We’re winding down to our last few days here in the Bishop boonies. I’ve been battling computer issues which means lots of time wasted cursing at my machine and trying to debug nonsensical error messages. The short of the long of it is that it looks like my hard drive is dying and there’s no way I can do much about it until we hit Desert Hot Springs next month. So, I’ve thrown Paul off his computer & spent all day calibrating color and installing all my various programs & scripts on his machine. It’s been a pain in the rear and will have me struggling for a while, but at least I’m still (somewhat) online….bah, humbug!

On the brighter side we’ve had an action-packed few days fully befitting a rambling RVers boondocking adventure. Also, in a spurt of rare cooking inspiration I managed to create 2 gourmet meals out of a $1.80 carving pumpkin. Genius, was it not? With so many exciting updates there is really nothing left to do except to delve into it….

Gourmet Meals A La Cheap

I’ve always been a rather frugal girl (part of the whole reason we’re able to live this lifestyle as young as we are) and I simply LOVE to discover inexpensive ways to feed, clothe and live. It’s just so darn fun! On the food side I try to buy whatever is in season, and right now pumpkin is the name of the game. Besides the 101 things you can do with pumpkin, my primary curiosity was whether you really needed to buy the more expensive “pie pumpkins” or whether you could create a gourmet meal out of the super-cheap “carving pumpkins” that they sell in giant piles outside almost every store.

Turns out you really can. The larger variety are less sweet and more starchy (the texture is more like turnips or potatoes), but they are excellent for savory meals. I started out by roasting the pieces (around an hour at 425) and then whipped up this fabulous gluten-free quiche recipe with caramelized onions, blue cheese and bacon (my addition). Next day I simmered the left-over roasted pieces for 20 mins with onions, garlic, cumin, chili, broth and coconut milk and then mashed the whole lot into a unique gourmet mash. Two meals for under $2. Fun stuff!

Law’s Railroad Museum

Law’s was a stop on a 300 mile narrow gauge railroad that ran from Mound House, NV to Keller, CA in the early 1880′s. It served a booming mining industry (gold, silver, tungsten) as well as running crops for local farmers. The last train rolled down the tracks in 1960, but the community in Bishop wanted to preserve its history as well as the stories of the surrounding area. Law’s Railroad Museum was born and for the mere $5 donation it costs to get in, it is absolutely awesome!! The 11 acres of open air exhibits are packed with no end of funky machines, historic houses (many relocated from around the area), preserved instruments, old knick-knacks and more…you could easily spend several days just rambling around. A “must do” outing in the area!

P.S. Amanda has a bunch of cool photos of this spot on her blog. Check it out!

Apple Picking & Another Hot Pool!

Part of our foodie love on the road is finding & buying local produce. We always hit up the farmers’ markets wherever we go and often, if stuff looks interesting, we’ll visit the farm too. It’s end of season here in Bishop so the farmer’s market last week only had one open stall, but it turns out the owner, Rick had mounds of unpicked organic apples at his farm just down the road, and invited us over to u-pick for only $1.50 a pound! Both Amanda and I were ALL OVER THAT, so we decided to drive down and go crazy. The farm was a total treat…not only was it beautifully located, but the grounds were impeccable, chickens were running wild (I got a few fresh eggs straight from the coop) and he had a great selection of other stuff. If you’re in the area drop by Apple Hill Farms or give him a call at 760-937-0413. We followed our tasty pickings with a soak in Keough Hot Springs. You can go into the paid resort or enjoy the free outdoor pools just down the road (2nd dirt road to your right before you hit the resort)…guess which one we chose?

And that, folks, is all she wrote. In our short time here we’ve pretty much sucked the marrow out of everything there is to do in Bishop and we leave fulfilled and ready for our next adventure. We have a few more days of hanging here and then we’ll head south. Where we go next I cannot say….after all, I’ve got to leave just a snippet of mystery on this blog :)

37 Responses to $2 Gourmet Meals, Railroads & Some Apples – Bishop, CA

  1. Rowanova says:

    Now that is some fine eats at an equally fine price, and fresh too! Awesome. Beautiful scenery and photography as well.

    But wait…more natural hot springs but no more “naked”? I’m sure we all assumed it would be Paul’s turn behind the camera this time. ;-) Haha, keep on enjoying, so we can too.

  2. Jil says:

    Try making risotto with your pumpkin….i think you will like it….sorry about the computer…I cam sympathize since I just spent a week of hell with mine..
    Not fun!

