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Oktoberfest begins our wilderness camping season.  It’s a short season but hopefully we can get in a few more before the snow falls.  It’s a three day hike across Harriman State Park and ends at Bear Mountain where a polka band, medical steins of beer, decease pierogi’s, dosage bratwurst with sauerkraut and stuffed cabbage await us.   Did I mention people dancing in traditional lederhosen outfits???  Yes that too!!!

We start by taking the train from Hoboken New Jersey and head north to Tuxedo Park, where we get our final supplies or anything we forgot.  Each day is a full day of hiking, so there is no time for dilly dallying.   Our daily goal is to get to a shelter before someone else.  Unfortunately you can’t reserve them. The first day is the most grueling but the shelter has an amazing view of the sunset just up the rock hill, and a fireplace where we cook.  This night we will have caveman ribs and potatoes.  Dry rubbed ribs in foil and thrown straight into the fire along with the rest.  I have also brought along pudding cups for desert as they need no refrigeration.  Of course everything is frozen and thaws as each day progresses –  including the cucumbers I juiced for our after-dinner cocktails.  Jason also had a surprise that made the whole trip and future trips glamorous (well to us it was!).  Hot water bottles! No more cold tent for us!!!

The Second day is one of the longest and takes us through the famed lemon squeezer(you can see why).  It is a very long day with a short stop for lunch.  The shelter that is mid way to our next destination is empty  and even has lovely art work. We chose to go a little further and stop near a creek to get some water and eat there.  We walk along the Long Path and pass through a small portion of the West Point Military School property. We call this passing through enemy lines!   After that comes Hippo Rock, which means we are just moments away from our last resting spot.  A shelter with two fireplaces!  Very deluxe especially when it gets to be night and its cold!  I have had to defend this place so others can’t/wont join us.  I will always fight to have this space to ourselves, it is the best spot and the view is breathtaking.  We will be having chili for dinner, a box of Merlot to drink and more pudding for desert.  Yum!

On the last day we make our final breakfast of eggs and bacon, then it’s time to head off to Oktoberfest! We walk along some famous paths that were used during he revolutionary wars (1777 and 1779) and another part of West Point.  Stop for lunch at Turkey Hill Lake and follow the Popolopen Creek till we make it to Bear Mountain Lodge next to Hessian Lake and Oktoberfest!!!  Once there will will eat, drink, listen to music and enjoy our fellow revelers.  The older couple are there every year and are total hams!  We love them and enjoy their wonderful party spirits.  It is a short visit as we need to catch the last bus back to the city.  But with full bellies and a little light headed from the steins of beer we slowly drift back to our home in Brooklyn Heights satisfied and dreaming of next years adventure.


Dry Rub:



Garlic Powder

Dry Basil leaves

Smoked Paprika

Ancho Chile Powder

Cayenne Pepper



Beach Camping!!!

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Beach Pizza
Cuisine: Outdoor
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
Adapted from when we were camping. We used leftovers but you can make it at home with a frying pan or a frying pan on your electric grill. I prefer cast iron.
  • 8 sandwich rolls
  • 1 Hot Salami or hard cured meat of your choice
  • 1 package of Campari tomatoes
  • 8 oz of Irish cheddar cheese
  1. Cut rolls in half lengthwise.
  2. Cut tomatoes in half, ask set aside
  3. Slice cheese, advice set aside
  4. Slice salami and set aside
  5. Put 4 slices of salami in pan or on grill
  6. Cook for a minute or two on each side
  7. Put 4 tomatoes in same pan or on grill skin side up
  8. Cook for about a minute
  9. Turn tomatoes over
  10. Cluster tomatoes and salami together with a couple slices of cheese
  11. Cook for a couple minutes, capsule cheese should just start to melt
  12. Put half of a roll on top and cover for a minute or two till cheese melts
  13. Take spatula and remove from grill or pan and plate bread side down.
  14. Do not smash tomatoes, as the juice is key to keeping sandwich from being dry
  15. Careful this can be a bit messy
  16. So you may have to scoop melted cheese that tries to slip away
  17. Serve immediately.
  18. If you have a big enough pan or grill you can do more then one at at time
  19. Just be careful to keep ingredients in separate clusters for each roll
You can add some fresh cut Basil on top at the end or some hot sauce, Kalamata olives, or thin sliced red onions.



Beach camping has finally arrived.   A little late, but it is here and we are so excited!!!  Here are a few pics from our little adventure.  Hope you like them.  And for those of you who want to know.  Our first night, we had salmon steaks, asparagus and mashed potatoes for dinner.   Our second day, breakfast was scrambled eggs, bacon and new red potatoes boiled in sea water.  Lunch we had Spam musubi, dinner was vegetable chilli that we added hot salami to, with a side of grilled corn and for desert, Jello chocolate pudding cups!!!    Our last day if we have any leftovers we incorporate them into the meals.  Breakfast was the usual eggs and bacon but with mashed potato’s.  For lunch we had grilled cheese with cucumber and cherry tomato sandwiches.  But, since we had left over salami…………  Jason grilled the salami and cherry tomatoes, put some cheese and bread on top for amazing upside down grilled sandwiches!!  Of course he was nice enough to turn them right side up when it was time to eat – just like mini beach pizzas !

With our first camping excursion over we look forward to the next.  So until then we will post more of what summer in NYC is all about.