America is a funny country. There are stories around literally every corner, tree, and bread. Bread? A story behind one of the oldest, most mundane of foods? Impossible, you think? Not in America, it isn’t. Check out Dave’s Killer Bread. America is a country where a convicted felon after 15 years of going in & out of prison can decide to make his own bread, and become HUGELY successful. Only in America..
where i write this: in bed in the camper van
Dave’s Killer Bread
Surprisingly early I wake up, and get out of both the bed and the camper van. After talking with my old lady for a while I type and publish some thing again, and when Annemiek wakes up I suggest we have breakfast. MAN HUNGRY.
“Dave’s Killer Bread. After spending 15 years in prison -this is literally quoted from the packaging-, Dave Dahl found an opportunity to reinvent himself in the most unlikely of places: the family bakery. Dave set out to bake the best-tasting, most nutritious organic bread, period. What began as one man’s journey has turned into so much more. At Dave’s Killer Bread, we relentlessly strive to make a difference in everything we do – for our customers, our employees and our community.”
Huh? What? Dave’s Killer Bread. Does that mean our friend Dave here really is a killer and he has traded the old killing business for diving elbow deep into the wet flour every day? That can’t be, right? No way that a convicted murderer can make it big in the bread baking industry. Or maybe it’s true? I have no idea and my curiosity has been sparked, and without internet I can’t check if it’s true. (before posting it, I had a quick check on the interwebs. The criminal record of Mr. Dahl I couldn’t find, but some articles I found talked about 15 years of going in and out of prison, making the possibility of the dude killing someone kind of impossible).
Nice stache you got there, Dave. Maybe a bit less of the guitar playing and a bit more of the improving the rock hard bread?
This is nature
Nevertheless, it’s a great story, and for a mere $4,50(!) per bread, it’s a bargain, really. (Really? Four and a half dollar for a bread??) The fact that our good friend Mr. Dahl in those fifteen years sitting in his cell couldn’t come up with a decent recipe for his bread, and that it is as dry as it is heavy doesn’t really matter anymore. Only in America.
It’s only a short drive up to the park but boy is it a pretty one. Having used up most of my superlatives for the Arizona desert, Flagstaff and the Mojave area, I feel like a little boy without words when we drive north to the park. It is the prettiest place you will ever see.
Yes, the desert was impressive, and yes, cities like New York are beautiful. But there is nothing that prepares you for Yosemite park. The drive up there is already phenomenal, with massive rocks in a river bed that is now dry, but in spring it rages through the valley like an aquatic monster, leaving only the size of the rocks it leaves behind as an indication of how wild the river must be like. Huge boulders are scattered all over the place as if some giants kiddos have been playing with them, using them as big stone marbles, up until the point where momma giant had enough, came in and grabbed them by the ears, the marbls falling out of their bag and into the river bed.
I can almost see the giants playing. I do have a very lively imagination, though.
Even driving up to the park was a treat.
And WHAT an entrance. Mom, if you’re reading this, if you’re not afraid of bears, then you need to go to Yosemite National Park. It is the most beautiful place you will ever see.
Forget what you know
Forget that places you’ve seen or been, this is true nature. Sheer rock surfaces, century old trees and impassable mountains. If Sequoia National Park with its high rising trees represents New York, then Yosemite has to be Las Vegas (but the good one), with its bright and shiny colours of nature as the neon signs, the huge rock formations as the casino fortresses and the countless trees as its endless streams of tourists. I might be colourblind, but the colours from the mountains and creeks of the Yosemite fighting for my attention almost literally moves me closer.
Like I’ve noticed in most national parks, there is usually one main point where all the tourist gather, but really it is pointless because around every other corner there is another spectacular sight to be seen. The main point where the buses with Chinese, Spanish and German people park (and me too) is a small area just underneath and with a view of El Capitan. The Captain is a big rock with a flat surface and an almost sheer drop that is not only very impressive, what’s more impressive is that people climb it every now and again. Respect.
The poor engine of our RV screams in agony when I point the wheels upwards, shifting back a gear and then another one, but it hangs in there. Good boy. We climb higher and higher and right after we reach the 8000 feet mark (2400 odd meters) we drive past a GORGEOUS little lake, I slam on the brakes and we have a quick lunch. Just a little lake somewhere in the mountains. Photos don’t do it justice. Just go there yourself.
What a great road to drive, if only I didn’t have to do it in a camper van..
The spectacular lunch lake.
In the park there are no houses. No shops, either, and not even a Starbucks -which is pretty uncommon, even in the ‘abandoned’ ghost town of Calico there was one-. As a matter of fact, there is absolutely nothing, except for the odd camping. And when I say camping, I mean place where you can set up your tent/park your RV. There is no pool, no internet, no showers. As a matter of fact, there isn’t even running water. Or electricity. Or a front desk. There are some toilets though, which are literally just very deep holes in the ground.
There’s a pretty cool system when you want to use one of the camping spots. As there are no people working here to check you in, you gotta do that yourself. So what you do is, you put twelve dollar in a small envelope, you write down which spot you are staying in and how many nights you’re staying and then throw it into a small mailbox. At the end of the day, a U.S. Park Ranger comes to the campsite in his big white SUV, checks if everyone staying has paid, collects the money and goes home to his wife. Pretty neat, huh?
Like in Sequoia National Park, and actually all camping sites we’ve been the past week, on your own camp site there’s a picnic bench to sit on and a small fire pit to build a fire. As August is the dryest month of the year, and forest fires are very common and spread out all over California, you have to be extremely careful with how and where you build your fire.
Usually when I parked the RV, I balance it out, connect the power and the water and then everything is good to go. Here though, nothing to connect, so after balancing it out, I’m done! I go for a hike but there’s no real good trails around our camp site and so it turns into quite a mediocre walk, yet still a nice and quiet one.
Start of the hike, no guest book, just a broken phone.
Kind of really like the vertical panos too now.
Mom, this is what I’m talking about.
Saw a rock lying on a big rock and it reminded me of those yoga photos you see where there’s multiple rocks stacked on top of each other, and the world is in balance and everybody’s happy. This is my attempt.
Love hiking. Getting lost not so much – just ask me about it.
Watch out for bears
When I come back from the little hike, Annemiek makes some pasta while I type some words for a bit. As I’m writing, a curious elk walks by and has a look at what I’m doing. Awesome.
When we were in Sequoia some days earlier, there were reports of at least five bear break-ins in the past week, and here in Yosemite people seem to be even more alert to bear attacks (click here to read my best friend Jeldriks advice in case of a bear attack). There are bear vaults on every campsite, one for each camping spot. What it is, is basically a metal case where you put your food in. Apparently bears have incredibly sensitive noses and they can smell right through the doors and walls of an RV, and when they have discovered there is food in there they have no trouble getting in it either (usually not via the front door).
To be honest, I wasn’t such a great fan of Dave’s Killer Bread. However, I do not feel like fighting a bear over it, so I’m gonna be a good boy and put it all in the bear container.
Good night, guys.
Oh hey, buddy.
This is where I am right now (my mom said this would be a good idea):
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