    • libertatemamo says:

      Oh yum, risotto! I like that idea. Sorry to hear about your computer woes. Hopefully they’re all sorted now?
      Nina

      • Jil says:

        I think it is sorted out…after 3 different tries using Apple’s phone service adding up to at least 12 hours ….and 3 round trips at 100 miles each to the Apple store…sending it to Houston and then having to manually install ( them not me) my applications etc etc…I hope so ….and for the record I did have back-ups ….they helped contribute to the problems…but only time will tell…..so all my fingers are crossed for you!

  3. Janna says:

    Sorry about your computer–always a pain when those issues rear their heads!! Does Paul like the pumpkin quiche, etc???–don’t think I will be getting the cowboy to eat any of that unfortunately–but I LOVE pumpkin anything!

    • libertatemamo says:

      The hubby loved the quiche! I think it was the bacon that sealed the deal. Before I thought of adding that he wasn’t too sure, but with the bacon he declared himself a quiche-lover LOL. Nina

  4. geogypsy2u says:

    Guess maybe I should try some pumpkin cooking. That quiche sounds good. Yet better the soaking in hot water.

    • libertatemamo says:

      Pumpkin is actually a very versatile squash. Besides the recipes I listed here I also enjoy pumpkin curry (an Indian speciality) and pumpkin soup (lots of variations). I guess I make just about everything with pumpkin except the traditional pie. Never been much for pumpkin pie.
      Nina

  5. Dave says:

    Marcia’s laptop was acting up too…so we bought another one and a new hard drive for the old one so that we can have a backup computer. Not a fun experience….especially when the wife cuts her nails over the new laptop, having a nail get stuck under the large delete key, then pulls it off before saying, “Hun, I have a problem here…..” Thank goodness she married a computer geek who got the delete key back on fairly quickly. –Dave (GoingRvWay.com)

    • libertatemamo says:

      Having a geek in the house is always a bonus :) I’m truly hoping my failure us limited to the hard drive. Once we get back into civilization the debug begins…
      Nina

  6. Gunta says:

    Yum… apples, my second favorite fruit right after blueberries. But then I get to pick my own delicious Gravensteins at the other house. :D

    • libertatemamo says:

      The farm here in Bishop also has Asian Pears which are just amazing! I picked way too many, but I have some interesting recipe ideas to use them up. One of the great things about apples is they hold so well.
      Nina

  7. placestheygo says:

    Sorry to read about your computer. Operating with one computer will be challenging. But look at the extra free time you now have!

    Great recipes! Thanks for sharing:) What a domestic you are! That’s a lot of electric for roasting the pumpkin. Did you use your generator?

    I like the u-pick apple farm. Can’t wait for your recipes! I am sure you have something appley brewing!!!

    The hot spring sounds wonderful right about now with all our cold temps!! We’ll moving south Tuesday.

    Travel safely!

    • libertatemamo says:

      For cooking we have a propane oven. It was one of the “must have” items when we bought the coach and we use it constantly while boondocking. Simply couldn’t live without it! So, we can basically bake/roast/broil anything we want without using any power.
      Nina

  8. Audrey Perry says:

    I look forward to reading your blog and hearing of your adventures. We will be taking an extended trip next year (probably 4-6 weeks; Yellowstone, Grand Teton and Glacier national parks) and I’m saving some of your ideas to try. Should be a fun experience, but for now, thanks for letting us live vicariously through you both.

    • libertatemamo says:

      Sounds like a fabulous trip you have planned! We may well be heading that direction next summer ourselves (still haven’t decided). Thanks for following along on the blog!
      Nina

  9. LuAnn says:

    Oooh, I love your pumpkin recipes. I have some butternut squash waiting to be eaten and am thinking that something similar can be done with it. It’s been great fun tagging along with you two as you roam 395. Enjoy your upcoming time in the desert (I am guessing).

  10. Miss Sheri says:

    Hello Nina, this is a copy of what i sent to rv sue as well my name is Sheri and I am a newbie at this road traveling and have quite a dilemma and some of it may be a little personal. I know that you don’t know me but I need help. I’m not sure of the kind of clothes to bring or how much. Especially intimates long pants sweaters . jackets, that kind of stuff. Shoes socks you know, to keep a warm weather girl warm How many times do you go to the laundry mat ?
    Mr.Ed is laughing his ass off at my dilemma. He thinks I only need one thing
    Here’s my itinerary: Texas Gulf coast in January, then meandering to Arizona,lower Tuscon, Ajo. Then in Feb. March April and May, up 395 Calif. the same route you’re taking and going to Northwest Oregon for the summer. If you don’t want this out o n the we, here is my e-mail address: xxx. Thank you for any help you can give me. Miss Sheri

    • libertatemamo says:

      Hi Sheri,

      Don’t worry, there are no silly questions when you’re first starting out. I’ve removed your e-mail address (for privacy) and I’m happy to answer although I admit I may not be the best source since I have a very (very) limited wardrobe for a woman. I’m a bit of a tom boy and don’t wear much “girlie” stuff overall.

