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Twin Lakes 2021


Porthos
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This past Friday my Sweetie and I left for our annual fishing vacation at Twin Lakes near Bridgeport, CA. We rent a cabin at Twin Lakes Resort, the cabins having been built in the 1920s. Fishing is the "excuse" to sit by the lakeside and soak in the beauty and the quiet. My Sweetie has been coming up here since she was six, and we've been coming up since our older daughter was 11 months old.

 

We left about 9:30, about 2 hours later than we had planned. After stopping in Bishop for gas we continued  north on US 395 and up Sherwin Grade. By the time we reached the summit it was snowing. In 39 years we've been coming up here we've never had snow. By the time we reached Crowley Lake, the snow was getting serious. We didn't have chains  for our new vehicle so we were forced to turn around drive back down to Bishop and get a room. Since dinner on the road had not been planned we went to the restaurant at the local Casino. I opted for roasted tri-tip and a Guinness and was served a good meal, except for the from-a-packet gravy. My Sweetie went for a Reuben sandwich and (shudder) sweet potato fries.

 

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Saturday morning we went to a local auto parts store, bought chains, and hit the road again. The roads were clear and we made it to the lake easily around 1 p.m.. We drove through some light snowfall a couple of times, and stopped for some hot food in Lee Vining along the way. I began unpacking and my Sweetie, went in to get horizontal. She deals with chronic severe pain and was in major pain. We're waiting for COVID to abate enough so that ICU beds become generally available again, and then she'll have major back surgery to hopefully help her regain better mobility and have way less pain.

 

Dinner Saturday night was our tried-and-true enchilada casserole. Back when, the first night dinner would be hamburgers, but that meant prepping all of the toppings and such. The casserole, made ahead, simply needs heating, and opening a tub of sour cream finishes the job.  This year, we ran out of time and had to assemble it at the cabin; layers of corn tortillas, sauce, shredded chicken, sharp cheddar cheese and sliced olives. Since we ended up arriving at the cabin about 2 1/2 hours earlier than normal it was easy peasy.

 

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Because of the nature of pain meds my Sweetie uses, she drinks almost no alcohol. I finished the evening off with some Balcones Single Malt Whiskey from Texas.

 

Breakfasts at the cabin are make what you want, the same as at home. Lunches are sandwiches made when you want them. When I unpacked all of the snackage I realized that I had brought at least 3 times as much as I should have packed.

 

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Sunday we drove up just over Nevada border and met up with my Sweetie's oldest friend to have lunch. No pictures, typical cafe food. Since this was to be the big meal of the day we just had cold sandwiches for dinner. When we returned to the cabin she was done for. I grabbed a cigar and a Belhaven Black Scottish Stout and went outside. I assembled our rods and reels while enjoying the cigar and beer, then a little while later drove off to do a little fishing. The lake level is way down; the last time it was this low was 2012.

 

Last year I got a Keurig Coffee machine and was spoiled by it instantly. I bought a smaller machine so that I could be spoiled at the lake as well. The big surprise is the difference in noise level. My K-cup Supreme make almost no noise. This machine sounds like an old tea kettle warming up and the pump for the water is clearly heard - but  -

I have my spoiled-guy coffee.

 

 

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Porthos Potwatcher
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Nice to see you on the road, camping in your own style! Blog on!

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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
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"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)
"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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2 hours ago, Darienne said:
3 hours ago, heidih said:

My silly question - what flavors of See's?

 

Mayfair, Dark Chocolate Raspberry Cream,  and for my Sweetie lots of Butterscotch Squares.

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So far it looks like it will be a year of "The fishing was great. The catching not so much." We're going to rent a boat and try trolling. 

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This trip has evolved over the years. Before I came into the picture my wonderful in-laws (D&D) had access to a summer residence cabin on the lake; it belonged to the parents of a sorority sister. The owners retired and started living at the cabin during the summer so D&D started renting a cabin at the resort. That was the “system” when we started coming up to the lake. We stayed in separate cabins and split who prepared dinners. We were on our own for breakfast and lunch.

