Monday, October 18, 2010
We just finished another successful Rippin Chix Mountain Bike Camp, this time at our new sustainable farm in Paonia, Colorado. The farm is my latest attempt to take "walking the talk" to a whole new level, which has added a significant, but rewarding load to my already full plate! The weekend’s events benefited Save Our Snow, Save Our Singletrack and the local farmers’ cooperative online grocery, Local Farms First.
The first day of the camp was held in our 1880’s cherry orchard where the gals learned to maneuver over roots, rocks bridges, and through switchbacks along with bunny hopping. Janae Prichett, of Colorado Backcountry teamed up with me to teach this camp and Women’s Adventure Magazine joined us.
That evening, professional chef’s Dana Zobs and Stacee Vanaernem cooked an exquisite five-course feast for 55 folks, all harvested by yours truly out of our garden and orchard. Dinner was served on white linens set up in the orchard beneath the fruit trees and surrounded by gardens and running water. I even made special treats like homemade mozzarella, sun-dried raisins and Concord grape and Bartlett pear juice that supplemented the gourmet feast created by Dana and Stacee! My favorites were the Aranchini - a ball made of rice, bacon, mozzarella which is then quickly fried tempura-style. I also loved the spicy bean fries - purple pole and haricot vert green beans rolled in chilies and bread crumbs and served like french fries. Dana and Stacee also made the most wonderful winter squash mashers.
After a night of camping and tent demos from NEMO in the orchard, a well rested crew set out for more adventure. We headed across the street from the farm to the BLM trails on Jumbo Mountain, a well-hidden gem that reminds me of riding in Fruita. Those of you who ride there know and love the spiny desert ridges, so add some gnarly 1,200 year-old Juniper forests with much more mountainous climbing, and voila, you have Paonia's Jumbo trails. We put our new cherry orchard skills to the test in the whoop-de-doo’s, rocks and roots on the many trails.
Thanks to all my green sponsors, including NEMO, for making this fundraiser happen. We look forward to this being the first of many new Rippin Chix Camps and events here on the farm, both for skiing and biking, as well as sustainability classes on how to reduce your carbon footprint. The Rippin Chix Silverton Steep Skiing Camp is already sold out, but I have just added a Rippin Chix Steep Skiing camp at the infamous Aspen Highlands. Visit my website for more information!