December 31, 2007

desert depot lunch counter

Kelso Depot sign
Originally uploaded by foodnerd
The mayhem of work (and everything else) finally stopped, primarily because I left town to visit my parents for the holidays, then headed to LA to visit the husband's family en route to the honeymoon in Hawaii. Hot damn.

So posts will be sporadic while we're traveling, but I have every hope of posting lots of stuff about kalua pig and poke and shave ice real soon. I have been poking about on the various hawaiian foodblogs looking for tips...

Anyway. While in California we took a long weekend to go camping with friends in the Mojave Desert, which was awesome -- I love this particular bit of desert, and always find it relaxing and refreshing just to be there. We did a couple of really great hikes, one up a wash to a steep climb to a rockface, and another up a pair of big cinder cones. And by camping, I mean sleeping in a tent cabin with a wood stove and a ceiling fan and electricity to run the toaster oven that hedge brought along for cooking cornbread. For dinner the second night we had ribeyes grilled on the cast iron pan over the fire, with sauteed chanterelles foraged by a friend from the Bay Area. Really roughing it, you know.

On the way home, we stopped in Kelso Depot to check out the new visitor's center. They've restored the old early-20th-century train depot building, and installed a bunch of pretty nice natural history exhibits and restored the upper rooms where depot and railroad staff lived, and set up some historical displays. It's worth the time if you are in the Mojave, and the gift shop has some very good botanical guides and a field guide to scat and tracks, if you're nerdy like us about your hiking.

And the point of all this, at last, is just to show you a cool photo I took outside the depot building, of the sign for the depot lunch counter which has been restored to its 1924 glory (considerable) and is just aching for a good line cook to bring it back to life. Really -- the park service is advertising for a concessionaire to put the lunch counter back into service. I am irrationally fond of this picture, and will probably blow it up, frame it, and hang it in my kitchen so i can think happy thoughts of the desert whenever I see it.
Posted by foodnerd at December 31, 2007 08:27 PM
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