Wednesday, January 26, 2011

HorseTooth Hike

Every time I am in Fort Collins and look to the West, I wonder what it would be like to be at the base of Horsetooth, a prominent and massive rock structure that is named as such because, well it looks like a horse’s tooth. Imagine being this horse’s dentist, that would be a project…holy molar! Starting the climb you are at 5,430 feet and when you reach the base you are at 7.255 feet, and surrounded by over 2,700 acres that are yours to explore.
My mountainous man bro saddled up his gear and took off to take me to the top. My yak tracks were beating into the snowpack until we were met with a scary edge and a drop off! I was distraught, we HAD to summit to Horsetooth. Clayton Tyler, brother of all brothers, took off straight up hill. As I watched him spider man and dominate the mountain, I realized that he was waiting for me to do the same thing! I pretended I didn’t hear him call for me to follow! This girl was ready to run down the mountain, run girl run!
But he is always about pushing the limits…in a good way, and I was climbing more vertically than horizontally. I looked for good places for foot holders, hand holders just anything to hold and Claybro was there for the entirety for support and to help pull me when necessary, and most of all add encouragement.
After limbo'ing under branches, over and under rocks, we were in the crevice of Horsetooth! Giddy up! The view shows off the nearly 2,000 acres of water in Horsetooth Reservoir to the East, Pikes Peak to the South, Longs Peak and Rocky Mountain National Park to the West and Wyoming to the North.
Ya, you will do a couple 360’s. I was thrilled…until I looked back down and knew that I was going to have to break out the childhood tricks and crabwalk back down the mountain until I reached the trail. It’s a good thing I have a brother who is sure-footed and sure as heck patient!
Native Americans lived and hunted in the area around 10,000 B.C. and the legend said there was an evil giant that terrorized the region, but a heroic warrior killed the giant, and Horsetooth was thought to be the heart of the terrorist. It later became known as Horsetooth by fur tappers and traders who passed through the land looking for good fortune and believed it looked more like a horse tooth, and that’s where it stands and waits for you to come see this major landmark just four miles from Fort Collins!

Saturday, January 22, 2011


I had a Fort Fun weekend and was ready to hit some old favorites, I mean Fort Collins does have more restaurants than most cities, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t room for more ingredients! Instead of an old favorite spot I found a new favorite spot.
Ingredient goes a little like this; to formulate satisfaction. How does this restaurant do such a good thing? Well besides offering a warm atmosphere filled with an array of creative art, cozy fall colors and an energetic staff, you’ve got food that will sing to your senses!
Here you will find quality ingredients made from scratch, and you can even customize your own salad or pizza, or choose from something already on the menu, sandwiches, soups, and wraps! The more ingredients the better when you are making a fresh salad. They’ve got beets, corn, pineapple, roasted red peppers, hears of palm, artichokes, and the list will carry on off this page. Choose from creative and standard salad dressings, and add chicken, tofu, blackened mahi mahi, Portobello mushroom or the sweet tai chili glazed steak was more than devoured off my salad!
These restaurants grace the presence on the map all the way from Kansas where it originated! And pssst…I hear they also offer breakfast, and fondue. To dip those graham crackers and marshmallows, looks like ill be making a return trip to fill up on s’more ingredients.
You know you will feel so good after eating such homemade goodness you will surely leave a big tip! However, tipping is not allowed…monetarily at least…but the restaurant instead wants the goodness to leave the restaurant… and here's how. “Give a few dollars to charity, say hello to a stranger, pet a dog, perform a random act of kindness, put a quarter in the marking meter you see is expired, do something nice for yourself!”