 

A few years later the husband of the owning couple passed away, and while his widow still wanted to summer up here, she liked the idea of renting her cabin to D&D  (and by extension us) at the beginning of the season. That gave her easy income for utilities and whatever and we were like extended family who would care for the cabin. We still split dinner duty and left breakfast and lunch up to the individual. Somewhere in the 90s my MIL started bringing up a portable stereo to play cassettes on for some music. The timing we worked out for the trips was that D&D went up first, then we would join them a few days later for several days together, then they went home and that gave us a few days with just our children. I treasure those trips for many reasons, one significant one was our children vacationing with their grandparents. We lived within an hour’s drive from each other and frequently got together, but time at the lake was special. Then owner’s family squabbles led the private cabin no longer being available so we returned to staying at the resort, still splitting dinner duty. Duty is such the wrong word since my MIL loved to cook, was an excellent cook, and my Sweetie and I love to cook.

 

My MIL passed away too soon in the early 2000s. We took it upon our selves to keep the lake tradition alive, making the trip with my FIL. We took care of all the food, and he brought the wine. As a long-time member of the Orange County Wine Society you can be assured that we had some outstanding wines on those trips. We bought a smallish TV and DVD player so we could watch movies in the evening. For one dinner we would drive into town and eat at what then was still a nice dinner house restaurant connected to an inn, as a treat from my FIL. Sadly, it has turned into a glorified café with poor service and mediocre food. We no longer care to eat there. We continued to take these trips with him until his health made it impossible for him to come up any more. He longed to return even though he was no capable of the trip. Just months before he passed, having not been out of his bed at all for over 2 years, he wanted us to book a trip and take him up. Dodging that subject was hard.

 

Even though he has passed, we have continued to come up to our equivalent of Snowangel’s Little Bit Of Heaven.

 

Since my Sweetie hardly drinks and I need to practice diabetic restraint in consumption, for this trip we opted for no wine, several choices of beer for me (a lot will come back home), some whiskies for me and couple of kinds of Hendricks gin for us.

 

Last year we were able to have our younger daughter and our two incredibly adorable grandchildren come up with us.

 

We’ll return in late summer with our 7 y/o grandson to give him another fishing trip and special time with us without his sister vying for attention. He’s a good eater so feeding him is easy. A nice thing about him being a good eater is that if he says he doesn't like something, it's a real dislike.

 

My Sweetie’s napping so I’ll grab a cigar and a beer and go outside and enjoy heaven from a front row seat.

 

Dinner tonight will be in town.

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In town there is a small-town bar/restaurant called Rhino's. We'd never tried them and chose to eat there. They major on burgers but have steaks, sandwiches and other various offerings. Their on-tap and bottled beer selection is decent, but weighted toward domestic beer I choose not to drink*. I had an Alaskan Amber and my Sweetie had her Diet Coke to drink. She had a baked potato with cheddar cheese, sour cream, butter and chives. I opted for fried chicken and onion rings. The onion rings were very good. The chicken was exactly what I would expect at a place like this. What really stood out was the attentive service we received. There was one server on duty and she stayed on top of things, and with a very positive spirit. Yes, she got a very good tip. There are no food photos because we've all seen more than enough everyday chicken and baked potatoes.

 

If we should go back in the future I think I'll stick to burgers.

 

We do have a trip planned down to Mammoth Mountain for a nice lunchtime meal in a brew pub. We haven't selected which one yet. We're up here for a longer then usual trip and eating out more than is typical, but then again it's just the two of us this trip.

 

* My older daughter and I agree that if Budweiser is the only beer available we'll drink soda.  😝

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My breakfast this morning was a piece of buttered and coffee to take the rest of my meds with. Since then I've been nibbling on snackage. I've been mostly out of the cabin this morning so I have no idea what my Sweetie has eaten. I've already mentioned her pain issues. They dictate when she is able to sleep. Right now she's sleeping so I can't ask her about her breakfast.

