How to Bake a Cake While Camping at Glacier National Park
Heading up to Glacier National Park
We decided to head up to Glacier National Park, even though some traveling friends told us about all of the smoke up there. We had reservations up at Waterton Lakes National Park for the first week of September and we had to at least try. Well, driving up we could already tell that it was going to be smokey. Poor Montana was on fire. There was smoke all around and the pictures just don’t show how smokey it was. There were even a few fires that we could see on the mountain tops as we were driving up. We stayed a night at Jim and Mary’s in Missoula just to do some laundry, we had so much because we had been boondocking in Sawtooth National Recreation Area the week before. Also, we wanted to get to the campground early to make sure that we could get a spot.
We got to Apgar Campground in the early afternoon and it was about half way full already. We had a plan that we would start in the back of the campground and work our way toward the front. So many of the campsites where very off level or looked like we wouldn’t be able to get in because of the angle. We took the first campsite that looked fairly flat.
The great part about being in the Apgar Campground is that there are walking and biking trails that go right out of the campground. We were able to bike right to the Apgar Village and Visitor Center. There is also a website that lists their historic fill times for the campground and you can check online before you get to any of their campground if they are full for the current day, here’s the link.
We biked to Apgar Village, it is a bit tricky finding a place to leave your bikes. It is a cute village with a general store and a couple of places to eat. However, because we couldn’t find a place to leave our bikes we headed to Lake McDonald.
Luckily, wasn’t too smokey yet. We had at least one day to enjoy the beautiful view of the lake. If you notice on the top picture of the lake, the clouds to the right above the mountain ranges is actually smoke coming from the Sprague Fire. It was a beautiful day and the kids wanted to wade in the water so we went back to the RV and had the kids change into their swim suits and grab their bucket and nets. They did their favorite thing, tried to catch minnows in the lake (catch and release of course). It was a nice and relaxing day.
How to bake a cake on a propane camp fire
The next day was Katie’s birthday. She wanted to bake her own cake, so we figured we’d experiment with baking one on the “camp fire”. I had bought just a box mix to make it a little more simple, since this was the first time trying to bake one while we were camping. Katie and I followed the instructions on the box of cake mix.
Then, Spencer heated the cast iron dutch oven (with lid on) on the camp fire with about a quart of water in it. We adjusted the fire as low as we could and monitored the heat with our remote digital thermometer. We were afraid to have it too hot, we didn’t want the bottom of the cake to burn. Once heated, we carefully (with oven mitts) lowered the pan of cake mix, into the dutch oven.
We checked it periodically and also added more water as the water started to evaporate. Once the toothpick came out clean, it was done.
It took about 45 minutes to bake the cake,about double what the instructions said it would take on the box.
I helped Katie frost it and write on it. She wanted to decorate it and the doggies were hoping that she would drop more sprinkles on the ground. 🙂
Voila! It was done! The cake came out really moist and was so delicious! We were surprised how good it came out, since it was kind of an experiment to see if we could bake one on the gas campfire. Just be careful not to get burned taking the cake out of the pot! 🙂
Here are some of the products that we used to bake the cake:
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Happy Birthday, Birthday Girl!
We had told Katie, we weren’t sure where we’d be for her birthday (because her birthday always falls on Labor Day weekend), she said “That’s fine, as long as I have a cake.” She was so excited that her cake turned out delicious! We had hid her presents in the RV and I wrapped them while Spencer had distracted them. She was so surprised that we hid them so well. She was happy to get a Chewing Gum Science kit (she loves gum) and a few other presents from family. We also took her to a candy store in West Glacier and she was so happy to pick out some candy. Then we decided to rent a boat on Lake McDonald.
Boat Ride on Lake McDonald
It was much more smokey the second day that we were on the lake. We could tell just from the campground, the smoke smell was really strong. As you can tell from the picture above, the mountains that we could see the day before were covered in smoke the next day.
The kids loved being on the lake though. We rented it for an hour and were able to just wander around on the still waters. The boat rental said that it was much calmer that afternoon than usual. We were grateful for that. Spencer let Katie “steer” the boat for a bit, we all had a great time.
Glacier National Park Junior Ranger Badge
They had completed their Junior Ranger books while we were there, so we headed to the Apgar Visitor Center to get their Junior Ranger Badge.
They had a table out front at the visitor center with a ranger talking with people about the differences between Grizzly Bears and Black Bears. He had a couple of bear pelts out for the kids to touch and compare claws.
Then it was Junior Ranger time!
We were a bit disappointed that all of Montana was on fire. The fires where so widespread it was crazy! We felt for all of the residents, because we could just head out of there, but there were so many houses with cisterns in front of their houses. We know first hand how scary it is when wildfires are threatening your home. Hopefully, they get all of the fires under control soon and everyone will stay safe.
Reluctantly, we cancelled our reservations at Waterton Lakes National Park in Canada. The reports said that they had numerous fires as well. We figured we would have to make it up here again another time. Our next task was to find a place to hide out for Labor Day weekend. So we made our way South again 🙂