Ingredient on Urbanspoon

Friday, January 21, 2011

Sushi In The Making

like to think I have made leaps and bounds with my cooking skill set. My family encouraged me to sit in the front row of Home Economics after I made my first pot of macaroni. The water boiled over while I was playing outside. I was given a second chance, but this time water somehow evaporated, poof! Gone just like that! And I was left with a pot with macaroni sticking to the inside. So I switched to Spaghetti O’s, but had a big enough bout with the can opener that sauce somehow ended up on the ceiling. And yes, this is coming from the girl that ended up in the emergency room while trying to cut open an orange, and cut open her finger instead.
So as you can see, cooking has not always been my strong point. I always forewarn anyone I am dating because I have heard that food is a way to a man’s heart, and not burnt macaroni. Well if that is true, I need to find a guy that loves eating sushi, because I must say, I made this A-ok, and it’s a blast to make!
I was intimidated as a few friends and I looked at all the tools and ingredients. We started with the rice…but good thing I was cooking with supervision. After the rice was done there was a packet at the bottom of the bag, I figured it was seasoning and went to work to find scissors. The supervisor halted and pointed out the packet said, “DO NOT EAT” But I was only focused on the Japanese symbols to recognize and English in the mix!
So lets get going on an easy way to make a delicious meal. Start by cooking the Japanese Rice. To make sure the rice is sticky enough to stay on the seaweed paper, add 1/3 cup vinegar and a tsp salt for every pot used and stir in after the rice is done cooking.
And now its time for the hands on. Take a handful of rice and form into a log shape, and place it on the dull side of the seaweed paper and spread evenly. Now, flip the roll onto its backside and keep it on the sushi mat. Add custom ingredients in longer thin slices horizontally.
Suggestions are cucumber, avocado, carrots, ahi tuna, crab. Then roll the sushi starting at the end closest to you. Use the mat to help sturdy and secure it by wrapping it around the folded sushi. And now cut into pieces and the sushi is on!
If I ever need a creative way to spice up some friends with friends or have a night with family, I will never again cook macaroni, the sushi wins every time.
Carri Wilban

Monday, January 17, 2011

Hiking around Lair O' The Bear

A quick blog for a quick hike around Lair o’ the Bear just ten minutes west of Morrison, where you will find a trail system to explore! Go left, go right keep on keepin’ straight, but you will find some surprises along the way. I felt like I was in the “Choose Your Own Adventure Book,” and my adventure took me to see a beautiful view of the town of Kittredge.
There was some others on the trail that found a beautiful view of Dunafon Castle. A castle surrounded by evergreens that was completed in 1941 and is a residential property that is also used for occasional events.
It seems that when you hike and have a summit or goal in mind you are determined and forget to stop and smell the roses. But this is the type of hike you stop to smell the roses and might even goof around a little. Tight ropewalk across fallen trees, climb them, or stop to chat with others on the trail. A great place for hiking, mountain biking, fishing, picnicking, and all the while, to see different wildlife and plant life, at a pace everyone can keep up.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

King Tut!

What anyone would give to see the truth life of King Tut. Imagine being able to sit down in a stone carved chair with someone who ruled over 3,000 years ago. In your hand is a scroll of questions that will unveil all that you yearn to know. With intense research and technology, some secrets and truth are laid out about the different leaders, economy and way of life, but the more we know, the more questions surface about Ancient Egypt and the most iconic leader of the Egyptians.
King Tut for short, King Tutankhamen, if you have the lung capacity to get that all out! He took hold of the reigns at the age of 10 and stayed in power, until his death at the age of 19 in 1323 B.C.
We know that he was around 5’7”, had two children (both stillborn), married his half sister, and brought changes to the Egyptian economy and religion. When King Tut took power, his father would only allow the worship of one God. King Tut said “no” to that, and brought back ways to worship many Gods. He also moved the capital to Thebes, which was a big adjustment for people and met with disdain. Both of these changes combined, make some researchers believe the cause of his death was murder.
New research that came out in February of last year dispels this and says that the cause of his death was due to malaria and an infection he manifested through a broken leg. Either way here comes the scroll… How did he break his leg? Why was there a fracture in his skull that led many to believe he was killed? What was it like to be in the highest point of human power at the age of 10?
The artifacts of the tomb are 3,000 years old and travel through out the country. Denver’s exhibit has moved on, but there is still plenty to learn from the discoveries Howard Carter made in 1922 in the Valley of the Kings in Northern Africa, where King Tut’s mummy still rests. The artifacts found teach you about the lifestyle, craftsmanship and religion of a dynasty that was in existence for nearly 200 years. You see it in the creativity of the board games and the detail inscribed in statues and jewelry. Some ways of life couldn’t be simpler, and some could not be more extravagant.
King Tut remains so prominent because his tomb is the only that has been found nearly untouched. Robbers overtook the areas and grabbed hold of anything they could get their hands on. King Tut’s people had an idea or two about security, and while they couldn’t keep his tomb from being reached, they locked it up with four layers that would required some modern day tools to get into. King Tut was found covered with a gold headpiece that has easily become the most recognized icon of the Egyptians and inside were over 100 artifacts they believed would enrich his afterlife.
King Tut might have had a black mark from the rulers to come and even some of society, but the discovery of his tomb and leadership makes him the most renowned Egyptian leader in our present day society and societies to come.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Harlem Globetrotters

