Not happy with our $15 food spend from a salmon fishing trip of a couple years ago, this time we decided to go completely free. For this camping mission all food was supplied by work!
On the menu was peanut paste, long life milk, coffee, vegemite, butter, honey, mustard, vinegar, tomato sauce and 2 minute noodles. We were also forced to steal lemons from a neighbour’s tree based on medical advice that our special camp diet may have us contracting scurvy should we not include a source of vitamin C.
My favourite dish was peanut paste, straight from the cup. It was delicious and easy to prepare.
Of course we also ate salmon, either smoked or ceviche, drizzled in lemon juice. To supplement our tight vitamin C rations we collected a load of pigface fruit and sauteed them in a honey and butter mix. We bait fished each afternoon and night hoping to land something more palatable than salmon but unfortunately didn’t have much luck. One herring was all we could muster, and it really tasted great after a couple of days of mostly salmon and 2 minute noodles.
We cheated slightly and did fork out a bundle of cash for a block of highly nutritious red tin beer. It kept us fit, strong and satisfied over the several day camp. Thank you beer!
It’s hard to pick favourite spots out of all the places we’ve visited but the Oregon coast is up there. Spectacular coastline, cheap beer, cheap accommodation, good seafood, oysters of ridiculous proportions, lots of cool little towns to visit and friendly people make cruising down highway 101 along the Oregon coast pretty awesome. Only problem – it was bloody cold!
Checkout the oysters we bought from a side of the road seafood vendor. Nine super fresh oysters for $7 and they’re huge! It’s not possible to slurp them up in one hit. Each oyster takes about three mouthfulls to get through. I thought black lip oysters from northern Australia were big but they’re no match for Oregon oysters.
We visited the Tillamook cheese factory, the Blue Heron cheese factory and some confectionery factories. The one thing they all have in common – huge quantities of samples for tasting. Don’t worry about preparing lunch if you’re visiting these joints. You’ll be full up with cheese and chocolate.
We had a really good night out in Pacific City. We visited a brewery that was recommended by a friend we met at the brewery party in Portland and then went to a local sports bar where we enjoyed a seafood platter dinner, a couple of cheap beers and a few games of pool with some locals.
Also, over the course of the few days we spent along the the coast in Oregon, we hiked through forest, walked along some of the many beaches, visited a few shops, watched a movie (Anchorman 2), lots of general sight seeing along the many coastal vistas and tried some clam chowder in one of the random towns we passed through.
Next stop – Redwood National Park in northern California.
After spending 5 days in Vancouver we ventured back to the USA to head south along the west coast back towards our origin in LA. First stop – Portland, known for rain, bicycles, hipsters and microbreweries all of which we experienced while there. We rented a bike and rode it around the city, across and around the river and up the hill to the rose gardens which weren’t in bloom. We felt young and cool cruising the streets on our tandem bike mixing it with the hipsters. Also visited were the worlds biggest book store, various shops, various food vans, Voodoo Doughnuts and a ride on the Portland Streetcar. We had a night or two exploring the microbreweries and playing board games. It was pretty cold outside so why not stay in for a few brews? One night we happened across a particular brewery which was hosting a party for micro brewery entrepreneurs. Of course we gate crashed the party and enjoyed the rest of the night meeting some brewers and getting some ideas for Joe’s retirement dream of starting a microbrewery himself.
Our accommodation in Portland – a car park near a church on the quiet side of the river. We crashed in the back of the van and used McDonalds for coffee and toilet runs.
For those of you that may not know, XXXX Gold dominates the beer market in Northern Australia. How can this be? It’s a conventional mid-strength beer. I’ve made it my mission to find out. Have a look at my results:
After Edith Falls we went for a drive to Grove Hill Heritage Hotel. Built in 1934, it’s a good spot to drop off for a cool drink. Despite being only a short drive off Stuart Hwy, it feels like you’re really in the middle of no where. A good aussie bush pub owned by a typical bush character, Stan. A cold VB stubby was promptly ordered when we arrived. Apart from drinks and food available at the bar, there’s accommodation, camping and a museum with mining and pastoral relics on display plus heaps of information on the history of the hotel and the area. We found out that on the last Saturday of every month during the dry season, the hotel hosts a free bbq and overnight camping night with live music. We never knew about it, otherwise we would have gone. There is one event left for the season in October. We’re planning to make it for that one.
We stayed for a couple of beers with Stan. He was drinking Bundy rum straight out of a little shot mug. Checked out the museum and other bits around, then headed off to Pine Creek.
The free bbqs are held in the dry only, from April to October. However Grove Hill Hotel stays open 365 days a year according to Stan. So it’s a reliable spot that you can check out and relax at anytime of the year.
Man it’s hot in Katherine. Forecast is around 40 deg C most days. Apart from beer, such heat can be tackled with a super calorie hit delivered by a big steak sandwich, so that’s what I did yesterday. Tried the model they produce at Jade Cafe.