How to even start to write about this past couple of days? It is a little bit hard to describe to be honest. Hard in the sense of so many... so many fantastic great memories. So I will do my best to keep it simple and enjoyable.
It all started on Friday May 11th leaving Santa Monica, CA at 3 pm and heading up to North to run a half marathon in Yosemite on Saturday. We did it in great time where we drove all most the whole way with natural day light, which it makes much easier to drive and not as tiring.
The race was actually 50 miles (1h30min) south of Yosemite Valley, so we stayed close to the finish line at Bass Lake, at the Spring Cove Campground. We got to the campground by 9 ish... Set camp, got all the running/race gear ready for the morning as we had to leave by 5 am to go get the shuttle that was taking us to the start line.
Hold on... I keep saying we and us, but you have no idea who is "we" or "us", lol! "WE" is Natasha and I. Natasha is this gem that came to my life a few years ago and since the first hello we have been friends. Well... kind of...I work at the doctors office she take her 2 kids to and after getting cleared to workout after having the second baby, knowing that I like to run she asked if I didn't want to go for a run with her sometime and since that first run we have been friends. She pushes me to do some pretty crazy great things... She is for sure the reason why I like to go camping so much after taking me to some pretty epic trips and new trips are planned for the future that I am super excited about it.
Anyhow, we just snacked before heading to bed because I made a bad ass wrap for the road that was able to fill us up pretty good and go to sleep right away.
The good thing of car camping is the luxury that we can have... You can bring a big tent... blow up mattress, pillow... a cooler with everything you need and want... the whole nine yards. It is glorious!
Natasha bought a new tent so we tried it out. As she has 2 kids and a husband comfy comes is hands on when you can, and boy we were comfy! First night camping it is always a little off because you don't know about your surroundings, the different noises, smells... But was a pretty decent first night and we were up by 4:30 am on Saturday. We got dressed and I got breakfast ready. Breakfast needed to be ready to go, so the day before we left I made mine basic overnight oats that all we had to do was to add blueberries and some almond butter to it and we were ready to go. I made it in the mason jar so it would be easy to transport. That gave us enough fuel to race and wait for a bad ass lunch post race.
I love to take camping individual packs of nut butters, you can it by itself, add to your oatmeal, hot cereal, make a sandwich and is super easy to carry.
We actually had to wait a bunch to get to the start line and I still had to get my bib. Last shuttle was supposed to leave by 5:45, but there was way to many people to everything be on time. We actually got in the bus by 7:15 and the race was planned to start at 7:30. The race actually started at 7:30 as planned and we just had a later start. The course started at 5500 ft and was all down hill till we hit the finish line around the 3000 ft, it was a gorgeous and peaceful course with a lot... I mean a LOT of pine trees all over. The air was crisp, the breeze was fresh, the smell was clean...so good!
I was able to run the whole race, I walked maybe 10 min total to change music on my play list or when I walked to the aid station to eat some oranges. Oranges are freaking delicious when you are running... It is juicy, sweet and sour... yum! Mile 10 was hitting point for me. But I got my best songs to play and finished strong. Did it in 2hrs 13 min, was happy with the time but knowing that can always be better. I decided to do next year again and make it in much... much better time.
The course ended in the beautiful Bass Lake with amazing blue skies.
We got the shuttle back to the car and went back to the campground to eat some food and relax... these girls were ready for a nap.
For lunch we had steak, purple sweet potatoes, broccoli and avocado to recharge our bodies after the race.
We ate it all and went to take a little nap. We slept for a few hours... woke up, started the fire and we were actually hungry again, so we decided to start getting dinner ready early so we could eat, chill by the fire and have a early night.
A couple of dishes I like to make when I go on a road trip: pulled pork and chili. As Natasha doesn't eat pork I skipped the pulled pork and made a bomb chili to take it with us. I made a few days before the trip, froze it and it was easy to have a gourmet dinner in the campground. I like to use my cast iron skillet a lot so we can add the flavors as we cook. At lunch time I had cooked the steak in the skillet, so when I added the chili to the pan to warm up, it was even tastier.
We added blue corn tortilla and some avocado for the toppings and I ate mine in a mug. Even when I'm home I like to eat soup and chili in a mug... don't ask me why, just something I like to do... lol!
For sure I am a happy camper!!!!
The night was super young and we were able to hangout by the fire for a bit to enjoy the warmth and chat away about the race and the plans for Sunday, but we crashed super early.
To be continued... There is a lot more to this trip and beautiful places to share.