The Eclipse Trip, Day 2: Finding the Perfect Spot

I make new friends at Four Corners Camp.

Posts in this series:
Day 1: Packing and Heading Out
Day 2: Finding the Perfect Spot
– Day 3: The Eclipse and More
– more to come

I woke up very early, as I sometimes do. It was still dark out. There were billions of stars in the sky over our camp.

I made coffee and settled down at the table to write up a blog post about the previous day’s activities. It got light out. The three guys who had parked next to me and slept in the woods came back to their truck. I watched them load up their gear and drive out. No one stirred at the other camper.

Forest Trail
Technically, this is Forest Road 100. But realistically, it’s just a two-track trail into the forest.

Since I hadn’t yet put photos in the post and I didn’t have any kind of cell signal at all anyway, I closed up my laptop and made breakfast. Then Penny and I went for a very short walk — about half a mile — up the forest road that had been gated off. A small creek babbled along one side, hidden in the weeds. I heard birds and the occasional sound of a passing car on the main road. I’d worn the wrong shoes; I was wearing street shoes but I should have been wearing hikers to protect my soles from the sharp rocks that had once graveled the two-track trail. So we turned around and headed back. I really liked the way the sunlight shined through the tops of the weeds.

It didn’t take long to get ready to leave. Really: it’s just a matter of putting away loose objects. I’ve learned over the years I’ve been RVing that if you put everything away when you’re done using it, you can be ready to go in just a few minutes.

When I rolled out of my campsite at about 8 AM, there had still been no movement from the other RV. Talk about sleeping in!

On the Road Again

I continued on route 395 southbound, passing Dale and the 4127 foot Meadow Brook Summit. It was around then that I started noticing tents and RVs parked alongside the road in places that looked like they might be public land. But the biggest crowd I saw was at Ritter Butte Summit (elev. 3993). It was a mostly grassy hillside with what looked from the main road like a low fire tower on top. There had to be at least two dozen campers in tents and RVs parked all over an open area just off the road. It was tempting to just pull off and join them, but I was convinced that a better spot was up ahead.

I did pull over, though, and that was to use my phone and make sure I’d downloaded maps I needed for going off the grid. I just GaiaGPS on my iPhone and iPad and I highly recommend it. It’s one of the few apps that allow you to download topo maps — as well as other maps you might find useful — so they’re handy if you don’t have a cell signal. I had a five bar LTE signal at Ritter Butte thanks to the cell tower next to the fire tower.

When my map downloads were set up and my podcasts updated, I continued on my way. Google told me 50 miles before that I needed to make a left on Main Street. Main Street turned out to be in the small town of Long Creek, which was really rocking with eclipse visitors. I didn’t stop. Instead, I made the left where instructed and headed southeast along a narrow chip-sealed road.

I passed a few farms and ranches as the road cut through a grassy landscape with forests on hilltops nearby. Then the chip-seal turned to gravel and I entered the forest.

Now campers were common on either side of the road. This was national forest (either Umatilla or Whitman or maybe even Malheur — they all run into each other in this area) and camping was allowed pretty much anywhere. People had set up little communities of RVs and tents here, there, and everywhere. I wondered whether I could just join in on one of them and was sorely tempted when I saw three Lance rigs just like mine parked out in a field. But I still thought a better spot was ahead, so I kept going.

Have I mentioned the signs? I don’t think so. I started seeing them the day before, just south of Pendleton on route 395, but they were out here, too. Flashing construction signs, all with the same basic message: “Fire Danger Extreme” and “No Campfires” and “Do Not Park on Dry Grass.” I think I passed at least five of them between Pendleton and my final destination.

Magone Lake and the Campsite Hunt

What was that destination? Magone Lake. The line for totality would pass right though it. A small lake in the national forest, surrounded by unpaved roads, hillsides, and trees, about 20 miles northeast of John Day. I thought it might be remote enough to be a little less crowded than other popular destinations.

Well, it might have been less crowded, but it was still crowded. I reached the turnoff and was startled to see a freshly asphalted one-lane road with turnouts. There were people camped out alongside the road all the way down to the lake. One guy had even pitched a tent in the road shoulder. Of course, the two campgrounds were full. There were people milling about all over the place — exactly the kind of scene I wanted to avoid. This was at 10 AM, a full day before the eclipse. It would only get worse.

