Campsgiving Part I: Alabama Hills

We celebrated Thanksgiving a little differently this year and spent a fun couple of days sleeping in a roof top tent mounted on our Outback and hiking through the Eastern Sierras, a Campsgiving if you will. We camped at Tuttle Creek, a BLM campground near Alabama Hills, with an unobstructed 180° view of Mt. Whitney and the Sierra Nevada mountains. Even though the weather was brisk, we found ourselves in the company of many other opt-outsiders, most of whom had tricked out camper-trailers and a few others who rough-and-toughed it (aka froze their butts off) in tents like us. Luckily, with tons of blankets, ample firewood and a value pack of hand warmers, we survived two nights of below freezing temperatures and a windstorm. Like they say, those who share a tent together when its 29° outside, stay together. Or something like that. 

We made margherita pizza on the first day based on this Fresh Off The Grid recipe, using our little butane stove to save firewood for the chillier evenings. It was delicious, but if there's one thing we learned about winter camping, food does not stay warm for long after it's transferred onto a cold tin plate. (It may look sunny but it was still in the high 40's during the day.) Tip for future, just eat off the cast iron skillet. 

After lunch, we all took a little siesta in the tent before driving out to explore the famous movie locations and Mobius Arch of Alabama Hills. David totally geeked out after discovering that one of his favorite movies, Tremors, was filmed here. (The first thing we did when we got home from camping? Watch Tremors.)

We got back to camp right before the sun set behind the mountains (it was only 4 o'clock) and felt the temperature drop right away. A friendly camp neighbor stopped by to introduce themselves and gave us some homemade fire starter and our fire was up and burning in no time. Hoku had just shed his winter coat a few weeks earlier (great timing for a winter camping trip) and was shivering pretty badly so we wrapped him up in a Rumpl blanket and sat him in front of the fire. He warmed up quickly and fell asleep in his cozy little nest. 

We bought this ridiculously cheap tent from Amazon to store our camp chairs and stuff while we were out exploring. It also doubled as snoozing pup storage later in the evening. Dinner was supposed to be hamburgers but we forgot to pack the buns. Luckily, we had extra dough from lunch so we made pizza burgers instead and then sat around the fire until the stars came out. It was magnificent.