My best friend was visiting home from the beaches of San Luis Obispo. I was thinking on such a warm summers day we would do a easy three mile loop to the creek and spend the afternoons on the little sandy beach drinking beer and jumping off of cliffs into the cold waters of Deep Creek.
That was before the bruises, the scraps, the blisters and yes, the curry, absolutely fucking every where.
This summer adventure began in the morning in our local mountain home town. Jenn and Ryan and I had been inseparable in high school and the three of us had not had an old fashioned adventure in at least three years
We off roaded in my Subaru near the trail head to Crab Creek down a dusty and deserted dirt road bumping over the tan sandy trails Van Morrisons soulful voice blasting through my speakers.
We were alone in the mountains with nature this morning; just us and about a million very bitey horse flies.
As soon as we began the seven mile round trip hike we discovered, yes the bugs were very bad today.
We were half a mile from the car when Ryan realized he was still wearing sandals and not his hiking boots. I was annoyed with my self that I had not grabbed my Deet or mosquito net hat, but the day was already hot, it must have been in the high eighties. We were not heading back, even if I had to swat at giant horse flies with my trekking poles, we would make it.
It was a hot hike in full sun shine down dusty switch backs and we were already dreading coming back up these same switch backs later.
Good thing we brought plenty of beer.
That would help.
As we ascended the switchbacks and were getting very close to the creek, I realized I had a horrible blister on my toe and kept thinking, damn that is going to hurt a lot on the way out.
I was so happy to take off my shoes that were killing me as we approached the cold waters of the creek. All I was thinking about was removing my painful shoes. I wrapped up my digital camera in my beach towel, laid it carefully back inside my pack and threw my whole pack down over the boulders to the beachy area thirty feet below us. I figured the towel would keep my camera safe as I cracked open my beer.
Jen and Ryan were already jumping off the cliffs into the “Freezing” water at this point. Holding my beer carefully I made my way carefully down to my pack.
As soon as I approached my pack I could smell curry and I realized something terrible had happened.
When I threw my pack down my curry chicken salad I had brought as my snack had exploded every where including all over my digital camera and on my brand new white camisole shirt.
Yup, that is going to stain, curry is forever.
My camera is going to smell like curry for a long time to come.
The rest of our afternoon at the creek was so relaxing. The chicken salad splashed every where was delicious. The water was cool and refreshing. We blew up the inner tubes and floated around with the little creek fishies. It was such a nice day with my two best friends.
The hike back was hard. Not only did my toe hurt, Both Jen’s feet were covered in blisters. I had moleskin with me, but no box cutter or scissors to cut it so it was pretty useless. I had band aids but our feet were wet from multiple creek crossings so we just kind of sucked it up and powered out 3.5 miles.
Luckily there were thunderstorms building in the distance and it was slightly overcast and cooler as we hiked out.
Which was good as the hike back was all up hill and we smelled like curry.
Okay mainly I smelled like curry and smashed horse flies.
It is really funny that Ryan did this hard hike in flip flops and not hiking boots and yet his feet were less fucked up by the end of the hike.
I’m back home now in my peaceful backyard.
My hair is still damp with creek water.
My curry coated Kelty pack is in the washing machine. I’m relaxing in my back yard with some ice water watching the thunderheads building in the distance on this glorious summer evening.
On nights like this, life is good, life is very good.
Here is the recipe for the Curried Chicken salad.
Please don’t put it in your back pack and hurl it over a cliff.
Not a good idea.
Curried Chicken Salad in Endive Boats
2 chicken breasts, poached1/2 cup Greek yogurt
1 rib celery
1 green onion
1 tab curry powder
2 tab mango chutney
juice of 1/4 lime
1/2 cup cashews
Shred the chicken into chunks. Slice the onion and celery fine. Mix the mango chutney, Greek yogurt, lime and curry powder. Fold this into the chicken, celery and onion. Add the cashews last.
Spread all this in the Endive leaves.