14 July 2009

The Bear Went Over the Mountain: Part One

Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home.
~ John Muir

N
ever has a truer word been spoken. And to think Muir penned those words in the 1800s ~ certainly not a time we in the twenty-first century think of as being “nerve-shaken.” Ahhh, yes ~ some things never change, do they?

As regular readers know, a small group of friends and I vacation together every year. In 2007 we stayed on the coast of New Hampshire, eating lobstah and wading in the ice-cold ocean. 2008 saw us in a cabin in West Virginia, which touts itself as being “almost heaven” and I would definitely concur. This year, we decided to stay local again, but went a little farther north. And I fell madly in love. With a park.

More on that later. We arrived while it was still daylight on Thursday. We were staying in a rental cabin this time (no house sound system, alas), and while it was comfortable and cozy, we hardly saw it the four days we were there. There was ust too much to do and see ~ and we did not see nearly as much if we had stayed more than four days.
After dumping our bags off, we trolled into the little town of Deep Creek for dinner. Somewhere, someone had read that the Black Bear Tavern was a good place to eat.

Wherever that was written and whoever wrote it must have had no tastebuds.

Ok, fine. I admit it ~ I am foodie. I have champagne taste and an imported beer budget. I use local, fresh Blue Ridge Dairy butter to cook my local, organic filet mignons. I have friends from New York City bring me a pound of Bayley Hazen blue cheese from Jasper Hills Farms whenever they come to visit, because regular blue cheese just isn’t the same. I am a foodie ~ hear me cook and relish!

I ordered a crab cake. It is Maryland, right? Maryland is known for its crab cakes. I should have had a clue when I asked the waitress if the fresh-water fish on their menu had been caught in the 3900 acre Deep Creek Lake and she said they flew their fish in. I ordered the crab cake anyway. I figured even though we were in the mountains, it was still Maryland and that meant it did not have too far to fly.

The crab cake wept. It practically apologized to me for its sorry demeanor. I looked around at my fellow table-mates and all were having a similar experience with their dinners: uber salty and mediocre. There was much ego stroking as one by one they expressed their anticipation of dinner on Friday as I would be cooking. Did I ever tell you musicians need love? Well, they do and so do cooks. ;-) We live in fear that someone will not eat our creations! I do not think this cook was living in fear ~ I think they had stopped living altogether. All I can say about Black Bear Tavern is: WT heaven. And no, I am not going to spell that out for you, dear reader.

Tomorrow: pictures and more thoughts on the trip.

Oremus pro invicem,
~ Mikaela
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