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Archive for September, 2016

What day is it???  It’s Exotic Eats Challenge Day!   What delicious treat are we experiencing today?

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ZEBRA TARANTULA!

 

This is a cooked and dehydrated Zebra tarantula with a light dusting of BBQ seasoning.  MMMMMMM!

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“Harry” the Zebra Tarantula came packaged in a can and then sealed in a little bag with a moisture bead sack.  Unfortunately his butt broke off in transport but you can clearly see Harry was indeed a real live tarantula at one time.  Harry lives up to his name and he’s covered in tiny little tarantula hairs.  He’s a bit larger than I expected; but I’m not one to back down from an exotic eats challenge.  Let’s get this spider meal started.

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So my companion and I place Harry on a plate and arrange him for a more appealing plate setting.  Sorry I’m missing the garnish.  Since I’ve never eaten spider before I thought I’d start with something a little less intimidating than the larger, fleshy body – I’ll start with the legs.  I break off a leg and pop it into my mouth.  It’s very dry but at the same time very chewy.  If you want to know what it tastes like, go outside to your nearest tree, pick off a piece of bark and just start chewing it.  Some might call it earthy?  The aftertaste of the leg however is very similar to non-seasoned beef jerky.  OK so spider leg is not so bad.

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This time I pick off the fangs from his head and take a bite of his body.  Harry is tough!  Remember when I said the legs aren’t so bad?  Well the body is gross.  All those spider innards are NOT tasty.  Think bark/dirt/beef all combined into one taste.  It isn’t pleasant at all.  I tried to take a bite of the abdomen but I literally couldn’t break it with my teeth it’s that hard.  I certainly don’t want to take a trip to the dentist because I chipped a molar on a dried tarantula butt.

 

Doctor: Tell me again how you broke your tooth?
Me: Eating a Tarantula.
Doctor: A tarantula? As in Spider?
Me: Yup.  That sucker was fighting for his life!

 

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The legs really weren’t so bad.  So I dressed up a piece of my salad with a tarantula leg.  Mmmmm Spider goodness.  Opinion – overall, I don’t need to eat tarantula again, but I do highly recommend eating tarantula if you’re into trying something truly unique.  Go ahead!  Break down that arachnophobia barrier and start munching down on one of those harry eight legged fanged demons!

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There’s nothing that chaps my hide more than visiting off-road areas which you would expect to be pristine, be instead literally covered in piss jugs, litter, tires, trash, etc.  Unfortunately a small minority of off-road idiots do everything wrong from not keeping to actual designated trails and destroying habitats to leaving their trash where they camped.  It’s really disgusting that these kinds of people are even associated with the average off-roader or off-roading group.  I simply do not understand why they don’t  TREAD LIGHTLY or PACK IT IN/PACK IT OUT!!! Their actions affect ALL off-roaders and give us all a bad reputation.  Unfortunately years ago due to inconsiderate and destructive off-roaders, several off-road trails on an Indian Reservation here in San Diego were closed.  Well the Toyota Land Cruiser Association San Diego Chapter called Beach N Toys is trying to change the bad reputation of off-roaders from years past.

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Beach N Toys has been actively trying to repair the damage done by these unruly rogue off-roaders.  This past Sunday the Reservation granted our club rare access to previously closed trails to clean up trash and do some much needed trail maintenance.  The Reservation was greatly appreciative that a group of responsible off-roads was willing to do the dirty work created by others who have a careless attitude towards the environment and the sovereignty of the Indian Nation to which the land belongs.

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Sunday morning the club met at a cafe near Lake Henshaw then headed towards the Reservation to meet with the tribe’s sheriff.  After obtaining keys to various locked gates throughout the trails we headed to the first camping area.  Thankfully the first campsite is clean and there’s virtually zero trash that needs to be picked up.  After regrouping, we headed out on the off-road trails to the backside campsite and unfortunately came across a brand new gate with a lock that wasn’t included in our set of gate keys.  Unfortunately the keys to this gate were on a different set which were not included in the keys we were given.  So we all turned around and headed to a trail called Rough Road which goes to an old fire observation tower.  Once we got to the tower we could see the signs of litter.  Most of the litter however is broken pieces of wood from the deteriorating fire tower.  But there are shards of broken beer bottles and Plexiglas everywhere!  So, out comes the beach N toys trash bags and we all start gathering as much of the broken glass and rubbish as we can.

We started headed back down Rough Road but diverted at the Y to a road that connects further down on Rough Road.  We can tell it hasn’t been travelled in a while as the shrubs are crowding the trail and brushing up against the trucks.  More than once we came across trees that had fallen on the trail.  One tree was large enough that we needed to winch it off the trail then chainsaw it into pieces.

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Overall it was a great day.
Great that our group cares enough to help repair the damage done by others.
Great that we’re rebuilding a relationship with the tribe and attempting to prove that there are responsible off-road still out in the world.
And great that everyone completed the trip without any problems or breakdowns.

Granted we have a long way to go, but our club is one of the few groups who are actively trying to help and that makes me very proud to be an off-roader.

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