 

The following pictures show why we doubt we're have a fresh trout dinner this year. California is experiencing the first severe drought year in a few years.

 

The lake is at 7,200' elevation. This sawtooth ridge separates this valley from the northwest corner of Yosemite. In May there should be more snow than rock visible.

 

 

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This is where we most typically fish. The rocks just below the ledge with the rod holder should be under water.

 

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The water should extend to the line of trees in the distance.

 

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I had to walk over to near the tree line to show where water from Upper Twin Lake is flowing into Lower Twin. I should be neck-deep in water where I stood to take this picture.


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15 hours ago, Porthos said:

My older daughter and I agree that if Budweiser is the only beer available we'll drink soda.

 

I'm with you on that! My darling, not so much....he never met a beer he didn't like. I'm enjoying reading about your taste in spirits.

 

I'm also enjoying the virtual visit to the area, despite the dire news about the water situation. (Did the snow you encountered on your drive up the pass stick? It doesn't look like it.) It's beautiful up there. A friend and I backpacked and camped near there, a lifetime ago. More photos will be welcome.

 

The enchilada casserole from the first dinner really struck my fancy. I'd eat that. I may have to make it. Did you cook and shred the chicken yourself, or buy it that way? Chicken breast, dark meat, or both? How well does it freeze for later meals?

 

 

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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
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"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)
"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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1 hour ago, Smithy said:

The enchilada casserole from the first dinner really struck my fancy. I'd eat that. I may have to make it. Did you cook and shred the chicken yourself, or buy it that way? Chicken breast, dark meat, or both? How well does it freeze for later meals?

In the last few years we've started buying a Costco Rotisserie Chicken, slicing off enough meat for a dinner, maybe 8-10 oz, and then picking the carcass clean, hand-shredding as we (Sweetie) picks. It freezes beautifully. At home we use two small glass baking dishes, splitting the ingredients, bake one and freeze the other. It freezes equally well before or after baking. Since all of the ingredients are already cooked, the baking is heating it through so everything melds together.

 

I just assemble and bake. My Sweetie leaves off the top layer of cheese, covers and bakes, removing the cover and adding the cheese 10 minutes before it comes out.

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  • @Smithy The snow on the pavement most likely stuck for a few hours on Friday, but the pavement was clear on Saturday. In the higher elevations 7,500 - 8,000 feet) there was patchy snow on the ground and occasionally snow on the trees. When we stopped in Lee Vining for hot food, we sat outside. It would lightly snow for a few minutes, then stop, then start. It didn't stick at all.
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I awoke to a beautiful morning again.

 

Yesterday's lunch was braunschwieger on Boudin's sourdough with Best Foods mayo and yellow mustard. My Sweetie also had a slice of Tillimook Swiss cheese.

 

Dinner was smoked Nuremberger sausages from the Continental Delicatessen in La Habra and brown rice with butter and green onions.

 

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The sausages were cooked on our portable BBQ. It's a good size for 2-3 people, adequate for 4 people. When we have more than four up here then I use the charcoal BBQs the resort has at the cabins. ETA we normally see deer on the lawn in the evenings but we haven't seen any deer anywhere on this trip. Yesterday morning I went out to the chairs you see to have some coffee. I got to watch some grounds squirrels, and Stellar Jays and American Robins feeding on the lawn.

 

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Dessert was home-made brownies while watching Calendar Girls.

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Breakfast today was pieces of cheese and snacky stuff.

 

We drove down to Mammoth Mountain (technically Mammoth Lakes Village) for lunch. It's about 65 miles south of the resort. All of the patches of snow that we saw along the way on Saturday, some rather large, were gone.

 

We went to a small brew pub named Distant Brewing. I had their trip-tip sandwich. One of the toppings was piquillo peppers, which I'd never heard of but they made a nice addition. My Sweetie went for the BBQ chicken flatbread "pizza" and a freshly made soft pretzel with beer cheese, way too much food for her to order but we're used to bringing back part of her meals. I'd order the sandwich I had again, enthusiastically. My wife found the BBQ sauce too sweet, a common problem for her.

