Sunday, March 21, 2010


I thought since it was Spring it should be time for a hike, right? (And maybe time for Di to change this background) So I went out to my favorite trail to see how it looked after a long hard winter. Well, it's not Spring on the PCT yet! At least not in the San Gabriels. Actually, it's getting pretty close to the time when the thru-hikers start at the border. They usually start in late April and come thru Wrightwood in May. Let's hope they can see the trail by then!
Do you know what posthole-ing is? I'm not referring to the hole the above PCT trail-marker post is put in. I mean when you are walking on snow and your leg breaks thru and you sink 4 feet into the snow. It's pretty awkward to get out because your other leg is still up on top. And then you have to be very careful that your shoe doesn't stay in the bottom of the hole when you take the "post" out. Yes, I am very familiar with this as you might guess. You'd think I would have the sense to turn around, but no, I had to go on for a mile or so. I'll just say this; there are now many new postholes on the PCT.
I could see tracks that someone had gone before, so I knew where the trail was. But I could also tell by the tracks that he had an ice ax and crampons. And he must have gone in the morning when the snow is hard after freezing over night. I wasn't so lucky, or so well equiped. But I did get my first hike in for the season! The mountains are calling and I must go!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Mom's Chili

We had a nice Ward activity the other night. It was our annual chili cook-off and adult pinewood derby race. I didn't have time to do both a car and chili, so, of course, I chose food. I used my Mom's recipe. She passed away a couple of years ago at 91 years old. I have many fond memories of hanging out in the kitchen to grab some nibbles as she cooked. I once asked her if she liked to cook and she said "well, I like to eat, so I guess I like to cook too." When she was 67 she decided to write down all the favorite family recipes and some stories and put them in a family cook book to give to us kids for Christmas. It is the favorite thing I have to read and remember my Mom. It's better than a photo album because it is in her words and in her hand writing. Well, my Mom's recipe won "Best Overall" at the Ward dinner. It's nothing fancy, just good ol' ranch chili. But I like it and I guess others did too as I made over a gallon, and it was almost all gone. Several have asked for the recipe, so here it is. (If you click on the image it will enlarge, and just for the record, I used diced tomatos, not tomato sauce, and the "heat and eat" method for the beans!)