning your trip. Gather your family or a group of friends and lets go camping!

Check out some of out past trips:

Zion National Park

Crater Lake National Park

Redwoods National Park

Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks

Grand Canyon National Park



Zion National Park: Day 1
September 18, 2009, 11:02 pm
Filed under: camping, Cooking, Life, National Parks, Road Trip, Travel, Utah, Zion National Park

Since its almost that time of year again, I thought I’d post up a trip from last October. Zion National Park is an amazing place, add the colors of Fall and it really does feel like heaven on Earth. I’m planning another trip to Zion in the middle of this October 09 and would love company, if you want to come along… let me know!

Zion is part of the “Grand Staircase” which includes the Grand Canyon and Brice Canyon. The Grand Staircase refers to an immense sequence of sedimentary rock layers that stretch south from Bryce Canyon National Park through Zion National Park and into the Grand Canyon. In the 1870s, geologist Clarence Dutton first conceptualized this region as a huge stairway ascending out of the bottom of the Grand Canyon northward with the cliff edge of each layer forming giant steps.

Zion is about a 7 hour drive from Long Beach and is about an hour past St. George, Utah. On this trip we left at midnight. Along the way we stopped for breakfast and grocery shopping so we arrived around 10 am. There are two campsites in the park but South Campground doesn’t require reservations. There are no showers in the campground but take a two mile drive into town and there are pay showers available. We set up camp and thought we would sleep for a couple of hours before exploring our surroundings. After about 3 minutes in the tent, we knew it would be impossible to sleep. We were too excited AND tents are like saunas during the day time. It was in the 80’s and the skies were bright blue. It made a beautiful contrast against the beautiful red rocks that make up Zion’s canyon.

the view from our campsite at South Campground

the view from our campsite at South Campground

We got ready and went out to hike and explore.

Junebugg, your favorite happy camper

Junebugg, your favorite happy camper

Zion is open year round but April through October, cars are not allowed to drive to the points of interest. There just isn’t enough room to accommodate all the cars during this busy season so the park offers a wonderful tram service that runs very frequently and stops at every point of interest. The tram is air conditioned, free and offers an audio tour during its route.

the Zion tram system is also powered by natural gas or something like that

the Zion tram system is also powered by natural gas or something like that

Zion rocks!

Zion rocks!

Fall leaves in Zion. This pic was taken along the trail up to Weeping Rock

Fall leaves in Zion. This pic was taken along the trail up to Weeping Rock

Weeping Rock in Zion National Park, 800 year old water filters through drips from the rock. I felt like I was getting blessed by holy water

Weeping Rock in Zion National Park, 800 year old water filters through drips from the rock. I felt like I was getting blessed by holy water

Fall leaves against crisp blue sky

Fall leaves against crisp blue sky

Love is everywhere

Love is everywhere

Fall leaves

Fall leaves

the colors were simply amazing!

the colors were simply amazing!

reds, oranges & yellows against the last of the green

reds, oranges & yellows against the last of the green

Along the hike up the Three Pools... almost to the 3rd pool!

Along the hike up the Three Pools... almost to the 3rd pool!

deer aren't afraid of people & wander comfortably thru the campground

deer aren't afraid of people & wander comfortably thru the campground

Wild Turkey was our poison of the trip... and it was wild!

Wild Turkey was our poison of the trip... and it was wild!

Chicken Curry with boilermakers was a nice way to end the day

Chicken Curry with boilermakers was a nice way to end the day



Zion National Park: Day 2
September 18, 2009, 11:02 pm
Filed under: camping, Cooking, Life, National Parks, Photography, Road Trip, Travel, Zion National Park

We woke up and made some breakfast. Today we planned to take the tram up to the top of the canyon and get off at the last stop, the Temple of Sinawava. We brought water shoes and planned to hike back down towards our campground IN the Virgin River which carved the canyon over millions of years. The water is knee deep or so and I recommend a hiking stick to help balance yourself while walking over smooth and sometimes slippers round rocks that pave the riverbed.

spam & rice was a lovely way to start the day

spam & rice was a lovely way to start the day

honey, ginseng, chai tea for breakfast

honey, ginseng, chai tea for breakfast

the tram route

the tram route

WuTang Rock in Zion National Park hee hee

WuTang Rock in Zion National Park hee hee

We hiked in and along the Virgin River all day

We hiked in and along the Virgin River all day

Zion rock formations

Zion rock formations

Junebugg the happy camper

Junebugg the happy camper

the road is red in Zion because they used rock quarried locally

the road is red in Zion because they used rock quarried locally

a motorcycle tent trailer!

a motorcycle tent trailer!

pasta & Modelo for dinner

pasta & Modelo for dinner

night cap... the Wild Turkey in action!

night cap... the Wild Turkey in action!



Zion National Park: Day 3
September 18, 2009, 11:02 pm
Filed under: camping, Cooking, Life, National Parks, Road Trip, Travel, Zion National Park

On this day, we were going to hike The Narrows! We started off with a hearty breakfast to store a little energy for what was to come.

