John Fremont born in 1813 in Savannah , Georgia was the math teacher turned explorer who history remembers as "The Pathfinder". In the 1830's he joined the Topographical Corps of the U.S. army - during his years with the military he led five expeditions West. Three of his missions were to chart migrant routes, the remaining two were railroad system surveys. It was in December 1848, on his fourth expedition while searching out passes for the Pacific Railroad, that Fremont and company found themselves stranded far far from anything resembling Christmas. For a week, a blizzard had trapped them in the La Garita mountains of Colorado, they were ill equipped, cold and close to starvation - frozen mule meat became their only dining option as was noted by one of his men preserving in his diary this Christmas dinner menu from what has now become known as Camp Desolation.
Christmas Dinner Menu Camp Desolation, 1848 Recorded by Thomas E. Breckenridge, member of Colonel John Fremont's 4th expedition west.
Fried Mule Mule Chops Boiled Mule Stewed Mule Scrambled Mule Shirred Mule French Fried Mule Minced Mule Damned Mule Mule on Toast(without toast) Short ribs of Mule with Apple Sauce (without Apple Sauce)
Beverages: Snow Snow Water Water
"It really makes no difference how our meat was cooked. It was still the same old mule".