Summer Adventure + Tasty Bite Review: Part II

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Several weeks ago, I had a decent stretch of time off from work – simply because that was the way my schedule ended up. In a span of seven days, Tim and I spent five of them immersed in the wilderness. It was awesome. If you didn’t catch Part I, you can read all about it here!

I’m quite fond of backpacking trips that lead out of the trees and into a world dotted with alpine lakes, wildflower meadows, and grand views of snow-capped peaks. We have a few favorite trails, one of them being the Broken Top Loop near Sisters, OR. We hiked this 25-mile gem two years ago and knew we would make it a point to return again.

Sadly, during the year between our first and second visit, a wildfire damaged a generous portion of the trail (4-5 miles or so). The area is still beautiful, but wow, what a transformation of landscape! Charred tree trunks, dusty black ash underfoot, not much greenery, and no shelter from the sweltering summer sun.

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This time around, we took less photographs, but I think we still captured the beauty. And, we had a Tasty Bite meal to review. Easy dinners are always appreciated after climbing for 8 miles!

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We camped close to a mountain lake on our first night – the perfect place to splash around in icy water and cool off. We had the company of dozens of squawky Clark’s Nutcrackers. They are noisy and hilarious. Tim recorded them and you can listen here and here! I loved hearing their sharp beaks peck away at pinecones.

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After relaxing and rehydrating, we whipped up dinner: a pouch of Tasty Bite’s Ginger Lentil Rice plus some kale and vacuum-packed tofu we brought from home. Gourmet, right?! It was filling and very flavorful. We marveled at how we could detect all the fresh spices and ingredients.

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I would absolutely make this meal again. Dry rice takes too much time to cook when backpacking so this was a special treat. Tasty Bite provides lots of nourishment in a small pouch, and enough food to feed two hungry (HUNGRY) vegans.

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As you can see, Tim is a fan of smiling for the camera. We hope to get several more backpacking trips in before the weather turns wet and cold. We have a few months still so it should be easy!

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See ya next time!

 

Summer Adventures + Tasty Bite Review: Part I

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Escaping the scorching summer heat is easy when you live in the Pacific Northwest. Just head for the mountains! Every year, Tim and I try to take advantage of our flexible work schedules and hit the trails for multi-day backpacking trips. I absolutely love the solitude –  and wilderness adventures confirm that I’m not much of a city girl. Thankfully Portland is a small-ish city surrounded by mountain peaks waiting to be explored.

A few weeks ago we revisited one of our favorite backpacking destinations: the Goat Rocks Wilderness in Washington state. While the drive creeps close to three hours, it is worth every single second. We have hiked this trail four times now, and three out of those four times resulted in complete solitude at our campsite. I love when that happens.

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This particular trip was just an over-nighter, but lingering longer would have been possible if jobs back home didn’t exist. :) Meal planning was easy because the kind folks at Tasty Bite contacted me awhile ago asking if I wanted to review some of their products. Tasty Bite makes ready-to-eat Indian and Pan Asian meals with a focus on fresh, natural ingredients. The packages don’t weigh much and heat up in just a few minutes, so they are ideal for folks with busy lifestyles or outdoor adventures on their agendas, like me!

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We packed Thai Lime Rice and Channa Masala – fusion food that worked surprisingly well together. But, before I get to the review, let’s take a peek at a few more trail photographs, shall we?

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And then we ate dinner:

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It was close to freezing (yes, even in August!) by the time we went to sleep. And because we were up near 7,000 feet in elevation, we literally slept in the clouds the entire night. So, this warming meal was a pleasant surprise. Not only was it filling and flavorful, but a bit spicy too. We both really enjoyed the fact that the chickpeas weren’t mushy. The rice was perfectly cooked. And, we tasted ginger, garlic, lemongrass, and lime – so many delicious flavors in one meal! We devoured this pretty quickly and the servings per pouch fed two hungry hikers. Thank you, Tasty Bite, for the samples!!

The next morning, we hit the trial again. More fog. More clouds. More solitude.

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And before we knew it, we were back home in Portland. But, the adventures continued the following week. Stay tuned for Part II!