We recently kicked off the summer camping season with an extremely fun trip up to the Oak Flat Lookout station (about 3 hours from Los Angeles). Our own promotion of this magical site probably doesn't help your chances of booking it anytime soon... but it's well worth a bookmark to check for availability down the line. Close enough for a quick overnight trip - bring your favorite coffee toys, some bicycles and good company.
This was also an experiment with out latest coffee ("Kenny") - a washed Ethiopian Yirgacheffe with nice sparkling limeade acidity, cherry and dark chocolate notes and a light body - perfect for the approaching (warm) summer weeks ahead.
A confession: we pre-grind our coffee for french press just before hitting the road, anytime we do larger "group" style camping like this (...quick pause for the gasps! out there). French Pressed coffee is our personal favorite way to enjoy coffee whilst camping - and it can be kind of a pain in the butt to deal with all that hand grinding when you're prepping coffee for a group. We also generally operate on a lack of sleep during these trips - so yeah, we pre-grind it!
... so it was quite a learning experience when we quickly ran out of the pre-ground stuff after several delicious batches of the initial press. With views like this, you tend to consume more than the average amount of beanjuice. Luckily we had plenty of whole beans in the car - so we got creative.
Correct. We used a rock and a skillet. And it tasted fantastic.
When we weren't busy experimenting with prehistoric coffee grinding techniques, we rode bicycles around Badger Gap - a large (stunningly beautiful) valley partitioned by the Kern River and Highway 178. This area is essentially the "gateway" to the southern parts of Sequoia National Forest. How nice it would have been to ride the whole 13-ish miles down to the Kern (we watched it raging from afar with binoculars up in the Oak Flat tower) -- perhaps next time.
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