My family and I had the pleasure of visiting Portland this summer for a backpacking adventure.
We did a lot of prep months before to make sure we were prepared and had enough food to eat!
We hiked the Eagle Creek Trail. It is part of the Columbia River Gorge, northeast of Portland and connects to the Pacific Crest Trail that spans the West Coast. The trail features several waterfalls, including Punchbowl Falls and Tunnel Falls. There are steep cliff drop offs and several high bridges that overlook the creek. The trail also leads to Wahtum Lake, a high elevation lake that is like a blue shimmering mirror up in the mountains. I would recommend the Eagle Creek Trail to the moderate hiker and to those who do not have a fear of heights. It might not be a good idea for timid children or those who like to run off or be silly. Backpacking is a great way to leave the 21st century behind. We left computers and phones back at the BnB and just brought a waterproof camera, our gear and food. I wish we took more photos, but sometimes you just have to enjoy your surroundings and company and ingrain them into your own memory.
So you ask about food? Since Eagle Creek has an abundance of water, eating rehydrated meals is no problem. To keep it simple, you could bring premade vegan meal pouches (Backpackers Pantry etc) or you can get creative. We ordered the Backpacking Kit from Harmony House Foods. It comes with (18) 1 cup pouches with different beans and veggies that you can reheat with water. We also got a canister of dehydrated rice from Mountain House. All you need is some spices, some salt and some extras you deserve.
LOW WEIGHT VEGAN MUST HAVES
-Nutritional Yeast – for that extra yumminess I love.
-Butler Soy Curls – rehydrates in water fast and adds non-GMO protein.
-Frontier Vegan Bacon Bits – can go on everything.
-Nut Butters in Single Pouches – add some peanut butter to make an African stew.
-Cashew Flour (affordable at Trader Joe’s) – adds fat and creaminess to cooked desserts.
-Dehydrated Blueberries – great in oatmeal or granola.
-Better than Milk Vegan Soy Powder – great milk replacement in oatmeal, desserts, coffee and granola.
-Takeout Packets – Soy Sauce, Ketchup, Pepper Flakes etc – You know you have some laying around, bring them camping and be done with them.
-Tea Bags & Starbuck’s Via Coffee – sometimes a hot beverage makes a difference.
-Spice Mixes – Indian Curry, Cajun, Chipotle
If you are willing to carry it and not complain….
-Some oil in a Misto -we brought some olive oil
-Coffee beans and hand held grinder
-Libations in a stainless steel flask
What would you NEED to bring?
THINGS TO LOOK OUT FOR
-Beware of wild creatures! Even the tiniest chipmunk can do damage! We love you Chippy the Cheeky Chocolate Chip Chewing Chipmunk!
-Slugs that find your cat hole! EWWWWW!
-Gigantic Wild Mushrooms you can eat! At Wahtum Lake we found a cauliflower mushroom (genus Sparassis).
Before you eat wild mushrooms, make sure you know they aren’t poisonous. You must also clean them thoroughly to remove debris and things like pill bugs. They need to be cooked for a while and eaten in moderate amounts. Even commercial grown mushrooms can cause indigestion. Remember when I found morels?
After long hikes and when it got warm enough, it was great to take a dip in the colder-than-Barton-Springs water. Here I am at the bridge beyond Tenas Camp. Mr. Carolan is yoga-posing at Punchbowl Falls.
After our 5 day backpacking trip, we went back to Portland, took hot showers and ate at some tasty restaurants.
Departure – This hip lounge with Pan Asian cuisine was a welcome change to trail food. There is a great view from the panoramic deck. The flight inspired decor made us feel we were on our way somewhere. The fully mirrored stainless steel restrooms and main hallway seemed out of a sci-fi movie.
Ask for the Vegan Menu and you’ll get a dedicated one where you could eat everything on it.
We tried the Asian Pear & Apple Salad with Hearts of Palm, Tamarind and Mac Nuts, the Greens & Seed Roll, the Tempeh BBQ Buns, and the BiBimBap that they come mix in a hot bowl at your table. The service was delightful. Even though I could have eaten a lot more, the freshness of the flavors was appreciated.
The Sudra – The name of this restaurant could be offensive to some, but to me, it makes me laugh. I tried to live a brahminical lifestyle for a long time. Those who knew me 15 years ago know what I’m talking about, so we’ll leave it at that 🙂 I felt very comfortable at the Sudra.
This vegan Indian fusion micro-restaurant offers fun cocktails and modern takes on classical Indian dishes, like kofta and other subjis.
I had the “Kali Ma” (she’s the Shakti Devi, remember?) and the Poori Thali plate just because I haven’t had a poori in a long time. I love this place and will be back for sure.
Hope you had a great summer! I’m looking forward to September and Vegan MoFo (Vegan Month of Food). Get ready for lots of posts!0