Kevin Jordan and his girl Stephanie came out on July 4th, and we barbecued up some buffalo hot dogs and what everyone present claimed without exception were the best burgers they ever had.* The sun set blood red over a very hazy day, and as the valley lit up orange and purple in the twilight, it started to explode. Rockets shot into the air and exploded in star burst, leaving umbrellas of smoke hanging in the darkening sky. All night long, until I went to sleep at two, the valley looked like LA in the opening shot of Blade Runner. We were so far away from the fireworks that at times we would watch the whole show go off in Sunnyvale or Cupertino before the first sound of explosions reached us. I watched transfixed all night. I was reminded somehow of the news coverage from Baghdad at the beginning of Desert Storm.
Sunday we drove to Big Basin and hiked 11 miles out to Berry Creek falls, and that also was perfect. Upper Silver Falls, in particular, looked like a hallucination when I stood in it, liquid metal pouring over obsidian. It is one of the strangest things I’ve ever seen, and I’ve seen many strange and wonderful things.
*–The perfect burger; shopping by Kelly, cooking by Travis: Take plain ol’ 80/20 ground chuck, season with salt, garlic, and chipotle powder. Grill over low heat mesquite charcoal, top hot with American or habanero jack cheese.
Garnish with Mexican green onions, tomatoes, and butter-leaf lettuce. I used chopped Mexican onion greens instead of lettuce, and it was full of win. Dress with garlic aoili and serve on a corn-dusted Kaiser roll pan-toasted with margarine. For maximum win, serve with wedge-cut garlic fries, optionally dusted with whole ground chipotle pepper as well.