Just got back from a week in Tuolumne Meadows, Yosemite... We brought a lot of food with us, and also checked out some of the vegan options up there.
Most days we'd head out for a little hike, bring along a lunch, and then enjoy our lunch and a few hours reading and playing in the water. Here's a typical lunch for me: baked tofu sandwich, some almonds and dried apricots, and a Luna Bar. Mmmm, those sandwiches always taste like the best thing I've ever eaten...
For dinners, we ate lots of veggie burgers! We brought along Amy's Bistro Burgers from home, and cooked them over the campfire. You can see I burnt this one a little, but it was still delicious. Especially when served in my special cow bowl!
For dessert, I brought along all the supplies to make vegan S'Mores!!! YUM! I don't have any idea how many years it had been since I'd eaten a s'more. Man, they are GOOOOD. I brought Terra Nostra rice milk chocolate, Dandies marshmallows, and graham crackers.
You can see that the Dandies roasted up beautifully! Golden, bubbly, caramelized, gooey... scrumptious!
The finished product! mmmmm. How delightful it is to have such great tasting vegan options that our whole family could enjoy these together. I'm pretty sure it was my little nephew's 1st time eating s'mores, so that was super special. :)
The Tuolumne Meadows Store has a pretty surprising amount of vegan options - lots of Lightlife products (Gimmee Lean sausage, hot dogs, fakin bacon), 4 kinds of Wildwood Baked Tofu, soy milk, countless hummus varieties, lots of good vegan snacks (Veggie Booty, rice crackers...), Alternative Baking Company cookies... Overall, I was really impressed with their offerings.
They even had two flavors of Tofutti cuties!! Yeah! My grandparents used to enjoy a frozen treat after a long hike, so we bought a package of these cuties and scarfed them down in loving memory...
One thing the Tuolumne Meadows store DOESN'T carry: veggie burgers, or vegan buns. In fact, they also don't carry any vegan wheat bread. So, luckily my dad was coming up a few days later and he brought along more veggie burgers. When we ran out of our hamburger buns from home, we switched over to sourdough bread! Not quite traditional, but still delicious after a day on the trail.
One night we ate the Tuolumne Lodge... which is famous amongst our family for its dismal vegan offerings. This restaurant is right there where the tent cabins are, but is run by a company called "Delaware North." The offerings are *really* pricey, and there is almost nothing vegan. My brother and his son got hamburgers, while the other 7 of us ordered baked potatoes. Some people ordered the "mixed vegetables" ($3) and got a HALF an ear of steamed corn. Lame. The baked potatoes were good, but it took an entire hour for us to be served. We were joking that they had to run out and plant some more potatoes. Overall, it wasn't a very satisfactory experience for us vegans. They bring loads of rolls, but they are clearly not vegan, so the 5 vegans in our group didn't indulge. The one good thing worth mentioning was the delicious salad they served: fresh baby greens, a FEW artichoke hearts & cherry tomatoes, and a nice balsamic dressing. They used to use a cream dressing, so we were all happy for this new vegan dressing. The salad was very good, and served family style. After we finished off the first huge bowl, they brought us another, which was also devoured. So, that was definitely the highlight of eating at the Lodge.
On my last day there, my two aunts and I hiked from Tenaya Lake to Cloud's Rest - 15 miles! This was a hike that my grandpa did when he was 85 years old!!!! We were hiking in his memory, which was inspiring and poignant. So amazing. It was a long, beautiful, and demanding hike. We saw SO many beautiful creatures and wildflowers and vistas along the way. I was so happy to reach the top and dig into my sandwich. Off on the left you can see Half Dome, and Yosemite Valley stretching below.
Up on top of Cloud's Rest was a friendly and inquisitive little Golden Mantle Squirrel, who clearly has scored food off people in the past. I caught this super cute little picture of him leaping from one rock to another...
And this cutie one of him peeking up over the edge of the summit. Sooooo cute.