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August 4, 1886
I decided to devote an entire entry to what we ate during our four days of being lost in the Yosemite wilderness. Just so I don’t forget . . . a couple of the items were tasty, but the important thing is that there was never enough to eat.
I could have eaten every jackrabbit Riley shot all by myself, but I was counting the bullets and his six-shooter now had one less. So it was best to tighten my belt, be grateful, and save the other five bullets for five more rabbits over the course of who-knew-how-many days we would be lost. It was delicious!
While I found the jackrabbit to be crispy and tender, the next dish on our wilderness buffet was not as tasty. And it was . . . pink. I have not eaten many pink foods, and I do not intend to in the future. Riley called it fireweed and explained that he and his family had been around the west a lot so was familiar with the wild flowers and herbs. That may be, but not only did it taste like a wild salad, but it did not add any energy to my quickly tiring body.
Tasty But Tricky
Riley used up the last of his cartridges on jackrabbits. The animals were everywhere in the Sierras in June. Catching them was a lot like what some folks call “shooting fish in a barrel,” only these were rabbits and not fish.
On our fourth and final day wandering around in the wilderness, we were hot, tired, filthy, and very hungry. A bee tree full of honey and wild bees made my mouth water. Riley did not look enthused about harvesting honey, but I knew he was hungry too. And who knew when we would find our way out? He became even less enthused when he noticed several long scratches in the tree trunk. A wild-bee tree plus a favorite hang out for bears. Our hungry spurred Riley to take chances and we were rewarded with what is probably my new-favorite treat. Sweet, sticky honey comb. I chewed and chewed the waxy comb, which kept my stomach happy for several hours.
When Riley and I finally made it out of wilderness and back to the hotel in the Yosemite Valley, I wrapped our honeycomb in fresh white cloths and brought it home to our new Memory Creek ranch. The combs sit in a jar on a shelf in my kitchen so I can remember that special treat. Riley remembers the honeycomb adventure too, but not quite in the same way. I had to plaster all of his bee stings with baking soda, but eventually we put our trip behind us.