Magone Lake
Magone Lake is a pretty little mountain lake about 20 miles from John Day.

I drove to the boat ramp area and parked to take a look around. As usual, people commented about Penny, who I had on a leash. Everyone was friendly and upbeat — they probably already had overnight parking spots! I found a trail that looked like it would go around the lake and considered doing a short hike, but decided that I’d be better off finding my campsite and saving the hike for after the eclipse. So we got back into the truck and started out.

I can go into a long story here about how I used my downloaded topo map to find roads to explore that might have good campsites on them. I could tell you about how many people I saw camped in the most inappropriate places (think dense woods with no view of the sky). I could even tell you how I actually parked and got the truck up on leveling blocks in a lonely forest campsite not far from the lake. But the short version is that I decided that I didn’t want to experience the eclipse alone and needed to find an existing camp to join.

Eventually, after many bumpy miles on rugged dirt and gravel roads, I wound up in a place called Four Corners. It’s a crossroads that just happens to have some relatively parking spots and fields. Trucks, cars, and RVs were parked where they could fit. I cruised through with both windows open, looking for a place I might be able to squeeze in the truck without bothering other campers.

I was eying a patch of dirt near a large motorhome when I heard a guy yell out, “Innagadadavida!” I looked and found a guy a little older than me looking at me. He yelled it again, at me.

What followed was me selling myself as a good addition to their campsite who would take up very little room. Yes, he was expecting seven more people (none of whom showed up, by the way) and the folks with the motorhome were expecting three (who did show up later on). My sales pitch worked and they pulled aside their makeshift road block to let me in. Soon I was leveling the camper on the blocks and putting my solar panels out to soak up the sun. I’d be there for more than 24 hours.

It was about noon.

At Four Corners Camp

Although the Innagadadavida guy (Jay) had invited me over to their camp across the road, I made myself lunch first. Later, I went over and spent some time with him and his friends. The next day would be his and his twin brother John’s birthday. John was there, too, along with some other people whose names I’ve already forgotten. They had two ukuleles and a guitar and an electric base guitar (powered by an inverter connected to a 12 volt car battery) and a drum kit. Short a drummer, they asked me to sit in and even gave me a few drumming lessons. I managed to keep the beat with the base drum’s foot pedal, but getting my two hands to act independently was a whole other story. In the end, I kept rhythm with a drumstick on an empty whiskey bottle while John played the drums. It was a fun way to spend the afternoon, just hanging out with new friends.

A stranger is often a friend you haven’t met yet.

I flew my drone a little, too. Not enough to annoy people — at least I hope not. I wanted some aerial views of the camp, which I began calling Four Corners Camp. We were on the fringes. There were probably two hundred people camped out within 50 acres or so. More people came in all afternoon and even after sunset.

Campsite from the Air
Our campsite from the air.

The motorhome people’s companions arrived: three retirement age men who set up a 25-year-old tent that looked brand new. The motorhome people included a husband (Amir) and wife, two of their sons, and one son’s girlfriend. Most of them hiked to the lake in the afternoon. I’m not sure, but I think it was a long hike.

I did some repairs. I’d gotten the bright idea to put my clothes in the cabinets in the sleeping area and use the drawer under one dining bench for books and computer stuff I’d brought along. It would make that stuff handier. Trouble was, that stuff is also heavier and the constant bumping around on back roads had caused the screws to come loose on one of the drawer support arms. I had to use some Gorilla Glue to help the screws bite and stick to get the support arm back in place. I had everything I needed for the repair so it wasn’t a big deal. But I did have a lot of junk just sitting out waiting to be put away for most of the evening.

Sunset
We had a nice sunset with high, thin clouds.

Mother Nature treated us to a nice sunset. We were a bit worried about the cloud cover, but I suspected it would clear up overnight.

To that end, I prepped my Nikon for a night photo shoot, getting all the settings on the camera and actually setting up the tripod outside my door. If I woke up as early as I had that morning, I could go out and shoot before dawn.

I had a salad for dinner. Later, the motorhome people offered me a hamburger, which I declined. I did hang out for a while in their motorhome with them. They were a happy bunch. The two boys were headed off to college soon and their parents were semi retired and planning a cross-country trip in the motorhome, which was new to them. I was glad to see people living life while they were still young enough to enjoy it. So many people wait too damn long.