      I guess my best advice for you would be to have a range of comfortable “outdoor” clothes including extra jacket & hat (it can get cold in AZ in winter). My main wardrobe consists of 2 pairs of hiking pants, 2 pairs of sweat-pants, a selection of T-shirts (around 10 different ones), 2 fleece, 1 wind jacket, 1 “puff” jacket and a few hats. I really only wear 2 sets of shoes (both KEENs). That really compromises 95% of what I wear everyday! I do have a pair of jeans and a couple of nicer shirts for “going out”, plus my PJ’s for the evening. My wardrobe seems to shrink every year.

      For laundry we usually do it every 2 weeks or so, so I keep around 14 days of underwear (that’s one thing I DO change everyday) and 4 pairs of socks with me and just re-wear everything else. Some people do laundry weekly.

      Hope that helps!

      Nina

  11. Kathy Burt says:

    I enjoy your newsletter and read it when I am at work. We are looking forward to going on the road in a few months but have some health issues to take care of before we head out. I was reading your newsletter this morning to my other half, Steve, we love the Bishop area. Anyway he is an IT geek and was a professor at IVC and managed a school IT department. as well. Retirement is around the cornor for us…anyway.we live in Southern California…..Steve will be happy to replace your hard drive at no charge…please RSVP at my e-mail address

  12. Hanna says:

    Beautiful shots, Nina. What a life you have :-)
    I’m glad you can borrow one square millimeter of Paul’s computer, so we still have the opportunity to follow your adventure.
    All the best from Denmark,
    Hanna

  13. Joel & Rebecca says:

    Hi Nina, We have been following your travels for over a year and finally were able to take the plunge ourselves. We happen to be in Bishop today also. We would love to visit with you and your husband over coffee. Have you been to Erick Schat’s Bakkery yet? Thank you for all the entertainment you two have provided us.

    Joel and Rebecca

    • libertatemamo says:

      Sadly we just made the decision to move today. The high winds warning for tonight prompted us to move out of our exposed site in the Volcanic Tablelands into a more protected site ~60 miles south. We’d planned a few more days in Bishop, but the weather forced us on. Stay safe!
      Nina

  14. Gene in Ohio says:

    Just to give some perspective. Apples at my local Meijer in Ohio are selling all varieties of apples at 54 cents /pound. Normally they are 99 cents a pound. And you do not have to pick your own. I enjoy following your blog.

    • libertatemamo says:

      Well that’s coz you’re not in California LOL. Over here organic apples at $1.50/lb is a DEAL! Everything is more expensive in this state. We got a bit of sticker shock after our summer in Oregon, but are slowly adjusting.
      Nina

  15. John hester says:

    Hi Paul and Nina. We’re Kathy and John, retired and shortly will be wheeling it in our motor coach. We have wondered if you have had any issues with ‘bad guys’ while boon docking in the isolated areas. We’re 60/65 respectively and perhaps a tinge paranoid.

    • libertatemamo says:

      Never had a single issue at all. My point of view is that you’re more likely to find criminals in big cities. It’s a question of opportunity after all, and there is way more of that in the big city. What kind of criminal is going to waste their time driving remote roads looking for RVers to rob? Not many, IMHO. There is always a chance something can happen of course (there are no guarantees in life), but personally I feel much safer in the boonies than anywhere else. Hope that helps!
      Nina

  16. Donna K says:

    Great ideas for pumpkin – thanks. Always love reading about Bishop and Laws. About my favorite place in the world. Those apples look wonderful. That’s a place I will have to look up next time we’re in Bishop. Bet the nights are getting cold there by now.

    • libertatemamo says:

      I always think of you guys when we’re here since I remember your love of Bishop. It hasn’t been too chilly at these altitudes thankfully…only dropping to 40′s overnight and reaching highs of 70′s during the day. Pretty perfect boondocking temps.
      Nina

  17. […] fabulous! The remainder of October was spent hanging along Hwy 395 in all our favorite spots, the diverse Bishop, lovely Alabama Hills (where we had an impromptu Pumpkin Carving contest) and ending up in the warm […]

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