Monday, April 30, 2012

Canoeing McCloud Reservoir, Shasta County, CA

Lake McCloud Reservoir Launch
Things have been pretty hectic of late. Work has been particularly onerous, and there have been a number of sources of stress that combined to create a nearly overwhelming need to disconnect. To go somewhere away from an appointment calendar, Outlook inbox and most of all, a cell phone. Kathy was to be out of town on business for a conference so I jumped at the chance to get away for a few days. The challenge in finding a location was to select a suitably remote location that was accessible this early in the year. Most everything above 3000' in the Sierra range is still inaccessible due to snow or subject to seasonal closure.  

After no small amount of wide-eyed staring at Google Earth I settled on McCloud Reservoir at the Southern end of the Cascade Range in Shasta County.

McCloud reservoir was created when PG&E erected an earthen dam over the McCloud river in 1965.  The lake sits at 3000' elevation about 15mi SE of Mt. Shasta. There are 10 miles of shoreline and the lake is about 520 surface acres. The lake is within the Shasta/Trinity National Forest, but most of the land around the lake itself is privately owned by the Hearst Corporation. In fact, William Randolph Hearst built a rather substantial getaway at the Northernmost end of the lake. Called "Wyntoon", it's the other Hearst Castle. Hearst lived here for most of the early part of WWII as he feared the Japanese would target his San Simeon home if they attacked the Western US. The structure was designed by famed San Francisco Architect Julia Morgan who also designed the more widely known Hearst Castle in San Simeon.

Man Can Cook #19: Gruyère Potato Pucks

Here is a simple but really tasty side dish that is the perfect accompaniment to a steak or similar hearty meat dish. It only takes about 45min to make.

  • Mandolin
  • Muffin pan (3.5" muffins)

  • 1lb Potatoes (Red, Yukon Gold & Yellow work best stay away from Russetts)
  • 1pint Heavy Cream
  • 1/2lb Gruyère (grated)
  • Kosher Salt
  • Fresh Ground Pepper
  • Cooking Spray

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Outdoor Gear Review; Sierra Designs Zeta-3 & Zia-3 tent

I purchased this tent a month or two before my Green River trip with the intent that I'd have enough room for myself, and enough room to get all my gear inside and out of the weather. Worked beautifully in that regard.

The tent is very comfortable and dry and performed exceptionally in a significant rainstorm that occurred in the middle of my trip. It rained heavily for about 8-10hrs and the inside of the tent was dry as a bone. It's well ventilated as well so the humidity was easily purged once the rain stopped and on warmer nights it remains comfortable and not at all stuffy.