Hot to Trot! Since 1927 and The Harem Globetrotters are still in business. The red and white striped shorts have gotten longer, but the skills, entertainment and athleticism are still strong. These basketball stars rock their moves and rock around the court to “Sweet Georgia Brown.”
The show is really tailored to the young kids. But who wouldn’t break out a smile to see the these basketball maniacs make a four point shot, dribble on their knees, or even dribble in circles around their opponents, and even end in some type of a break dance and ohhhh ya, score a few more points.
Audiences get involved whether cheering or making their way onto the court for a magic trick, to put up some points on the board or compete in a dance contest. 29 Trotters on the roster, and all have played college ball and now travel to keep the tradition of something that is much more than just basketball.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Swingers Golf Lounge

One of the first snows in the Denver area today and golfing is still on the agenda. Jeans and a t-shirt will even suffice, and I don’t think I have to worry about my clubs getting any water damage. Swingers Golf Lounge in Lone Tree, Colorado has got the greens going on all year around. And these are not just any greens; they come from courses in Pebble Beach, the Carolinas, Texas, and Myrtle Beach for a total of over 50 championship courses to choose from.

All virtual of course, and in the form of the PGA Golf Simulator, which is one of the most accurate golf stimulators in the world. So looks like when I hit the ball in the sand, and off the course, it was accurate. And best of all, when I nailed it, that means I can take credit! Three D graphics, high speed photography and a stimulator tracking system make you feel like you are really out there. Well minus the golf carts, and beer carts…but you can always head to the bar to refresh up on a drink and also a full menu.

Each player can finish 18 holes in about an hour. Or each player can play as much or as little as they want. If you rent the course for an hour, you can all rotate, or you can rent the course for even longer. The charge is 30 dollars an hour; you can rent clubs there for ten bucks. So get ready to tee off!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Light UP!

Light up the New Year! My goal this year was to see almost every light show in the area… Zoo Lights, Wildlife Experience, Hudson Gardens Trail of Lights and Botanical Gardens. All have in common there is a trail of lights to follow and all have their own knack.
Zoo Lights: Visit zoo animals, ride a holiday train (so not for kids only), watch ice sculptures made, a fire show, and listen to carolers.
The Wildlife Experience: Visit Santa, real reindeer, and a Santa Village, watch how the Grinch Stole Christmas and explore the exhibit inside that takes you through all the different climates of the world.
Botanical Gardens ‘Trail or Lights’: Explore an old farm that was used by the Hildebrand family and take a walk back into pioneer life as millions of lights surround you.
Hudson Garden: Visit a house that dances with lights, take a carriage ride around the perimeter and other creative gems that you wont find anywhere else! A true spectacular!
Yes, the shows are over. But they will be back next year, and it’s never too late to start planning!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

127 Hours

Can you think of anything you could do for 127 hours, straight? I am sure the last thing most people would say is fight for their life for over five days. Well that is exactly what mountain climber Aron Ralston did when he found himself between a rock and a hard place, in a situation most people can’t even fathom. His arm trapped between a bolder in 2003 in Utah, at Robbers Roost, and his arm might have been robbed, but his spirit was anything but.

A powerful story, no doubt. But to make a movie out if, surely was challenging. The plot basically takes place in one spot, with one guy, for five days. And the story is so well publicized, the end is a spoiler, and it’s pretty well known that Ralston survives by amputating his own arm. But that didn’t keep director Danny Boyle from making a powerful story into an equally powerful movie.

James Franco stars as Aron Ralston and through the movie you are taken on an uplifting journey. Seeing through his flashbacks and hallucinations you start to get a sense of who Aron Ralston is. You see someone loveable, who is simply fascinated by the outdoors. He never looses his hope, or really his temper, and looks at the situation with a clear mind. Of course that all starts to loosen a bit as his situation worsens, water empties and the dehydration kicks in. But you are never left feeling let down in the movie, or even hopeless.

Such limits to work with, but the positive vibes from the movie are limitless. A movie that gracefully takes one of the most horrific situations and turns into something uplifting. I believe there is something great to be said about that.