Penny and I went back to the camper at around 9 PM. I spent some time reading a book about eclipses that I’d bought for the trip but soon fell asleep with the book in my hands. I turned out the light and went to bed.

The Eclipse Trip, Day 1: Packing and Heading Out

My long-planned trip to see the total solar eclipse finally begins.

Posts in this series:
Day 1: Packing and Heading Out
Day 2: Finding the Perfect Spot
– Day 3: The Eclipse and More
– more to come

My tenth season as a cherry drying pilot officially ended on August 16, leaving me free to begin my vacation. I like to tell people that I get seven months of vacation time each year, but that’s a bit of an exaggeration. Truth is, when I’m not on contract to dry wet cherry trees (roughly June though August) or warm cold almond trees (roughly March and April), I still do get the occasional flying job. I did two long charters this past week and have another scheduled for next Saturday. Those jobs basically dictated when I could take my vacation.

But more important was timing and location of the total solar eclipse: August 21 along a path that went through central Oregon. I began planning late last year, when I first heard about the eclipse and its path. Although in some years, my cherry season has gone as late as August 25, last year it ended on July 30. That would give me plenty of time to get into position for the event. But Mother Nature fooled all of us this year with a longer than usual winter. Cherry season started late and it looked, at first as if I’d be on contract until August 23. While I was scrambling to figure out a way to make the 200-mile trip south while still on contract without letting my orchards go without coverage — likely by having one of my other pilots stick around — Mother Nature turned up the heat. Contract dates shifted and my last contract was set to end on August 16. Phew.

When I realized that a quick trip wouldn’t be necessary, I planned a week-long vacation and blocked it out on my calendar so I wouldn’t be tempted to book something else. Last year’s vacation started on my last contract day; I had the camper parked and ready to go when my client called to confirm that they’d finished picking. On that trip, I’d gone north into the North Cascades in Washington and British Columbia. It was my first big trip with my first truck camper, The Turtleback. Since then, I’ve downsized a little bit to a newer rig without a pop-out slide. I took it on a weekend-long mushroom hunt back in May, but this is my first big trip with what I’ve been calling T2.

Packing Up

Over the summer, T2 was home to one of my contract pilots, who camped out in it in Quincy, AZ for about a month. I brought it home and put it away in mid July. Since he’d cleaned it very well, I didn’t do much in it other than strip off the linens and put them and all the towels, etc. through the wash. Busy with other things, I just left the folded up laundry in the camper. Later, I took some of the pots and pans out to finish up the furnishing of my glamping tent setup. (That’s quite a saga and I promise to blog about it soon.) So this week, when I went to look at what needed to be done to prepare for my trip, I found that I needed to do quite a bit of packing.

I started on Thursday and Friday, adding back the things I’d removed and taking inventory of what I had. In addition to food and clothes, I needed a full complement of gear for off-the grid living. I had no desire to park in a KOA-style, full-hookup campground while I was away, so that meant I’d need DC chargers for my devices, my 100-watt inverter in case I wanted to watch a movie on the TV, and my solar panel to keep the batteries charged in the event that I decided to park somewhere for a few days. (And yes, I’ve already decided to get solar panels permanently installed on the roof of this rig; my last one had a panel and it really was convenient.) I decided against bringing my generator since I’d honestly prefer having no power at all over listening to it, even though it’s a very quiet Honda. (I’m still sitting on the fence about getting a generator installed in this rig; my last one had one and it came in handy when my batteries decided to crap out during my long winter trip.)

So little by little I got things packed into T2 on Thursday and Friday. I divided my time between casual packing, running errands, and working on that glamping setup with a handyman friend.

I should mention here that one of the quirks about T2 is that it doesn’t have a queen sized bed like most truck campers. Instead, it has two narrow twins that can be zipped together to form a queen. They are typical camper mattresses — in other words, not very comfortable — and since I sleep on a king bed at home, downsizing to a narrow twin bed is quite a challenge. So on Amazon Prime Day, I took advantage of an offer for a roll-up queen mattress that had gotten very good reviews, planning to pull the two twins and replace them with a queen. The only reason I left them as twin beds for this trip was because I’d invited two different friends to join me and the twin beds made sleeping arrangements easy. While I didn’t really expect either one to say yes — who knew that some people have trouble making time for something as significant as a total solar eclipse viewing? — I figured I’d leave the beds as they were just in case. In the end, I talked myself out of making the switch until my big winter trip. So the new mattress remains rolled up in its box until November.

