Archive | July, 2014

Tincup Whiskey Presents: #WhiskeyOnTheRockies Pt. III

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It started off like an ordinary day. Bloatmeal. (Apple Cinnamon, of course.) Strong coffee. (Via, but don’t tell.) We headed out of our campsite on Shrine Pass, did some bouldering on a huge rock in the middle of an enormous aqua green field (water!), then took off on a dirt road that would connect us back to Basalt. We could have taken the highway, which would have gotten us into town within 45 minutes, but that’s no fun. We had a Eurovan and some Colorado backroads to explore.

Within 20 minutes of driving, a gentle rain started from the clouds that had been lingering above us since after breakfast. We pulled over, watched the small storm hover quietly over the mountains, and continued on when the sun finally came to take over. After a short while, we saw a few cars stopped, with a small wiry woman on a horse leaning in to the window of the red Camry directly in front of us. She came over to our van with a voice that can only be described as EXACTLY what it was – Female Colorado Cowboy with a Carhartt Jacket and Studded Jeans – and yelled, “Don’t Stop. Just Keep Going. Slow. But Keep Going. They won’t hit you!”

It took us more than three hours to get the through the cattle that afternoon. It started off hilarious. Wonderful even. We were in Colorado! Of course we’re stuck in the middle of a cattle herd! But as the amount of cattle that we’d have to pass settled in (several hundred) and the time it would take to do it, the pictures stopped being snapped and the cursing began. And I can’t even describe the amount of urine that sprayed from those beasts. I live in a city, yes, but I’m not “City Slicker,” and even to me, it was a bit disgusting. It was constant. It was slow. But at the end, it was part of being in Colorado, so be it. Good thing we had a case of Tincup whiskey in the back.

We descended into Woody Creek, CO, where Sinuhe took me to see Hunter S. Thompson’s house, which is a shack amongst the Dwell-type houses that inhabit those hills. We oooh’d and ahhh’d, grabbed a beer at the infamous Woody Creek Tavern, then headed past Aspen. We stopped at an overlook, continued our beefless lunch sandwich making (each session would end with delightful swearing and compliments to the chefs) and watched the mountains get bathed with sun and knocked around by wind.

Onward to Independence Pass, Tincup and the Hot Springs….


July 15, 2014 | #WhiskeyOnTheRockies | Continue Reading | Comments { 0 }

Tincup Whiskey Presents #WhiskeyOnTheRockies Pt. 2

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Like many Colorado adventures, ours started in the THC- laden Mile High City. Sinuhe Xavier, my traveling companion and photographer for the trip, had taken a few days to drive his Eurovan from the east side of Los Angeles, picking me up DIA on the summer solstice. I had been in New York for a week prior, walking around the city from meeting to meeting, melting on the concrete while listening to cheers from World Cup festivities.

We drove straight from the airport to meet Mark Hansen, a friend and one of the founders of Topo Designs, for a tour of his new store and a couple of hi-fives. After a long, sandwich-filled lunch together, we got out of the city and made a quick stop in Silver Plume to see Dram Apothecary. The shop wasn’t open, so we kept heading west, our eyes set on the Loveland Pass.

We made it to a very chilly Continental Divide (11,990 ft.) in the afternoon, then slowly started to descend into Keystone, where we stopped to go to the bathroom at a shitty Mexican restaurant just outside of town. I watched two dreaded 20-somethings throw wet toilet paper at each other through the stalls, then ran back to the van so we could keep on moving.

We decided we’d camp for the night somewhere off of Shrine Pass, located at the northern end of the Sawatch Range, along the border of Eagle and Summit counties west of Frisco and northwest of Vail Pass. We started on the pass early, driving through a few mounds of snow, looking for a large open spot to watch the sun descend upon the longest day of the year. We found something within the first half-hour of driving, pulling the van in slowly and setting up a small camp before walking around to see our accommodations. We were in an old hunting camp, surrounded by pine and steep hills, with a damp bog that covered most of the western part of the large field. After moving to southern California a few months ago, it was fantastic to see signs of real water.

I lived in Colorado for four years while I was attending school in Boulder and Sinuhe had spent 10 years living in Vail, so we were both prepared for the “FOUR SEASONS IN A DAY” weather that could come at any moment. But on our first night, the night of the solstice, that first evening of adjustment from the stink of city life, we had nothing but sunshine and chilly winds.

The night was filled with maps, whiskey, fire and soup, a combination that would become a ritual throughout the entire week. We sat around a large flame for a few hours, catching up, talking about whatever it is you talk about when there’s whiskey and a fire, then quietly retired to our respective sleeping quarters at a respectable hiker’s midnight. I was on a tarp near the fire, Sinuhe in the top of his pop-top van. I savored the minute or two that I can stand being on my back in a sleeping bag, watched the stars, then slowly fell asleep to the loud sound of nothing. Whispering to myself in the most melodramatic voice I could muster, I shook my head and quietly repeated, “Col-o-rado. COL. O. RADO.”


July 10, 2014 | #WhiskeyOnTheRockies | Continue Reading | Comments { 0 }

Tincup Whiskey Presents #WhiskeyOnTheRockies (Pt. 1)

Welcome to Colorado Tincup Whiskey 


Two weeks ago, Sinuhe Xavier and I spent a few nights tromping around western Colorado, moving from camping spot to camping spot at a snail’s pace, vowing to not take any major roads to any of our destinations. (Yes, sure, we spent a few miles on 70 in the first hours after eating lunch with the Topo fellas in Denver, but that’s unavoidable, right?) We were rarely below 10K feet, save a few times we went into town for supplies and a visit to the local watering hole.  I lived in Colorado for four years, and though I’ve been back countless times since leaving, this time felt different. More special. Maybe even humbling? I’ll get to the bottom of that as the “bloggin goes on,” but it’s impossible not to wax poetic on all those wild, lush, and aspen-white corners that Colorado throws you at every turn of the trail.

Camping in Colorado

We were equipped with Sinuhe’s 2003 VW Eurovan (with GoWesty Suspension and National Luna fridge, for you #VanLife folks out there), dynamite sandwich ingredients and a case of Tincup Whiskey, our sponsor on this Colorado adventure. They make their whiskey with water from the Rocky Mountains, so it was our pleasure to drink a few nips around the campfire at the base of the mountains that help fill those beautiful bottles.

I’ll be posting about our #WhiskeyOnTheRockies adventure all week, but for now, enjoy Sinuhe’s photos and have a look around Tincup’s website. While we weren’t able to meet Jess Graber, the founder of Tincup, this time around, we met lots of people who know him or knew of him and they were sure glad to join us for a drink. I guess camping and local whiskey really are a perfect combo.

More to come, folks.

July 7, 2014 | #WhiskeyOnTheRockies | Continue Reading | Comments { 0 }