Monthly Archives: January 2009

Peter Grubb Hut

Last weekend I drove by myself up to Donner Pass along I-80 in the Sierras. I parked the VW and put on my (overloaded) 57 pound pack. I didn’t know the weight until I returned home, but I did decide never to haul that much crap on my back again in the name of fun! I was planning to back-country camp, but I met a couple along the trail that invited me back to the Peter Grubb Hut which they had reserved for the night. So, instead of sleeping by myself in a tent in the snow, I enjoyed a warm fire and a couple games of scrabble, along with peppermint schnapps of course!
Peter Grubb Hut -- January 17, 2009
After my night in the mountains I came home and let my calves recover. It was a fun trip that I’ll do again with Erin soon.

Posted in B's Blog


Erin and I bought a Nesco electric food dehydrator with some of our wedding gift cards.  So far we have dried mostly fruits (pineapple, apples, cranberries, bananas).
Nesco Food Dehydrator Jerky
Since I’m going away on a mountaineering trip this weekend, I decided to try making my own beef jerky.  I had picked up some curing seasonings a few weeks ago at Bass Pro Shops on our way up to Bear Valley.  The flavor I’ve used here is Mesquite.  I chose a cheap round steak, which I cut into 1/4″ strips.  You then mix the flavoring spices with the curing powder and sprinkly it over the meat.  Then the meat is kept in the refrigerator for 24 hours in a tupperware or ziplok bag.
Nesco Food Dehydrator Jerky
One pound of meat only filled up 2 of the 4 trays I have, so next time I’ll double the recipe and make 2 pounds. I’m planning to purchase more trays sometime in the future. You can use up to 12 trays, and really need them when making something like dried apples.
Nesco Food Dehydrator Jerky
I dried the jerky over night and tried some this morning. Delicious!

Posted in B's Blog

Ski Trip to Bear Valley, CA

Erin and I were lucky enough to receive an invite from Ann and Trevor to stay with them at Ann’s family cabin in Arnold, CA over New Years. We drove up Wednesday evening and enjoyed a mellow New Years Eve at the house with Ann and Trevor, enjoying growlers of beer from Snowshoe Brewing Company. Thursday morning Ann, Erin and I drove up to Bear Valley Ski resort (about a 45 minute drive up the mountain) for a day of skiing while Trevor worked on finishing a deliverable for work (bummer!). We had a great day of skiing.
Bryan and Erin at the Bear Valley Saloon
Friday was a stormy day. Ann and Trevor stayed at the cabin, recovering from colds. Erin and I drove back up the mountain with our snowshoes for a trek into the National forest to test out my new Ruger MKIII .22LR pistol that I bought back in October. It was our first opportunity to fire the gun and it was accurate and fun. We shot 140 rounds into a dead tree/cardboard box. FUN!
After our trek, we called Ani’s brother Rafi and got directions to his cabin. He built the cabin a couple summers ago on 1.1 acres near Bear Valley while working on his PhD dissertation. Similar to how I do things, Rafi found that buildings under 120sqft don’t require a permit in the area. The cabin is exactly 120 comfortable sqft. Because it was built without a permit and is therefore not “inhabitable,” he can’t get electricity or water connected. A small solar panel and melted snow solve that problem!
Rafi's cabin in Bear Valley
He was up for the week and met us out by the road. The roads back to the cabin aren’t plowed so we put our snowshoes back on and hiked in with him, where we enjoyed a couple good beers and checked the place out.
Inside Rafi's cabin, Bear Valley, CA

Posted in B's Blog