Trip Report - 'Pass the Ketchup' - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 03-31-2019   #1
 
Idaho Falls, Idaho
Paddling Since: 1970
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 74
Trip Report - 'Pass the Ketchup'

I believe it was my second year living in Utah. After our youngest left home, I accepted a job West of Salt Lake City. I got to be a part of two (for me) bucket list trips on the Western Rivers. The Westwater float was with a large, fun group. I wondered if I was up to what I had heard, watched, and read about. The anticipation of running Surprise Falls, Shock Rock, and Room of Doom all brought back memories of the maiden voyage for a multi-day whitewater on the Salt River in Arizona.

Mark and I were excited to be a part of a Gates of Ladore trip. A family of backpackers had drawn the permit and asked for raft support as they ran a paddle raft. The four of them, Mark, and I would drive over from the Wasatch Front and meet Brad, a rafter from Colorado at the put-in.

I pulled a trailer over with three rafts, coolers, and the associated gear. The permit holder had handed out cooking and gear assignments. As Mark and I packed, we made sure we had sufficient cooler space for food from the permit holders group.

We pulled up to their house at the appointed time, had a quick round of introductions, and proceeded to load the dry bags, paddles, and the third of three rafts in the trailer. I left the cooler out and waited for the food to be brought out of the house. Nothing - The permit holder told me they had packed all the food in their dry bags. I am a bit on the slow side and suggested that they move the food out of their bags and into the cooler - after all it was early July and it was no bother putting it in the cooler. After insisting that it was fine, I conceded and we loaded up and headed East.

Warnings bells were going off in my head all the way across Utah. What kind of food were they going to prepare for 7 that could be kept in their dry bags for 2 or 3 days? Thoughts of an October Middle Fork trip several years earlier were still fresh in my mind. With water levels at 1.47’, Mike and I had planned on filtering all our water directly from the river and packed freeze dried meals to keep the weight down. We would have hot meals on a trip that would begin with temperatures in the mid-teens the morning of the launch. ‘Feeds 2 hungry men’ was a consistent message on the packaging. We soon discovered that one package was not sufficient to feed even 1 hungry man! That was the first river trip I lost weight on. But I digress.

In Vernal, we stopped at Walmart. I believe I made an excuse about forgetting something really important (like a fingernail file or something). Mark and I quickly gathered a few things to tide us over. A bag or two of beef jerkey, a couple apples, some cheese and crackers, and we were off.

My recollection of the trip was one of pure awe. The red rock canyon walls inspire special feelings of solitude, peace, and joy. Life seems not only to slow down, but to take a step backwards. A time of dinosaurs and mysterious creatures permeates the imagination. Without planning on fishing the murky waters, I was focused on being one with the river, taking a few pictures, and engaging in deep discussions with a great friend.



Life is good.

On the night the permit holder’s family was to cook, we had an unbelievable cloudburst just as we were setting up our respective tents. Mark and I took shelter just under a cliff outcropping and waited the storm out rather than risk getting the inside of our tents wet. As we completed pitching our tents and changing into out of our wet river clothes, we could smell spaghetti noodles being cooked. I was not sure if I had ever had spaghetti on a river trip. That and some French bread would serve as a great comfort food after the downpour.

We settled around the fire to talk about the day, now behind us, and the river miles that tomorrow would bring. Plates and silverware were passed around. We sat down to wait for the coming feast. It was then I realized that there was no Bread. Nor was there any meat cooking. Where is the spaghetti sauce? No Parmesan cheese?

What is that bottle of Ketchup doing on the camp table?



The spaghetti was served up, steaming hot on everyone’s plate and we leaned in, in great anticipation when the permit holder said - “Please pass the Ketchup”.

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Old 04-01-2019   #2
 
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Join Date: Mar 2018
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Pretty funny, loved it!
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Old 04-01-2019   #3
 
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Kalispell, Montana
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Apr 2012
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Haha, awesome.

At least the scenery and company was amazing.


Maybe all trips need a pretrip meeting/potluck and then everyone can gauge the others' approach and commitment to dining.

I had another thought in the GC DIY food pack thread..it's nice to be able to to pull some great recipes, but some folks aren't capable of realizing a great recipe. If you know the people you're with and that plate of hot spaghetti was the peak of their outdoor cooking capability was really a gift--they put some effort into it.

(So while that's appreciated...pass the jerky!)
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Old 04-01-2019   #4
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
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Ha, I feel like the food is the biggest unknown in going on a trip with a new group. Ultimately, as long as I'm on the river, I'll be happy with whatever, but I definitely prefer to eat good food.
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Old 04-01-2019   #5
Never enough free time
 
Red Lodge, Montana
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I'm still trying to figure out how to have fewer leftovers at the end of a trip
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Old 04-01-2019   #6
 
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Eagle, Colorado
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Sounds like a National Lampoons rafting vacation. Cousin Eddy makes some mean spaghetti.
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Old 04-01-2019   #7
 
Missoula, Montana
Paddling Since: 1992
Join Date: Mar 2015
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Man, I love spaghetti night on the river, but we actually make sauce and bring garlic bread and salad. Noodles and ketchup is a low that I don't think I ever hit even in college, and I ate rice and season salt burritos more often than not for a few years of my life.
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Old 04-04-2019   #8
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
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Leftovers

Quote:
Originally Posted by MontanaLaz View Post
I'm still trying to figure out how to have fewer leftovers at the end of a trip
Have done some 5-7 day trips with a group that has boated together a lot. We've planned the last night as "Leftover Night". Some strange combos, but nobody ever went hungry.
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Old 04-04-2019   #9
 
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Join Date: Mar 2018
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MontanaLaz View Post
I'm still trying to figure out how to have fewer leftovers at the end of a trip

Thats easy! We got off Desolation last summer with nearly nothing left, what geniuses.........


And so it goes like this. First day we go to get some snacks out of the food box, and pew! Smells like Penicillin. We find some oranges that were a bit cooked and tossed those in a Paragon Falcon nest or something. Did not want that stinking up all the food.


By the second day the tub is really stinking, and food is absorbing the smell. WTF? Now we start tossing all sorts of things into Paragon Falcon nests!


By Dinner Day 3 food is getting slimmer and we decide to unload the tub and wash it out......Then we discover someone tossed a bottle of "organic" bug spray( good luck with that) on the bottom of the food box and it had been being set off, you know every time you hit a wave or something.....


We did not starve, but lunches and snacks got pretty thin...
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Old 04-05-2019   #10
 
Steamboat, Colorado
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 609
Quote:
Originally Posted by DidNotWinLottery View Post
Thats easy! We got off Desolation last summer with nearly nothing left, what geniuses.........


And so it goes like this. First day we go to get some snacks out of the food box, and pew! Smells like Penicillin. We find some oranges that were a bit cooked and tossed those in a Paragon Falcon nest or something. Did not want that stinking up all the food.


By the second day the tub is really stinking, and food is absorbing the smell. WTF? Now we start tossing all sorts of things into Paragon Falcon nests!


By Dinner Day 3 food is getting slimmer and we decide to unload the tub and wash it out......Then we discover someone tossed a bottle of "organic" bug spray( good luck with that) on the bottom of the food box and it had been being set off, you know every time you hit a wave or something.....


We did not starve, but lunches and snacks got pretty thin...
Is this just an expression, or did you really throw your food out into the wilderness and leave it there?
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