Eclipse Reminder
Worried that I might forget (as if!) I set up a reminder for the eclipse; it went off on my phone roughly 48 hours before the actual time. I’d originally planned to drive down to a friend’s house near Salem for the eclipse.

Although I’d originally planned to depart first thing Sunday morning, by Friday afternoon it looked like I might be able to pull off a Saturday noon departure. My house-sitter would come on Sunday, but I wasn’t worried much about the garage cats or chickens she’d be taking care of; I have them set up so that short absences would not be a problem. But on Saturday, as I continued to pack and prepare, noon came and went. I admit that I worked at a leisurely pace — one of the things I really like about my life these days is that I’m seldom rushed — but I honestly didn’t expect it to take so long. Keep in mind that I also had to clean house for the house-sitter. I was finally packed with T2 on the truck by 2 PM. After showering, dressing, and gathering together a few more things, Penny and I climbed into the truck. When we left at 3:02 PM, my two 3-month kittens were playing in the front yard; I’d left the big garage door open just enough for them to get in and out.

I made only one stop before heading out of town: Les Schwab to get the tire pressure checked and adjust the tie-down screws. I was heading out of town at 3:33 PM.

First Day’s Drive

Since I doubted that I’d make it all the way to my final destination before nightfall — and I don’t like to drive in unknown territory at night — I plugged a destination along the way into Google Maps on my iPhone: Pendleton, OR.

Pendleton was about 2/3 of the way: a 3-1/2 drive. Google wanted me to drive the usual route south to Tri-Cities and then take a few freeways east. That’s how I often went on my annual migration between Wickenburg, AZ and Quincy, WA and I never was fond of the route — especially the traffic in Richland. Instead, I told Google I’d take the slightly longer way that did the freeway driving up front on I-90 to Moses Lake and then south on farm roads.

I ended up with a fast drive on route 17 almost to Pasco, where I crossed the Snake River near its confluence with the Columbia. Then route 12 to 730. There was a really pretty stretch of road right alongside the Columbia River through one of its many flood-carved gorges and, once again, I thought about taking a boat trip from just downriver from the Priest Rapids Dam to the ocean. All the dams downstream from Priest Rapids have locks, making it very possible to take such a trip. I always wondered if my little boat was up to the task.

A sign and Google announced, almost in unison, that I’d entered Oregon.

I turned away from the river on route 37, which turned out to be a twisty road that wound up a canyon through farmland. There were cut wheat fields on either side of the road, here and there, with a few farm houses and grain elevators every few miles. I had to slow down considerably. One thing about driving with a truck camper on the truck is that it completely changes the truck’s center of gravity, raising it a few feet. Slowing down to take curves is not optional — it’s required. As I drove, I’d glance in the rear view mirrors to watch T2 swaying back and forth. I’d need to remember to open cabinets slowly when I parked for the night.

I rolled into Pendleton about an hour before sunset, not quite sure where I needed to go next. I pulled into the first gas station I came to. In Oregon, fuel is full-service everywhere, although if you drive a diesel truck, they’ll let you fuel it yourself. I’d rather let them do it, so I did. The attendant was a friendly Hispanic guy who took my credit card for the pump while I removed the tie-down screw that made it impossible to open the fuel door. He handed back the card and got the fuel pump going. Then, while I climbed back into the truck to consult my Oregon map, he and another attendant did something I still can’t believe: they cleaned my truck’s windshield.

Oregon Full Service
When they say “full service” at an Oregon gas station, they mean it.

Understand that this is no small task. My truck is big. To reach the windshield, you need a long handle on the washer/squeegee. They didn’t have that. What they did have were stepladders, though, and they pulled those out, one on either side of the truck, and got to work. They chatted as they did the job giving me the impression that they did this all the time.

I honestly don’t know if I paid more to fuel there than at some truck stop near the highway, but I don’t care. There’s something to be said about service.

I climbed back down when the fueling was done and refastened the tie-down screw. I thanked the attendant, wondering, in an off-hand way, if I was supposed to give him a tip. But I am old enough to remember when service like that could be found at every gas station, so I didn’t. He didn’t seem to expect one.

I moved the truck away from the pumps and parked for a moment to program Google Maps on my iPhone. I plugged in my final destination and was told it was about 2 hours away. I figured I’d continue on my route and find a place to park for the night along the way.