 

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To drink I chose their Night Moves, an American stout with Black Velvet Brazilian coffee and bourbon soaked vanilla beans. Sweetie had a HONEY BAKED – Amber Ale, which really means she had about a 1/3, and I had most of the rest. They were both excellent.

 

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We had planned on doing some touristy shopping, but the sugar in the BBQ sauce took her down for the count with a sugar headache.  Those who have had bariatric  surgery will understand.

 

When we returned to the cabin I had a cigar and a New Belgium 1554 Dark Lager, not always available for purchase, but my hands-down go-to beer. I smoke more cigars at the lake than I do in everyday life.

 

Since lunch was our main meal today our humble dinner was Kraft Mac'n'Cheese (the only boxed mac'n'cheese I eat) with sour cream, green onions that needed to be used up sauteed in butter, and the rest of the shredded rotisserie chicken. It's not all that photogenic but very tasty.

 

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If I remember correctly, piquillo peppers are reddish, smallish, a bit sweet, a bit hot, a bit tart, possibly pickled. Yes? If no, then more description, please. I can imagine the right peppers being a good accompaniment for tri-tip. Boy, I miss tri-tip sandwiches! Later this summer we'll be trying to get them right by slow-cooking on the grill, if I have my way.

 

I'm with your sweetie on not liking sweet barbecue sauce, but the idea of getting a sugar headache from it takes it a whole new level. What a shame!

 

Your mac 'n' cheese 'n' chicken looks good. I've only ever tried adding ham to mac 'n' cheese. I may have to expand my horizons a bit.

 

Are there many people at the resort right now, or do you have the place pretty much to yourself?

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

Follow us on social media! Facebook; instagram.com/egulletx; twitter.com/egullet

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)
"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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14 hours ago, Smithy said:

If I remember correctly, piquillo peppers are reddish, smallish, a bit sweet, a bit hot, a bit tart, possibly pickled.

 

Yes. I'm not sure is they were pickled or not. Mostly sweet with just a hint of heat.

 

14 hours ago, Smithy said:

Are there many people at the resort right now, or do you have the place pretty much to yourself?

 

Lol. We never have the resort to ourselves. It's always full occupancy during the summer. I had to book this cabin last July. I was very lucky to be able to book the cabin for our August visit. I assume that there was a cancellation.

 

The original resort had 6 cabins, another was added sometime later, and then maybe 20 years ago a three-bedroom mobile home became cabin 8. It's great for larger groups and we've stayed in it several times.

 

The resort has its general store which includes a deli where you can get sandwiches, pizza and such.

 

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Most of the cabins are off of the lawn. This trip we're in the center one in the picture.

 

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Cabin 8 is at the far end of the lawn along with the newer RV sites. There is another site for RVs on another part of the property. You can see the near end of cabin 8 to side of the picture. Cabin 8 boasts a dishwasher which is really handy to have when you're feeding a large group.

 

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These particular Twin Lakes are world renowned for trout fishing so a tackle shop and boat rentals are a must.  We're supposed to rent a boat today but I'm not sure that is going to happen.

 

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Yes, we dearly love this place. By tradition steak is our last dinner here. I've pulled out the Harris Ranch Rib-eye steaks, which were a gifts from dear friends, to start defrosting.

 

 

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Breakfast was grazing, lunch was reheated left-overs.

 

Dinner tonight was the rib-eye mentioned above, and rice pilaf from a box with some added chives.

 

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Unfortunately my Sweetie's pain levels never allowed her to fish this week. I went out 3 times, got no fish, but relaxed and enjoyed myself. We're starting to pack things up. Because of COVID checkout time is 9:00 instead of the usual 11:00.

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The dinner looks delicious. I'm sorry your sweetie's pain levels were so high and so persistent. I hope she took some joy from the surroundings, at least. I'm glad you at least got out fishing!

 

And I repeat: that rib-eye looks marvelous!

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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

Follow us on social media! Facebook; instagram.com/egulletx; twitter.com/egullet

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)
"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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