Hiking breakfast: leftover curry, eggs & turkey bacon

Hiking breakfast: leftover curry, eggs & turkey bacon

Zion Canyon is wide and deep but it comes to a place where the canyon walls rise up over 1000ft vertically. The opposing walls come within 10 or 20 feet of eachother and the Virgin River flows between them. At this point, there is no dry land to walk on, the river flows from wall to wall so hikers walk IN the river. Many people rent waterproof overalls & hiking poles at places like this but you can just wear old tennis shoes with no socks or water shoes. The water isn’t very warm but you get used to it pretty quickly. Along the river there are a few berms of dry land and if you apply for a permit, you can even camp on them. When hiking the Narrows, ALWAYS check with the ranger station about weather conditions. Even if the sky is blue, rain fall 50 miles away can cause flash flooding in the canyon and you risk drowning or being crushed by boulders or tree trunks pushed along in the flood. All the scary shit aside, this is my favorite hike on the planet so far!

almost to the entrance of the Narrows

almost to the entrance of the Narrows

the Virgin River glistening in the sunlight

the Virgin River glistening in the sunlight

it was finally time to step into the water and hike into the Narrows

it was finally time to step into the water and hike into the Narrows

Virgin River

Virgin River

Wall Street in the Zion Narrows

Wall Street in the Zion Narrows

a lonely tree hangs on to life

a lonely tree hangs on to life

Abigail fell in the water so we had to build a fire to dry her pants

Abigail fell in the water so we had to build a fire to dry her pants

we stacked some blessings stones

we stacked some blessings stones

DAMN!!!! Don't feed the squirrels, its serious!

DAMN!!!! Don't feed the squirrels, its serious!

Dinner after a long day of hiking

Dinner after a long day of hiking



Zion National Park: Day 4
September 18, 2009, 11:01 pm
Filed under: camping, Life, National Parks, Photography, Road Trip, Travel, Zion National Park

We woke up and packed up camp. It was time to head home but we planned to take Zion National Park Scenic Byway.

good ol' #85 was our home at South Campground

good ol' #85 was our home at South Campground

We took the scenic drive and had to go thru this tunnel

We took the scenic drive and had to go thru this tunnel

a view from inside the tunnel looking out

a view from inside the tunnel looking out

beautiful Zion rock formations and colors

beautiful Zion rock formations and colors

Checkerboard Mesa in Zion National Park

Checkerboard Mesa in Zion National Park

the canyon rose high above us...

the canyon rose high above us...

red rock

red rock

my car hit a milestone on the way home

my car hit a milestone on the way home



Arizona Road Trip Day 2: Grand Canyon
September 2, 2009, 1:38 am
Filed under: Arizona, Arizona Road Trip, camping, Cooking, Grand Canyon, Life, Photography, Road Trip, Travel

We woke up early; excited to explore the canyon. Since the National Park is protected, personal cars aren’t really welcomed at view points around the canyons rim. The parking lots just aren’t big enough to accommodate everyone Millions of people visit the Grand Canyon every year to see one of the Wonders of the World. The environmental impact of all the people and their cars would be too great so the park service came up with a wonderful solution. Visitors park their cars and take air conditioned trams to all points of interest. No one has to worry about parking or traffic or any of those mundane issues. Here are some of the sights we saw…

Abi, Ethan & June... enjoying the air conditioned tram ride to the rim

Abi, Ethan & June... enjoying the air conditioned tram ride to the rim

the first glimpse takes your breath away, "Grand" Canyon is not an accurate discription

the first glimpse takes your breath away, "Grand" Canyon is not an accurate description of how immense it really is.

a distant view of the Bright Angel Trail which goes down to the canyon floor

a distant view of the Bright Angel Trail which goes down to the canyon floor

a closer look: this is a strenuous trail that requires the whole day and LOTS of water. Its 20 degrees hotter at the bottom of the canyon

a closer look: this is a strenuous trail that requires the whole day and LOTS of water. Its 20 degrees hotter at the bottom of the canyon!

Love is in the air

Love is in the air

Millions of years of erosion by the Colorado River formed the MILE DEEP canyon!

Millions of years of erosion by the Colorado River formed the MILE DEEP canyon!

its huge and vast and no camera in the world can capture its greatness

its huge and vast and no camera in the world can capture its greatness

its SU-PER ABIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII!

its SU-PER ABIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII!

After a sweltering hike along the Rim Trail, we went back to camp to wash up and have a snack before going back to the rim to watch sunset. When we got to camp, we discovered why you are supposed to secure all your food items. A bird had ravaged our pantry, he ate everything from chips & incense to tea & cereal. Items and trash were strewn across the campsite. The bird was proud of his work and sat squawking in a tree high above us… laughing at our lack of caution.

We didn't even open the box yet and he ate it all!

We didn't even open the box yet and he ate it all!

He must be a professional, he even left a calling card!!!

He must be a professional, he even left a calling card!!!

A snack of honey mustard chips, seaweed and apples hit the spot!

A snack of honey mustard chips, seaweed and apples hit the spot!

Next we showered up and headed back to the rim to watch sunset. Sunset is amazing from any point in the canyon, there is no bad spot to watch the spectacle. The sky changes colors every minute and the sun paints the canyon walls in a million colors. I’m not even gonna caption these next pics, just marvel at how the sights changed from minute to minute. These pictures were taken in order over the span of about 30 minutes…

2DSC042552DSC042612DSC042652DSC042692DSC042732DSC042752DSC042782DSC042812DSC042982DSC042992DSC043022DSC043052DSC043142DSC043172DSC043182DSC043212DSC043242DSC043272DSC04328WOWSERS! That sunset was bananas! We went back to camp, cooked dinner and settled in around the fire for jiffy pop and beer. I gotta say it was a good day!