Doran Beach Campout 2014

Doran Beach Campout 2014

Billy, Bruce, Bran, Benn, Leanan

Billy, Bruce, Bran, Benn, Leananin

Another great summer campout with SCPN, organized the the sensational Susan Small and Helen Hawk, who reserved Miwok Campground sites D and E for the best camping at Bodega Bay. Benn, in the turquoise tie-dye above, grilled marinated pork ribs and served up robust German potato salad and red cabbage. He even invited the motorcycling Germans at the next campsite to join us on Saturday night — they turned out to be a very engaging pair.
Helen Hawk wowed us with a fabulous apple cake on Friday night, and Artemesia serenaded us both nights, accompanying herself on the tin whistle and the melodica. A fun celebration of Mother Earth.
Susan and friends with Artemesia and melodica

Susan and friends with Artemesia and melodica

BillyTwoNames300wEarth-based religion connects members of this group and some resist new technology. Others embrace it and earn their livings through it. Billy Twonames is a technician in communications and he brought a Biolite, a tiny stove that folds up small enough for a backpacker, that burns wood and could charge his cell phone! You see him here on Saturday morning heating water in his kettle for morning tea. There were three kettles in this group! And three different people brought canned baked beans to the Friday night pot luck. So different from camping with other groups where I have the only kettle and I have never seen canned baked beans! Sunday morning three of us cooked bacon for the group.

bioliteChargingPhone300wThese folks love meat, too! I don’t really feel like cooking after a drive (55 miles round trip) and setting up camp, so I thought salmon steaks would be quick to cook and easy to share, but it was a miss. Several people arrived after 6 p.m. and the grill wasn’t fired up until then, so it was dark when we ate. Fish with bones, in the dark, is not good.

Next time I will assemble brochette (with white meat for Helen Hawk) for a fast cook dish. And I will bring washed and ready to serve crudités with dipping sauce for hors-d’œuvre. There was nothing to snack on as people were arriving except the celery and pheasant pâté I brought. I would have enjoyed a salad on Saturday night, so next time I will have that prepped in advance. Benn made red cabbage, German potato salad and he grilled Thermal’s chickens, but dinner was so late again on Saturday I couldn’t wait. I sneaked over to Susan’s table and heated up some frozen Malibu chili as she cooked a separate meal of delicious-smelling lamb and vegetables. Helen had brought some large russet baking potatoes (which she doesn’t eat) which went unused. I traded a cauliflower for them and brought them home. Next time I will prepare small organic potatoes for the grill: wash, dry, and wrap in foil before I leave so they can be dropped on the coals without fuss. The big potatoes take too long to cook and are too large for a potluck.

Benn invited the neighboring Germans to taste his potato salad which was rich with bacon bits. He asked the man if it tasted like potato salad back in Germany. The man didn’t know, and the woman asked, “Why do you ask him? He has never made potato salad!” So Benn asked, and she replied, “In Germany, potato salad has more eggs and more pickles.”

Sunday morning I had the beach to myself for yoga and meditation, maybe because of the 6.0 earthquake in nearby Napa at 3:20 a.m. It woke me up, but I thought it was a strong wind shaking my tent and I went right back to sleep. This was the beach at about 11 a.m. I think our RV neighbors might have rushed home on Sunday morning to make sure all was well. I am looking forward to camping with these folks next year — it is so much fun to camp with people who love the earth.


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