First Night’s Campsite

What a lot of folks don’t understand is that camping in public lands is legal unless posted otherwise. So all I needed to do was get into the national forest and find a place to pull off the road for the night.

And no, camping alone in the forest doesn’t scare me. Why should it?

Trouble was, I wasn’t exactly sure how far I was from the national forest or whether there would be suitable camping areas along the way.

Just south of Pendleton on route 395 is mostly farmland and ranches — large expanses of grassy, treeless terrain with rolling hills and the occasional cattle pen. Even if the side roads weren’t gated, my rig would stand out like a sore thumb if parked for the night. I wasn’t worried about the drivers in passing cars seeing me. What I was worried about was settling in for the night and having a rancher or state patrolman tell me I was camping on private property and had to move. I really don’t like driving at night.

So I continued on my way, following the road as it wound up into the hills. There were more and more fir trees as I climbed. Soon I was in forest. I started getting hopeful.

There were other vehicles on the road ahead of me including other campers likely headed south for the same reason I was. Most of them were slower than me and I passed them. I was stuck for a long while behind a truck pulling an ancient fifth wheel as it labored up the curvy mountain road. The sun got lower and lower until it disappeared from view behind a hill. I didn’t see it again that day.

I saw a sign for the Battle Mountain day use area and pulled over. It looked like a day use area — you know, the kind of place with picnic tables and hiking trails — and since those usually prohibit camping, I kept going. Seeing a “Camping 12 Miles” sign right after that confirmed my suspicion; why would they put a sign right there if camping were allowed at the day use area?

Daylight faded.

The campground was a state park site with basic amenities like a level paved parking space, picnic table, and maybe fire pits. I don’t really know because I didn’t get to drive through. A ranger was at the entrance, chatting with the guy who’d pulled in before me. When he left, I rolled up and said, “Campground full?”

“Campground is full,” he confirmed. He then told me that 12 miles back up the road was a day use area that allowed camping.

I told him that I’d assumed it didn’t allow camping because it was a day use area. He said that they were changing rules all over the place. He seemed frustrated. I figured the change was likely connected to the eclipse and meeting the demand of people looking for a place to spend the night.

I asked him what options I had further south. I told him I didn’t need a campground, that I just needed a place to park. He mentioned wide pull-outs along the side of the road. I’d been seeing some of these pull outs and although they were wide enough to park in, traffic would be passing close all night. So when he mentioned forest roads another 20 miles down south, my ears perked up. “Look for the turnoff for Olive Lake,” he told me. “Twenty miles.”

I pulled out and continued south. By now, it was getting dark. I really wanted to park for the night while I could still see what was around me. I drove for about 10 minutes, passing one possible spot along the road along the way. And then paydirt: a large turnout for a forest road.

There was an SUV with a small pull trailer already backed into it, as far away from the road as possible. I didn’t want to intrude. There was a two-track road — the forest road, I guess — leading further into the forest and I started up it. It ended with a gate about 100 yards from the campers. I backed down the way I’d come.

I stopped the truck and got out. There was a woman lounging in a hammock. She had a small dog that barked at me and she laughed. I wondered if she was also traveling alone but then I saw a companion poke his head out of the camper.

“Would you mind if I parked here, too?” I asked. It’s getting too dark for me to continue.”

“Sure,” she called back. “Park wherever you like.”

I moved the truck so the camper’s door faced into the forest, giving them plenty of room while still staying quite a bit off the road. Then I turned off the truck. Simple as that.

First Night Parking
I shot this photo the next morning. The other camper was really backed deep against the woods around the parking area.

The other campers had two dogs: a small one on a leash and a large one that was loose. The little dog barked as little dogs will. Penny wanted to go meet it, but it wanted nothing to do with her. So she met the bigger dog, who came over to be petted. Not wanting to intrude on the other campers and eager to get inside to use the toilet and make dinner, I called Penny back, thanked the other campers, and climbed into T2.

It seemed to be dark within minutes. It was after 8 PM.

I was making dinner when another vehicle pulled in. After trying the road and then backing down, it parked between me and the main road. I saw lights in the back of the vehicle and I assumed the campers were setting up a tent. But later I saw lights on the other side of the SUV campers; whoever was in the new vehicle had set up camp in the forest. It wasn’t until the morning that I saw them: three young guys in a tiny pickup with very little gear. I suspect they camped out under the stars. Ah, to be young again!

