"Shangri-La-Di-Da" at Yosemite

My wife and I were in Yosemite to attend a wedding. So, for this indoors-enthusiast, I was more than a little out of my element. Fortunately, we were staying in a cabin, had a market within walking distance, and had a grill. There was wi-fi, satellite TV, and most of the other comforts of home, but for those keeping score, I am still counting this as camping.

One of my friends had arranged for many of the college friends gathering for this wedding to stay at a cabin. I believe that there is a management company that runs and schedules the rentals of these cabins that are owned by various families or individuals. They say that there is some sort of arrangement where the government still owns the land but some people have been granted leases to build upon it. How this works, I have no idea.

Redwoods - the rental office for the cabins at Yosemite

The cabin we stayed in was rustic. Wood panelling was everywhere, although presumably within Yosemite National Park, I imagine that wood panelling is so ubiquitous that they just call it panelling.

wood paneling on the walls


wood paneling in the living room


wood paneling everywhere

The wedding didn’t start until 4pm, so we had plenty of time for lunch before the wedding. There was a market within walking distance from the cabin. It looked and felt like a bait shop. And like many places I’ve visited in California, I felt like I was on a movie set. But in the market’s case, this was a good thing. The place had a timelessness to it, as I imagine most of Yosemite does. Aside from the handful of cabins in the area were obviously and sometimes lavishly renovated, everything looked that day as I imagine things looked decades before.

the market

Once inside, I was impressed with what they had in stock. I thought it would be more like shopping at a gas station, but they had a very thoughtful selection of products available. We bought somefruit, turkey, bread, mustard, 2 pounds of ground hamburger, and a box of boca burgers (which I totally would have bet cash money that they wouldn’t have had in a place like that).
The burgers were pretty simple. We didn’t have salt or pepper at the cabin, so I just took the two pounds of unseasoned meat and pattied them up. The vacuum packaging of the ground beef boasted that it was “lean” meat with less than 15% fat, so I figured the burgers would be pretty tasty, even if I didn’t add a single thing.
Between the two pounds, I made 8 patties. They were pretty thin, but I like thin burgers. I put them in the freezer for about an hour before lunch so that the patties would have time to take on the shape. When it was time to light the grill, I set them outside.

"lean" burger patties


coals in the grill

Once the grill was hot, I put the patties on and let them cook. I really love cooking burgers when there’s some fat to them. As they cook, the grease drips into the fire and creates little flare-ups. There’s something really satisfying about that, even if they say you’re supposed to avoid doing it.

Once the burgers were done on one side, I put the boca burgers on. I have a hard time knowing when a boca burger is done, but as it took heat, the color changed from unappetizing to appetizing.

burgers and boca burgers

 To go with the burgers, we sliced up some Tilamook cheddar. I melted the cheddar on top of the burgers on the grill, and it was wonderful. The meal was really simple, but I think that is really what our surroundings really demanded. And with the good company we had, I really couldn’t ask for more.

After lunch, we walked a little bit behind the cabin (I called it “hiking”) and found a creek (I called it a “river”).

a "river" in Yosemite


looking down the "river"


heading back to the cabin

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