Family News

Favorite Recipes

Restaurant Reviews

Back to Family Adventures

Email Eric 







Spring break 2024, and another amazing trip to Saline Valley, located in the west end of Death Valley National Park.  Great camping, exploring, friendship along with fine desert cuisine.  You can't beat Saline Valley for a great "off the grid" experience, as it's one of the most remote places in the lower 48 states.

Photo:  I began this trip by opening up The Getaway Cafe, located in Meyers, CA, and enjoyed an amazing breakfast of "The Morning After," along with the amazingly friendly service of my hostess, Kersey.  When you're in the Lake Tahoe Basin, I highly recommend this fine restaurant for breakfast or lunch.

Photo:  I reached North Pass, elevation 7286 feet early afternoon and was pleasantly surprised to see the road was clear of snow.  I was especially concerned about Whipoorwill Canyon, as it's shaded, and has a reputation for accumulating snow, but just like North Pass, it was clear of snow and easy going.

Photo:  I've passed the "Batpole" and headed to Middle Springs - aka Palm Springs - as my camping destination.

The distance from Saline Valley Road to Middle Springs is only 7 miles, but it takes about an hour, as it's a rough road, which sometimes requires four wheel drive, and is always slow going, any time of the year.

Photo:  It's around 4 in the afternoon, and I've set up camp at Palm Springs, near the 4wd trial to Steele Pass, and I'm ready to soak in the Volcano Pool.  My camp is simple and compact, as you can't carry excess baggage in a 2020 Toyota Tacoma truck with a 5 foot bed!

Thursday, March 21, 2024... the beginning of a fine week of enjoyment at Middle Springs, in Saline Valley.

Photo:  After soaking an hour or so with friends in the Volcano Pool, it was time to get dinner started.  Check out my plow disc wok and the large propane burner that I use when I'll be camping in the same spot for a few days.  I'm getting the potatoes frying.

Photo:  Fried potatoes, along with a hamburger patty topped with a couple slices of cheese, and pickled jalapeņo slices are the beginning of a great cheeseburger in Saline Valley.

Photo:  Cheeseburger, complete with melted cheese - duh - pickled jalapeņo pepper slices, dill pickle slices, white onion and tomato, with ranch dressing and butter for enjoyment.  It's an "old school" burger anyway you look at it.

I wish I could have melted the cheese a little bit more, and ditto with the jalapeņo pepper slices, but it was the best I could do with what I had to work with.

Fried potatoes and ranch dressing on the side for dipping.  Truly a great dinner in the desert!

Photo:  Friday morning, March 22, 2024, after soaking in the Wizard Pool, it was time to get breakfast going on my propane-fired wok.  I'm smiling, as I know breakfast will be great on this Friday morning in Saline Valley.

Photo:  Jasmine rice, corned beef and eggs are cooking on my plow disc wok.

Photo:  Loco Moco, a favorite breakfast dish of Hawaii, enjoyed in Saline Valley.  It all started with a bed of fried jasmine rice, spooned with gravy, fried corned beef on top, topped with two fried eggs, and more sausage gravy. Such a delicious breakfast!  Hawaii meets the wilds of Saline Valley with a breakfast of Loco Moco.

Photo:  Looking west at the snow capped Inyo Mountains, and the Wizard Pool to the left.  The campers in the photo are from Sacramento, and in the real world, they are almost my neighbors.

Photo:  The wind came up on this Friday afternoon - which is typical in Saline Valley - and my next door neighbors were having difficulty preparing dinner - just as like I was.  Strong wind is a reality in Saline Valley, as every day without wind is truly a blessing, and a great day.

Photo:  Stir fry rice, veggies and shrimp were on the menu for this Friday night dinner.

Photo:  What gets better than frying jasmine rice, stir fry veggies and shrimp, in homemade stir fry sauce in a wok, in Saline Valley?

Photo:  Breaded shrimp, jasmine rice, with stir fry veggies, cooked in stir fry sauce in my propane fired wok.  This is truly a great dinner in the Mojave Desert.

Photo: After dinner, it was time to relax around the campfire and enjoy an amazing evening.  Talk about scenery... Inyo Mountains in the background with the twilight, and the welcome warmth of the campfire.  Yes... it was a typical windy Friday evening in Middle Springs.

Photo:  Good Saturday morning!  It's Saturday morning, March 23, 2024, and I'm making breakfast on my plow disc wok.

Photo:  Corned beef hash, hash brown potatoes, eggs and toast are cooking on my wok.  A plow disc for a griddle or a wok?  Sure, as it works great!

Photo:  Breakfast on this Saturday morning... corned beef hash, hash brown potatoes, eggs, toast and sausage gravy.  Perfect!

Photo:  Volcano Pool, looking toward the snow capped Inyo Mountains to the west.

Photo:  My camp site at Middle Springs, Saline Valley on Saturday morning, March 23, 2024.

Photo:  Neighbors have set up camp, and it's another windy day in Saline Valley.

Photo:  Joe Raven is here to pay me a visit and make my day complete.

Photo:  My camp kitchen setup, as I use a propane fired burner, and a wok, made from a plow disc.  Like cast iron, the wok is seasoned, and it works for non-stick cooking.  The 5-gallon of propane lasts me for three weeks or two..

