Kate kindly let me borrow her pack and I loaded it up with things for the overnight trip. I was responsible for making something delicious for dinner, so I chose this:
Serves 2 hungry hikers.
½ cup whole-wheat couscous
¾ cup water1 ½ tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon curry powder
2 carrots1 cup chickpeas
1 bunch scallion
¼ cup sliced almonds
¼ cup golden raisins
Dash salt and pepper
Rinse, drain, and pat dry chickpeas; pack them in a zip-top bag. Transfer oil to a spillproof container. Pack curry, salt, pepper, almonds, and raisins in another zip-top bag.
Bring water to a boil in a pot; remove from heat, add couscous, cover, and let sit until all water is absorbed (about five minutes). While couscous is heating, grate, shred, or chop the carrots. Chop scallions into thin slices. When couscous is done, add olive oil, vegetables, chickpeas, and the contents of the curry bag. Slice lime in half and squeeze fresh juice into the couscous; mix well to combine. Grate a little lime zest on top. Serve warm.
*For some reason, limes aren't like, you know, standard grocery store products around here. I had to use lime concentrate instead. It worked fine.I wasn't entirely sure how the carrots and chickpeas would hold up, so I froze a water bottle to set next to them to keep them cool. Unfortunately, the bottom of the water bottom busted in the pack. But, I didn't realize this until we already had walked about an hour towards the hut! I should have thought something was up when I kept becoming aware of how wet the backs of my knees were, but I shrugged it off and hoped no one else noticed. Well, not only was I little bit embarrassed that I thought I was having some weirdo sweaty knee syndrome, but I worried about how I'd stay hydrated with nearly 5 hours to go before we reached the hut which would have a tank of rain water waiting for us.
Things worked out fine in the end. I actually was thankful for the experience of having to conserve water and the ice that remained in my water bottle (when I wasn't having visions of bending over muddy puddles lapping up water out of desperation). Life in my comfy little flat is so easy and I never appreciate how I can just turn on a faucet when I want cold water. Out there, the chunks of ice that would break off when I'd shake the water bottle were delicious! On top of that, every now and then a cool breeze would blow past us - how refreshing!
Here's an idea of the terrain we were walking on...imagine the sun beating down!
The landscape on this trip was much different from what I saw on my first outing to Silver Peaks. It seemed more scenic.
Just before sunset I was out on the porch when I heard voices in the distance. Soon after we welcomed four international students to the hut (three Americans and one Columbian). They got lost out on the trail and had nearly given up hope that they'd find the hut before dark (they didn't have flashlights, but had a whole loaf of bread and peanut butter, ha!). After dark, Malcolm, a middle aged kiwi, joined us. We all had a fantastic evening just chatting away while drinking ginger wine and whiskey. During the night, we all had a good laugh at Malcolm's expense, too - he was quite a snorer. But, he also had a good sense of humor; here's what he wrote in the hut's visitors log:
"Mostly some friendly Americans here with no torches (flashlights) but plenty of peanut butter =)"
In the morning, this was the view I enjoyed during breakfast:
Not too shabby! Imagine that sky filled with millions of stars at night. It's not pitch black like you might imagine. At one point in the night I was out there just looking up and taking it all in. It definitely made me feel so small to look up and think about how we're all floating around on a small blue dot surrounded by all those small white dots.
After breakfast, it was time to head up Devil's Staircase and make our way back to the car. It was a good bouldering session to get to the top. I used the empty whiskey bottle for a water bottle - that was interesting to take sips of whisky flavored water!
We stopped here for a quick lunch:
Since the weather is getting warmer, I'm sure I'll be posting more and more pictures from outdoor adventures. Stay tuned!