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Torote Canyon Thanksgiving

by Administrator 27. November 2005 05:01

This Thanksgiving we decided to try something a little different. Well different for us. Anza Borrego is actually a pretty popular Thanksgiving destination due to its mild weather and beauty.

First things first, I had to convince Mary that cooking a turkey out in the Desert was actually easy. A quick Web search revealed at least a dozen methods that people have used in the past, some succesful some unsuccesful.
My favorite was the "Trash Can" method where you actually impale the turkey with a 3 foot stick and cook it vertically inside of a  trash can.
This sounded like the easiest way to do it. Unfortunately once I began reading , I learned of the possibility of chemical contamination due to the galvanized steel used in most trash cans.
Uggh...scary stuff.
Trash can method.

Our Trip
We then decided on the more conventional method of grilling the turkey .  The key to this is that you need a turkey that will fit into your BBQ. Luckily Mary was able to find a 9 pound turkey which was the smallest Ralphs had.

Not a trash can but it worked great. (Mary)

On our way out to Ocotillo we saw these 100' tall windmills. Seems like a good use for the abundance of wind out here.

Giant modern windmills (East San Diego)

We decided to camp in the Indian Gorge / Torote canyon area of the park. Plenty of room for the dogs to run around and not as much cholla as other places we have camped.
Solitude in Anza Borrego's Torote Canyon
No football games, traffic or comfy couch out here.


 We finally got the grill going around 1 PM and since we really hadn't done this before had no idea how long we had to wait.

Why won't these coals light ?!

In the meantime while (hopefully) the turkey cooked ; we set up camp, went for a climb and went into "rancho relaxo" mode.

The first thing Kaiel usually does when we arrive out here is find the largest mountain of rocks and scramble to the top. This time was no different and before you could say "mashed potatoes and stuffing" Kaiel was shouting  "Hey Look at Me !!".
Kaiel rock boy

After about 1 hour the smell of turkey permeated our campsite.The challenge now is  as tempted as you are to sneak a peek you need to leave the lid closed.  We gave it one more hour and then it was time to pull the lid.   
No trash can needed.

Carving the turkey in Torote Canyon
Carving on the tailgate

Three hours after we arrived, we were all sitting down to a great Thanksgiving dinner. Hard to beat the scenery out here sitting amongst cactus stuffing yourselves on turkey, cranberry sauce etc.
Next year we are hoping to bring a bigger group with us since now we have it figured out.

Happy Thanksgiving from the Barans



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