From the Bookshelf | March/April 2013

By Marcella Gauthier #12371

Mountains and Outdoor Recipes​

Snoqualmie Pass: From Indian Trail to Interstate
Yvonne Prater
The Mountaineers (1981) • ISBN: 978-0898860153 • $16.95

Yvonne Prater is in love with the mountains and can trace this love far back into her childhood. She knows this because she has a picture of herself at the famous switchback on the old Snoqualmie Pass road in the Cascade Mountains when she was only five years old. That was 75 years ago, and her love for the wilderness has never abated. She and her husband, Gene, who had invented a new kind of snowshoe for use in the Pacific Northwest, snowshoed all over the West. The Snoqualmie Pass was a particular interest of hers.

For RVers who have traveled the cross-country route of I-90 through the Cascade Mountains may not know about the incredible history of this area. Old Indian trails used by the Native Americans on their quest for game and trade are still visible to this day, as well as sections of the primitive wagon road that were used by prairie-state pioneers seeking to settle the Puget Sound area. This route was used by everyone wishing to cross the Cascades. Railroad routes followed this pass, and when President Eisenhower created the Interstate Highway System in 1956, I-90 came into existence. This is one of the most heavily used mountain passes in the country. Besides serving as a major transportation route, it opened the skiing and hiking areas to the avid outdoor sports lovers in the Puget Sound area. All of this history remained unknown but to a few of the old-timers in the area.

Yvonne had been writing for local newspapers about interesting characters and stories of the area when her editor at the Seattle Times recommended that she put her articles in a book. With further encouragement from the editor of The Mountaineers Books, a publishing arm of The Mountaineers, a local, century-old, 10,000-member outdoor organization, she started a year-long project. She assembled the stories and interviews and the history she gleaned from museums, historical societies and the extensive photographic collection of the University of Washington Library.

The publication of her book was delayed by the news coverage of the Mount St. Helens eruption. Finally published in 1981, the book has recently been republished for the fifth time. This comprehensive book is filled with fascinating old photos, well-done maps and a lot of history. This important route and the towns surrounding it make for a great read. All this will surely make your trip on I-90 over Snoqualmie Pass that much more interesting. You might even get a glimpse of the old road or a portion of a trail still visible from the freeway.

Gorp, Glop and Glue Stew: Favorite Foods from 165 Outdoor Experts
Yvonne Prater
The Mountaineers 1982 • ISBN: 0-89886-017-2

Beyond Gorp: Favorite Foods from Outdoor Experts
Yvonne Prater
The Mountaineers Books 2005 • ISBN: 0-89886-890-4 • $15.95
In 1982, Yvonne and Ruth Dyar Mendenhall published Gorp, Glop & Glue Stew, Favorite Foods for 165 Outdoor Experts. This book is now only available in the Amazon aftermarket, but it was reprinted and updated as Beyond Gorp in 2005. This is a very useful book for climbers, hikers and, yes, RVers, since making up some of the food kits as recommended by the experts can be handy for making quick meals while on the road. Some of the meals sound absolutely wonderful; others not so much. I don’t think I am going to try Mouse Soup from Larry Dean Olsen, author of Outdoor Survival Skills. No! Not really! But the recipe for Argentinean Chimi Churi from Yves Chouinard, the founder and owner of Patagonia Inc., sounds absolutely wonderful, something tasty to keep in the cupboard to spice up and flavor simple meals. Yvonne managed to gather recipes from over 160 outdoor experts, along with their comments, recommendations and biographies. Some of their memories of mealtime successes and failures while in the wilderness are absolutely hysterical.

The recipes are from all over the world because these outdoor experts have gathered recipes from fellow hikers and guides. Their memories of being hungry and unable to stop for a meal while dreaming of fudge and pizza are fun and entertaining reading. Aside from some excellent recipes, you will get to know some fascinating people with remarkable stories to tell. A great read and you don’t even need to risk frostbite or sore muscles while clutching a precarious handhold on a cliffside, but you can sit in the warm sun having a morning cup of coffee while sharing adventures from all over the world.

Marcella has a life-long love of reading. She says she can’t remember anything before she could read, and writing is her second love. Her first long story, about a girl and her hero horse, was written when she was only 12 years old. She has worked as a technical writer for over 40 years, and, when she can, she escapes on a road trip in her 1978 classic Airstream trailer.

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