Summer is winding down and Joel & I went away from the coast (a chilly 60 degrees) to soak up the last dregs of warmth before things really decide to cool down. We went camping with some newfound friends (and their baby) to a private campsite in a charming one-horse town called Miranda, about an hour’s drive south of Eureka.
The 8 acre campsite is owned by a family who has installed running water bathrooms/shower, a “kitchen” consisting of a fancy gas grill, picnic tables under tents, a firepit, and various cooking utensils, and two small cabins for the family. Friends of the family are welcome to bring their tent or trailer and just pitch it for the summer; when we arrived it was like a ghost town of camping sites. Soon enough, however, vacationers began to trickle in and by the second evening (dinner is potluck-style) there were close to 60 people gathered to enjoy the Labor Day weekend. It felt like some crazy family reunion–total strangers coming together to have a good time. And we did have a good time getting to know people without any pretense of social etiquette.
On Labor Day we picked blackberries to make into blackberry jam. Although definitely not as good as Washington State blackberries (the foggy climate doesn’t allow the berries to mature to their full potential sweetness), the jam still came out tasting quite good, albeit partly from the addition of storebought blueberries. Unfortunately, having only made jam a limited number of times, I didn’t realize that the proliferation of seeds would be so high and didn’t have a strainer to separate the seeds from the pulp. Despite that setback, the jam is made and canned and pretty tasty.