Ranger Review: Camp Fare Premium Meals at LT Murray Wildlife Area
Camping Review: The LT Murray Wildlife Area is located in Thorp, between Cle Elum and Ellensburg. It is often referred to as Elk Heights or Joe Watt Canyon. This is primarily an ORV and horseback riding area in the summer. Hunting and elk feeding/wintering grounds area in the winter. This is also a great area to find elk sheds once wintering season is over. There are plenty of dispersed camping sites along the Forest Service roads. All you need is a Discover Pass and a high clearance, capable vehicle.
We were looking for a close by, no reservation, free place to camp for a weekend. I remember riding horses up here as a kid but have not been up to this area for many years. Once you arrive to the Wildlife Area, you must let yourself in the gate and close it after you pass through. From the gate we drove down a rough, rocky road and passed a wide-open meadow where there we a couple other trailers camping, maybe living, along the road. We passed through some very narrow, brush lined roads. It was also steep and rutted with water wash out spots. The rocks that made the road are sharp, large, and loose. We did not go too far as we were not sure what shape the road would be in and did not want to get in a situation with our trailer that we could not get out of. Plug for our Airstream Basecamp. It's advertised as being "built for adventure and tough enough to go anywhere." I think I really believe it now.
The spot we chose turned out to be beautiful. We had a view of the Thorp valley and the forested gully and ridge across from us. The stars were out and the comet NEOWISE was visible. We saw large elk, deer, many birds, and were visited by some wild turkeys in the night. It can get very windy in this area. Fires are not allowed due to red flag conditions. There is nothing out here. You must bring everything you need. Food, water, TP, lights. The best part was we saw two other cars, a couple ORV's, and a couple horseback riders total for the 2 days we were there. You can't get any quieter and more unplugged than that!
Product Review: Camp Fare Beef Burgundy with Field Vegetables and Chicken Tikka Masala with French Green Lentils
I ordered these meals a bit short of our last trip and was unable to make them. I was happy I had them saved for our trip up to LT Murray given we traveled quick and light. Camp Fare https://campfare.com/ advertises their food as high quality, delicious, chef-crafted, and ready to eat- no refrigeration required. All you have to do is submerge in hot water for 2-3 minutes, tear open the pouch, and enjoy. Selection is limited but covers all the bases. Beef Burgundy, Chicken Tikka Masala, Wild Alaskan Salmon, and Brown Rice and Red Quinoa with Pink Beans. They all sound great! We had our camp stove and a pot of water but you could probably stuff the pouch into a larger Jet Boil for backpacking too. I chose the Beef and had my partner eat the Chicken.
Preparation was as quick and easy as promised. The meals may not look amazing, especially on a plate instead of the pouch or in a bowl, but they really are delicious. The Beef Burgundy was flavorful and tender. The Chicken Tikka Masala was Indian restaurant good, seriously. I would way rather eat these meals than something dehydrated ever again. Looking forward to trying the Salmon and maybe getting the Chicken again for future trips.