Thanks for joining me again as I share our gluten & dairy-free adventure.
After a week or so of gorging ourselves in San Francisco (thank goodness there are so many hills to climb to walk it all off!), we finally hit the road. First stop…Yosemite National Park.
This was the part of the trip that I was really looking forward to! Three days in Yosemite. Steve and Eloise generously lent us not only their car, but all of their camping gear too. They reassured us that there was a general store there where we could buy provisions, but not knowing what to expect, I was a bit apprehensive about being able to find suitable gluten & dairy-free options.
The day before we left, we went to Wholefoods.
Now I know what all you Americans are on about! It’s like the holy grail supermarket for people who want to eat organic or who have restricted diets!
Now I get it! Now I understand why so many people think it’s “easy” to eat wholly organic and free-range, grass-fed!
Even my kids were impressed!
Once I picked my jaw up off the ground, we found a packet of andouille sausage (which I’d only ever seen on the cooking channel) to try, a packet of smoked streaky bacon and some chicken breast. And of course I loaded up on veggies (but not the pre-made veggie noodles lol). I also found some gluten & dairy-free cereal for Madeleine and a couple of punnets of organic berries to go with them.
When we got back to Steve’s, I sliced up the sausage and chicken and popped them into separate zip lock bags to make things easy while we were camping.
I then made up two massive salads, inspired by Yotam Ottolenghi’s recipes. If you are ever stuck for exciting ways to dish up veggies, you really have to check out his two cookbooks Plenty and Plenty More. They are so good, that after looking through Eloise’s copies, I ordered my own to take home!
I put the two salads in large zip lock bags too so they wouldn’t take up much room in the esky for our trip as we had limited space in the car and could only take one medium sized esky.
My favourite salad that I made had rice and quinoa with all manner of blanched greens like asparagus, broccolini, beans, snow peas and sugar snaps, some toasted nuts (I think I used almonds), and from memory I think maybe some dried goji berries???? Then it was dressed simply with olive oil, lemon juice and some dried herbs. It turned out this was a great salad to make ahead and take because the flavours really developed over the next two days and soaked through the rice. It was delicious!
Steve and Eloise had told us that everything had to be stored in bear lockers once we got there, but I didn’t quite realise what that meant until we arrived at the campground!
The bear lockers were these large solid steel boxes with hinged latches that could only be opened with an opposable thumb. You had to store not only all of your food in there, but everything with any kind of scent – so all your toiletries like deodorant, lip balm, sunscreen, the whole kit and kaboodle!
They had boards all around the campground with photos of cars that had been broken into by bears, along with warnings that some of the critters carried the plague!
Needless to say, we had a fantastic time, and with the limited cooking and washing up facilities, I was really glad I had planned ahead.
The scenery though was beyond breathtaking. From the staggering views of Glacier Point to the giant redwoods of Mariposa Grove, and even the valley floor itself. It was incredible! Now I want to go back and see it blanketed in snow!
The general store, as promised was great. It was a lot bigger than I had expected and had everything from fresh meat and produce to beer, wine, and of course souvenirs.
Half Dome seen from Glacier Point
Giant Redwoods at Mariposa Grove
Half Dome Through the Trees
Roots of a Giant Redwood
The Valley Floor
Yosemite was beyond awesome. It was positively breathtaking. Everywhere you looked was just spectacular. We camped on the valley floor under half-dome, but went for a drive down to Mariposa grove to see the giant redwoods which is an absolute must-do! We also drove up to Glacier point which has the most spectacular scenery I have seen in a very long time.
After three days of soaking up nature, it was time to load the car back up and continue our road trip. On our way out of the park, we were lucky enough to see a bear before heading along the stunning Tioga Pass to Lone Pine at the base of Mount Whitney.
Come back next week and I’ll share our first experience in an all-American diner (yep, they were even able to cater to our special food needs) with John Wayne and the Lone Ranger before we head off to Death Valley on our way to Vegas.