Later, a big touring motorcycle pulled in. Boy, was he out of place! I don’t know what he expected to find, but it wasn’t in our makeshift campground. He idled for a while in the parking area, probably consulting a map, and then left.

Dinner First Night
The only thing I hate more than eating off paper plates is washing dishes when I’m tired.

I had a nice dinner of steamed asparagus and reheated leftover chicken breast, followed by some blueberry “ice cream” I’d made at home that morning and stowed in the freezer. I let Penny out for a pee before turning in for the night. The other campers were in their little RV; the lights were on. Overhead, the sky was full of stars. I regretted not having my camera set up for some night photography.

I climbed up to bed a little while later. Although there are two beds and I had Penny’s bed set up on the other one, she insisted on finding space on my bed. She’s a small dog but it’s a small bed and I’m not a small person. My mind is made up: the queen mattress is going into the camper as soon as I get home.

I studied the map for a while, disappointed that my destination is so small that it didn’t appear. But that might be a good thing: maybe other people won’t find it and it’ll be less crowded than I expect.

I turned in at around 9:30. The lights were still on in the RV next door and I could see headlamps bobbing around in the woods beyond them.

Lamb, Eggplant, and Tomatoes Ras el Hanout

A made up recipe that came out better than I expected.

Another evening, another dinner guest. This time of year, I have to invite people I can send home with zucchini.

Of course, I’m also growing eggplant, which I really like, and have a bunch of that to eat. After browsing Whole30 recipes for eggplant, I decided to try something completely different, something that used up garden vegetables and some of the ground lamb I had in my freezer from the half lamb I bought last year.

I also had a seasoning I’d whipped up for goat (which I also have in my freezer) that I knew would be great with the lamb. Called ras el hanout, I found the recipe on the Amazing Ribs website when I was looking for something interesting to season goat ribs. I made it exactly as written, including the culeb berries, which I tracked down online at Spice Jungle. The result is mind-bogglingly aromatic, reminding me of the middle eastern food I used to eat at my wasband’s Aunt Rose’s house or the Persian Room in Scottsdale.

So I made up this recipe. It’s Whole30 compliant, but what’s more important is that it’s delicious. And that’s what really matters, right?

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium to large eggplants or 4 medium Japanese eggplants.
  • olive oil
  • 1 pound ground lamb or goat. (I used lamb.)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons ras el hanout
  • 1 medium onion, chopped.
  • 1 large or 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 can tomato paste
  • salt and pepper to taste

Since this recipe is made up, the measurements aren’t precise and don’t need to be. Use more or less of any ingredient to suit your taste. I think it’s the combination of ingredients and

Instructions:

  1. Prep the eggplant:
    • Cut half the eggplants lengthwise and, using a paring knife, carve away about half the flesh, leaving the skin and a layer of flesh. Brush the flesh with olive oil, place on a baking sheet, and bake in a 350°F oven until flesh is cooked. Remove and set aside.
    • For the other half of the eggplants, pare away the skin and chop the flesh, as well as the flesh carved out of the other eggplant, into small pieces.
  2. Cook the lamb (or goat), onions, garlic, and ras el hanout together in a large skillet. You shouldn’t need to add any oil; the meat will be fatty enough. In fact, you can probably drain away some of the fat once the lamb is brown and the onions are just starting to get translucent.
  3. Add the chopped eggplant and tomatoes.
  4. Simmer until the eggplant is cooked.
  5. Stir in the tomato paste.
  6. Simmer another 10 minutes or so, stirring occasionally.
  7. Spoon the lamb, eggplant, and tomato mixture into the prepared eggplant skins. (You may have some leftover.)
  8. Return the stuffed eggplant skins to the oven and bake for another 10-15 minutes, until well heated.
  9. Remove from oven, season with salt and pepper, and serve.

I don’t have a picture. I’ll take one the next time I make this, which actually might be soon. I was thinking of trying it again with goat meat. I sure have enough eggplant and tomatoes in my garden.

You can skip the stuffed eggplant part — in other words, serve the dish on its own, with a salad, or with rice. The other day, I made scrambled eggs and topped them with reheated leftovers. Delicious!

If you make this, please come back and let me know how you liked it.