All photos by Paul Richer / Richer Images
One of the reasons we chose Rocky Mountain River Tours for our Middle Fork of the Salmon experience was food. A trip can be ruined for me if the food is even just average. In fact, it took me days of reading Trip Advisor reviews to pick an all inclusive hotel for our winter Mexico trip as the food can vary so much from one hotel to the other and many guests just don’t care. When it came to rollin’ on the river, Rocky stood out immediately as a river outfitter, since Sheila Mills, who co-founded the company, literally wrote the book on Dutch Oven Cooking. Search complete! Once we got off the waiting list it was game on! Oh yeah, I was excited about the river running and rapids stuff, too.
The guides are boat captains by day and gourmet chefs by night, using charcoal and scavenged wood for fuel and dutch ovens and open flame to prepare meals. Cooking in a Dutch Oven is equal parts science and art – and that’s at home. Add the literal middle of nowhere as your workspace and it is quite the challenge. Especially considering if you do the math or timing wrong you can’t just make something else; every morsel of food in the coolers belongs to another expertly planned and prepped meal. There is simply no room for error, which is why you go with the pros.
Check out the menu below – this seems like the options of a fine hotel, not a raft trip!
Day 1 Chix Caesar Wraps Spicy Pesto Lasagna & Dutch Oven baked focaccia bread
Day 2 Dutch Oven Sticky Buns Big Creek Broccoli Salad Big Bend Beer Bread (baked in Dutch Oven) Salmon en Papillote w/ Tarragon-Fennell -Butter Sauce Camas Creek Carrot Cake
Day 3 Klinkhammer Coffee Cake Dutch Oven Creamy Chicken Enchiladas Yogurt Chocolate cake
Day 4 Horseradish Encrusted Pork Loin Roast Butternut squash pie Pear Cobbler
Day 5 NY Strip Steak (cooked over open flame) and Baked Potato Ruby Rapid Rhubarb
After the five days of gourmet food and relaxations, the best way to burn those river calories off is to spend a few extra days in Stanley mountain biking. Don’t forget to bring along a dirt-biker to film!