The Great Outdoors

Mackerricher State Park

MacKerricher State Park

Hello!!!! August sent us out with a big bang and September already has me in over my head that I’ve had no time to gape at the fact that September. Is. Here! Apart from the 25 seconds it took to write that sentence so thank you for indulging me.

This week has been a crazy whirlwind but it didn’t feel right to let it pass without so much as a meep from me, especially after your enthusiastic responses to the Peach Tart. Yes, seriously, Peach and Pistachio, a pairing made in heaven. Researching recipes for the tart, I noticed that there were an overwhelming number of recipes featuring cinnamon and peaches. Why is that so? I mean, it’s a great spice and all, but surely there are other spices that work well with peaches too, like vanilla, ginger, even cardamom I would think, for a late summer crumble.

Anyway, enough about cinnamon. I wanted to share some photos of our camping weekend by the foggy Mendocino coast. It was an attempt to test our fortunes with California’s wilderness. If you recall, our last camping adventure involved eight inches of snow while the one before that occurred during a heat wave – neither of them the most enjoyable circumstances for camping.

MacKerricher State Park

I’m happy to report that we were third time lucky. Our campsite at the MacKerricher State Park was a dream – a cozy little corner surrounded by lush foliage, providing us with tons of privacy, a quality often sought but not always found at popular campgrounds. Coastal trails featured a fairly new boardwalk for a leisurely stroll and although we had fog for 98 percent of our time there, it added a magical ambience to the whole experience.

Mackerricher State Park

We explored tidal pools, took in the scenery and discovered M’s mysterious connection with ground squirrels. I have taken to calling him the Squirrel Whisperer.

Dinner was a filet of wild-caught Chinook salmon from Oregon, procured from the back of a truck in Fort Bragg. Dressed with olive oil, garlic, lemon and parsley, the searing heat of our campfire yielded the most crisp and delicious skin. For once, I was glad that M and I had complementary eating habits – he hates fish skin, which meant that the charred and crunchy armor was all mine. A grilled variation of my easy salmon recipe, the filet, along with a tomato, avocado salad and foil-baked potatoes with onions and butter, made for a major feast for the both of us. We still have salmon leftovers today!

After a breakfast of bacon, eggs and fresh coffee, we promptly got lost while exploring the Russian Gulch state park. Probably because it’s slated for closure next year, the trails were overgrown and, minutes into our hike we found ourselves battling down tallgrass and pesky blackberry branches, along with jumping over and under the trunks of many fallen redwood trees. It was difficult to follow the trail in some parts and at one point I was calculating how long our water and food supply could last us before we’d start getting desperate. Fortunately, we eventually found our way out so all was well with the world.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this little travelogue of sorts – fitting since it’s the start of the Labor Day weekend here in the US. Have a great weekend everyone and I’ll be back with a recipe and a sweet little giveaway next week. Check back then!


  1. Gorgeous Danielle! There are so many places in Northern Cali that I want to explore. Loving all the fog 🙂 We have many squirrel visitors at our apt. And the ones in the park are extremely brave. I have a small herb garden on my fire escape and our building faces the backyards so its quite “wild” around here. Every morning I watch the squirrel bravely jump from the tree onto our 4th story apt balcony and dig through my plants. Meanwhile acting like a acrobat and swinging up the fire escape ladders and up onto the tree again. My boyfriend says “oh look mischief is here” hahaha Love their little personalities. Nice post.

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