Archive for June, 2009

Colorado geotourism launch gets boost from Ritter, Schwartz

Written by admin on June 28th, 2009. Posted in Uncategorized

Colo. Gov. Bill Ritter launches a grass roots geotourism initiative with the help of State Sen. Gail Schwartz, far left

Colo. Gov. Bill Ritter launches a grass roots geotourism initiative with the help of State Sen. Gail Schwartz, far left

After working for more than a year, the web site for the grass roots Colorado geotourism effort was launched Friday in a riverside ceremony in Buena Vista, CO with a high-profile ribbon cutting and support by Gov. Bill Ritter and State Sen. Gail Schwartz. The complete sharing-enabled press release about the event can be found here http://pitch.pe/16677

The folks in Denver thought we could only muster 15 people so when 50 sustainability-minded folks showed up in a town of just 2,500 people, well . . . it’s hard to say how much more perfect the launch could have been for this project that is propelling a concept in which I so passionately believe is the absolute right direction for the future. As I told the governor, we hope that one day all tourism will be geotourism..

The heritage tourism contingent, re-enactors of stories of some of the area's famous soiled doves, was on hand for the launch of the Colorado Geotourism initiative.

The heritage tourism contingent, re-enactors of stories of some of the area's famous soiled doves, was on hand for the launch of the Colorado Geotourism initiative.

Gov. Bill Ritter proudly displays his brand new tee.

Gov. Bill Ritter proudly displays his brand new tee.

Prana, the beloved mascot of The Trailhead outdoor store, and Gov. Bill Ritter connect over geotourism.

Prana, the beloved mascot of The Trailhead outdoor store, and Gov. Bill Ritter connect over geotourism.My geotourism teammates share a pure PR moment with Gov. Bill Ritter.

My geotourism teammates bask in the moment with Gov. Bill Ritter.

Me and my geotourism teammates, from left, Bill Donavan, Andrew Koransky and Mark Wiard, bask in the moment with Gov. Bill Ritter.

Dynamic Duo does the Ark

Written by admin on June 22nd, 2009. Posted in Whitewater

Jackson Kayak’s new tandem whitewater kayak, the Dynamic Duo got lots of river time on Colorado’s Arkansas River while the Jackson Kayak Fun Tour was in Salida for the 61st Annual New Belgium FIBArk Whitewater Festival. Even mere mortals were getting in on the action. It helps when action heroes reigning world freestyle champ and former Olympian Eric Jackson and son-in-law Nick Troutman, reigning Canadian National Freestyle Champ, are your paddling partners.

FIBArk roundup: Foam boat championships, pro freestyle

Written by admin on June 22nd, 2009. Posted in Whitewater

The 61st running of the New Belgium FIBArk Whitewater festival concluded last night. Some highlights included the always fierce competition of the Foam Boat World Championships, pro freestyle kayaking and a new mountain biking event.
While Jackson Kayak pioneered and sponsors the annual event in Salida, every community with a little creek can host foam boat championships and watch kids go nuts! Despite the name, some foam boats were actually made of wood. Shaped and decoratively painted, the boats are pure expressions of creativity. At FIBArk, there are two main events. In the extreme downriver race, about 10 or so yards in length, boats are thrown behind a dam (in this case a folding table) and released to meander to the finish line, dependent only on gravity and the natural currents and obstacles of the creek. In the freestyle event, participants toss their boats into a little waterfall feature and a judge scores the “ride” on tricks, creative use of the feature and amplitude. Boats that flush out are allowed to be thrown back into the feature until the 30-second whistle blows. Watch this quick highlights reel from the Foam Boat Championships. The downriver race is first followed by rules and a sample contestant from the freestyle event and the awards ceremony.
Foam boaters can grow into to professional kayakers and it’s the pro event at FIBArk that draws huge crowds to the banks of the Arkansas River. For a roundup of the pro event, check out my post on the Salida Citizen.

Geotourism find: Maroilles cheese

Written by admin on June 5th, 2009. Posted in Uncategorized

If you’re a cheese connoisseur and happen to find yourself either in the North of France or, if you’re lucky, a very good cheese shop in Paris, you must try the rare Maroilles cheese. (pronounced Mar Whahl) Don’t let the pungent aroma scare you off, as it did me the first few times I was presented this cheese. Once you taste it it’s creamy goodness (45% fat), you forget the overpowering smell.

According to most internet references, the cheese was first produced in the 10th century by a monk at the Abbey of Maroilles. The cheese was allegedly a favorite of several French kings including Philippe Auguste, Francois I and Cahrles Quint. This delicious cheese is just one of 27 of France’s 365 varieties of cheese to earn French  label of origin status and is also recognized for its regional uniqueness by the European Union.

The cheese originates from the cows of Avesnois. During production, after the cheese is washed it is aged for two to three months in the caves of Thierache which only allow for the development of the particular flora that gives the cheese is unique flavor. During this time it is regularly turned and brushed, promoting the development of bacteria that forms the rind which changes color from yellow to reddish orange.

The thing I miss most about living in France is the great selection of cheese and the terrific number of really fantastic everyday wines at everyday prices. My favorite cheese will probably always be Maroilles.