When I camp, I always enjoy a fire, and lots of firewood.  Thanks to a fence building project last year, I had lots of firewood to bring to camp.  Saline Valley is hard-core desert, so you need to bring firewood is you want to enjoy the cheery warmth of a campfire.

Photo:  Chicken breasts, seasoned and dipped in masa harina are grilling on my wok.  This is a great way to enjoy dinner in Saline Valley!

Photo:  I'm a happy guy, as I'm frying chicken, mashed potatoes and corn on this beautiful Saturday evening in Saline Valley.

Photo:  Fried chicken, mashed potatoes, gravy and corn.  Does dinner get any better?

Photo:  After dinner, it was time to relax around the fire and enjoy the amazing Saturday evening.

Photo:  Good morning.... Sunday, March 24, 2024, and it's time for breakfast.

Photo:  I'm a happy chef on this early Sunday morning.

Photo:  It's Sunday, March 24, 2024 and today's breakfast is two fried eggs, hash browns, gravy, sausage and toast.  Mexican "Cholula" hot sauce for garnish.  I enjoy gravy with breakfast nearly every day when I'm camping in the desert.

Photo:  Sunday evening dinner of ribs, chili beans, corn and more.  Simple canned corn, as I like to keep things simple.  Thanks to salt and pepper for seasoning, as that's all I use when I'm camping.

Photo:  Dinner tonight of pork ribs, chili beans and corn, garnished with shredded jalapeno pepper and red onion.

Photo:  Camp fire is started, with wok in the foreground.  This is the way I like to cook on camping trips to Saline Valley.

Photo:  Wednesday, March 27th, 2024 wasn't supposed to happen, as I had planned to go into Big Pine to get supplies.  But my gracious neighbors next door volunteered to go into town, so I was more than happy to give them a grocery list and a few greenbacks.

I simply pulled a few extras out of the ice chest to get breakfast going today,

Photo:  Hash brown patties, scrambled eggs, sausage and a slice of toast are cooking on my wok.  Does breakfast get any better than this?

Photo:  I'm a happy guy, as breakfast is almost ready on this beautiful Wednesday morning, March 27, 2024 in Saline Valley.

Photo:  Breakfast... sausage, scrambled eggs with cheese, hash brown potatoes, sausage gravy and toast.  What could be better?

Photo:  After a long day of hiking... it was time to enjoy dinner.

Photo:  Chicken tamales, refried beans and fresh salsa was on tonight's dinner menu.  Can you say Mexico?

Photo:  Friendly Nanette dropped over to my camp to chit chat and to enjoy this amazing Wednesday evening.  I can't help myself for liking my photo taken with a beautiful woman!

Photo:  Looking west at the Inyo Mountains as the sun begins to set.  Such beautiful scenery!

Photo:  My camp, Wednesday evening, March 27, 2024.  What more could you ask for?  Calm wind... camp fire... it's all good!

Photo:  Thursday morning, March 28, 2024... it's a beautiful day to look at the Inyo Mountains as I soak in the hot tub. Thanks, Major Tom for the beautiful photo, as I left my camera at camp.

Photo:  Mick and I, along with many friends, soak in the Wizard Pool at Saline Valley Warm Springs.  I'm pointing out the beautiful sunrise as Major Tom snapped a photo.  

Photo credit goes to Tom Ganner, who graciously allowed me to publish this photo.

It's just past 07:00 in the morning, Thursday March 28, 2024, and its another beautiful morning at Middle Springs, a.k.a. Palm Springs in Saline Valley.

Photo:  After soaking in the hot tub, it was time to get breakfast going.

Photo:  Breakfast is cooking on my propane fired wok... a plow disc, which is seasoned to perfection, just like a cast iron griddle.

Photo:  Bacon, eggs, potatoes and corn tortillas for breakfast on this beautiful Thursday morning.

Photo:  Saline Valley International Airport, a.k.a., "chicken strip" and I'm enjoying the day next to a beautiful Piper aircraft.

Photo:  Lift off from the "chicken strip" airport at Saline Valley,

Photo:  Somehow, this little guy found his way to Middle Springs, and by the looks at him, he seems to be a long way from home.

Photo:  Dinner tonight was in the preparation stage.  Carne asada, corn tortillas along with salsa cruda.  What better dinner could you ask for in Saline Valley?

Photo:  I'm a happy guy as carne asada, long with corn tortillas are grilling on my wok.

Photo:  Carne asada, a little on the thick side, with corn tortillas on my wok.  Such great food at Saline Valley!

Photo:  Tonight's dinner... carne asada tacos, along with fresh salsa.  Served over deep fried corn tortillas, just like in any city or town in Mexico.

Photo:  After enjoying an amazing dinner, it was time to get the fire going and enjoy the lovely Thursday evening.

Photo:  Thursday evening, March 28, 2024... all is well  at camp in Saline Valley, Palm Springs.

I enjoyed the friendship of friends who love the desert, that I've met over the years, and dining this trip met many new friends.  As always, soaking in the hot tubs was amazing, the camping was enjoyable and truly rustic, and it was another great trip to beautiful Saline Valley Warm Springs, located in Death Valley National Park.

Copyright(c) 2024 eRench Productions. All rights reserved. We've been on the web since December 22, 2002.