Filmmaker, Hobbit, Pizza lover, Elf, Trees, Vegan, Bikes, Movies!

Big Sur Post 4 of 4

We made vegan cheezeburgers, some of us made double cheezeburgers. We used Gardein topped with Daiya on sourdough buns. Cheezeburgers might not be the usual backpacking fare and that’s why we did it. A bit of challenge to not smash the buns but it all worked out in the end. One of us cooked in stainless, one in titanium and the other on non-stick. All techniques worked out quite well but cook on low heat on titanium, it heats up real fast. Bring a lid of some sort so you can melt that cheeze.

For breakfast I made breakfast tofu and Field Roast Apple Maple Breakfast Sausages. Those maple sausages are so good, addictive. Then it was  time to head back down the trail. Backpacking in Big Sur was incredibly beautiful and amazing.

Check out Big Sur 03, Big Sur 02, Big Sur 01


So here’s how I made a vegan birthday cake for my brother’s birthday while we were backpacking. it might sound easy but you have a lot against you in this scenario. First the heat, second the weight, third destroying your cake in transit. How do you pack a two layer birthday cake fully frosted and carry it safely up a mountain?   

We made the cake at home, froze each layer individually, froze the frosting in a bag and carefully packed the cake in our backpacks using titanium plates to support them so they wouldn’t get smooshed.

The cake survived a 6hr drive, lunch break, elephant seal watching and a 5.5 mile hike with a 2000ft elevation gain with temps ranging from 90-75 degrees. By the time we arrived at our campsite,  5 hours of hiking later because we were taking a lot of photos and having a bit of fun. Lucky for us the cake was in really good shape. The cake and frosting were completely defrosted but still cool and ready to be built.

I brought a frosting spatula and used my Snow Peak titanium plate which was a perfect fit to build the cake on. Once I had the frosting all nice I cut a little hole in the frosting bag so I could decorate the cake with text and some piping. Under the circumstances I think it turned out lovely.

The vanilla cake tasted absolutely amazing. But it was also plenty of cake even for 5 hungry people. At about two slices each we managed to eat the entire thing minus one slice so we hiked the slice out to a surprised backpacker who had coincidentally forgotten his food at home.

I’ll do one more Big Sur post with the vegan cheezeburgers we made.  Sometimes you have to go all out.

Check out Big Sur 02, Big Sur 01

Big Sur Post 1

A few weeks ago for my brother Kyle’s birthday we decided to hike from the beautiful and rugged California Coastline in Big Sur up into the southern most sections of the Coastal Redwoods. This is possibly one of the most beautiful hikes we’ve been on. The hike is extremely diverse as you enter and exit scattered sections of Redwood groves with breathtaking ocean views throughout. The hike in is almost entirely uphill but the trail never gets too steep and is well maintained. And whenever you stop to take a breather you’re completely in awe of the beauty that encapsulates you. More posts to come when I will explain how we got a two layer birthday cake up the mountain to celebrate my brothers birthday.

Vegan snacks and Meals in Yosemite

We often bring most of our food into Yosemite but there is also a good general store with a decent amount of vegan food including cookies, primal strips and a nice beer selection.

This time we brought in some Shells and Chreese with Artisan Tofurkey Spinach Pesto Sausages. The Louisville Vegan Jerky is tops and always in my pack these days. I scored the General Sherman, Hot Pickle and Cookie inside of Yosemite. I brought a Pranqster with me because they’re the best. The Justin’s Peanut Butter was also scored in Yosemite and I don’t know if they were having a fire sale but it was half the price it is in the city. 

Have fun in Yosemite!

Biking Yosemite

Biking in Yosemite is so much fun! We stayed in Housekeeping Camp which is right by the Merced River and centrally located in the Yosemite Valley. The best and most efficient way to get around Yosemite Valley is by bicycle. Especially in the summer when the buses and roads are extremely crowded, you breeze by everyone and can explore all the neat nooks and crannies of the valley.

There’s about 12 miles of bike paths and of course you can venture onto the roadways but we stuck mostly to the trails and had a heck of a good time. There are plenty of bike racks at the trailheads so you can lock-up to go on hikes. And almost everywhere is a beautiful place to have a picnic. Pack your swimsuit and a towel so you can jump into the river. 

Have fun!

Highway Ramen

We were out in the desert on the eastern side of the Sierras when we stopped to take a photo of Mt. Whitney in all of it’s sunset glory. The landscape was pretty barren of interesting vegan friendly restaurants so we decided to cook up dinner right alongside the 395. Cows to the right and the highway to the left. It was scenic, fast and mighty tasty. I highly recommend this as it has quickly become a tradition.

Ramen is inexpensive, comforting, quick to cook and easily expandable. Add what you love!

Backpacking the Fish Canyon Narrows

Probably one of the best backpacking trips I’ve been on that is extremely close to Los Angeles. it’s about a 10 mile hike round trip so 5 miles in and 5 miles out. The Narrows are about 1 mile but can take a decent amount of time since the trail is not maintained and is covered in poison oak. And yes it gets very narrow and your essentially just hiking up the creek.  Check out more info about our trip here and a lot more photos of the adventure here.


Recently we headed to Red Rock Canyon to go stargazing and camping. It was quite spectacular and not too far of a drive to see the stars. There were a few scattered clouds crossing by but they just added to the dramatic landscape. We saw several meteors and just laid on our blanket in silence. A wind storm ripped through the desert in the middle of the night and shook the tent pretty good and it didn’t disappear until first light.

I brought a Doomies red velvet whoopie pie for a treat and we cooked up oatmeal and scramble tofu with toast and coffee (the usual) for breakfast.