Monthly Archives: July 2011

Odysseys

 

I have had the good fortune to cross paths recently with journeymen and women of all sorts. Whether in pursuit of knowledge or for sheer adventure, CC students and their friends scatter to all corners of the globe.

Two frisbee teammates, Sophie Herscu (’11) and Hannah Sohl (’11), were both awarded Watson Fellowships to undertake twelve-month-long research projects outside of the US. As outlined on the Watson website (The Watson Fellowship: Our Fellows), Sophie will be traveling to Montreal, Nunavik, Australia, and Brazil to study the empowering effects of social circus groups. Hannah is headed for Canada, Bolivia, Brazil, Bangladesh, India, Mongolia, and Laos, where she’ll be studying the relationship between local communities and their riverine ecosystems.

Somewhere in Russia, three more 2011 grads are making their way steadily around the world on a transcontinental roadtrip. After brainstorming about the trip for years, Jack Naito, Ezra Siegel, and Richard Swift successfully arranged to purchase a car in Japan and start on a journey they’re calling “The Road is West: Japan to Alaska, the Long Way.” If all is going well, they should be on their way into Mongolia to start work with the Tributary Fund before continuing across to Europe.

Closer to home, the State of the Rockies summer researchers embarked a few days ago on a survey of the Colorado River Basin (State of the Rockies Blog). Along the way, they’re taking every opportunity to interview policymakers, hydrologists, farmers, naturalists, and recreational river users in order to better understand the dynamic life of the river that sustains human life in the arid West. In conjunction with that research, a few recent CC grads will be documenting their aquatic traverse of the Green and Colorado Rivers:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZV_AoKRrF2M[/youtube]

 

Another river system far to the north drew in two more intrepid travelers. Through a CC friend, I met two St. Olaf graduates who are attempting to become the first women to paddle from Minneapolis to the Hudson Bay. They’ve been on the water since the beginning of June and are documenting their progress on their blog (Hudson Bay Bound | Home). Keep up the great work, Ann and Natalie!

Being surrounded by such adventurous folk, it’s hard to escape the contagious spirit. So, with the help of the Ritt Kellogg Fund, Lauren Foster (’11), Lucy Holtsnider (’11), McKenzie Wooley (’12) and I are headed to the Gallatin Range in Montana for a two-week horsepacking trip in August. After renting horses from Montana Horses at the Mantle Ranch in Three Forks, we will be making our way through the Lee Metcalf Wilderness, northwest of Yellowstone. Aside from getting to explore a beautiful stretch of backcountry, the four of us Hardy Horsewomen are looking forward to spending time together before we scatter to new homes and jobs in the next year.

So pretty soon I’ll be packing up my cowboy boots, bear spray, and Big Sky by A.B. Guthrie (a gift from my mother) to breathe for a moment between busy summer and hectic school year. In the meantime, I’ll be scheming about how to next get back in the saddle, launch from the shore, or put wheels to the pavement. Best of luck to my fellow wanderers – we’ll trade stories at the crossroads.

 

 

Fourth of July Celebration!

Rather, I should say third of July.

I spent the weekend in Denver with my parents who drove all the way from Oklahoma to Denver.  It was great to see my parents considering that when I went home in May, I was only home for 36 hours before I headed back to Colorado.

The Sunday before July 4th, I went to the Denver Civic Center to see a masterful fireworks show that was timed to the performance of the Colorado Symphony.

 

Fireworks

Credit to Denver Post

Fireworks Galore

4th of July fireworks in Colorado Springs are awesome because of all the military presence in the area. Firework shows started on Saturday, with random ones going off all through the night and more on Sunday night. Unfortunately for my friends and I, we missed the show at the Fort Carson Military Base on Sunday…who would have though that they would start earlier than the time posted..? We managed to get to the Air Force Academy’s show at the Falcon stadium on time though, andthat was a beautiful show to see. It was a great night to have a picnicc while enjoying great company and good music. The fireworks show started off with a 21-gun-salute, and then went on for half-an-hour accompanied by music.

Sundays: The Melissa Experience

Every Sunday (more or less) for the past couple of years, has been spent downtown at one of two coffee shops: Little Rico’s or Pikes Perk.

This summer I’ve found myself more and more at Little Rico’s drinking their delicious herbal iced teas (summer is alll about the iced tea for me. I’m from Oklahoma, what can I say?). It doesn’t hurt that Little Rico’s is connected to the cutest toy store, an amazing used bookstore, and a delicious restaurant (they even serve gluten-free pizza and yummy veggie burgers). I love interacting with the baristas and the local crowd–great fun. For example, last month I chatted with a local radio DJ for hours. We talked about food, tattoos, Colorado College, and music. Little Rico’s is a quirky fun place that I highly, highly, recommend if you need to get away or get that quick caffeine fix.

Last weekend, however, I found myself at Pikes Perk. What I didn’t know was that there was a Bike Fest! Crowds and crowds of people in leather, showing off their motorcycles, going to different booths, and eating street food. I felt a little out of place walking through the crowds to get to Pikes Perk, but it was great fun.  As soon as I ordered my iced yerba mate, I went up to the patio at Pikes Perk and had to take pictures.

My Sunday ritual takes me out of the ‘CC Bubble’ and allows me the opportunity to pretend to be a quirky local. (I’ve also noticed that coffee shops, particularly Pikes Perk, are one of the most common places for that awkward first date. *this is a hint, future CC students!) I may be doing research or doing homework, but not being on campus really brings light to the dimension of space.  It reminds me that so many other things happen in Colorado Springs. It’s like exploring the infinite abyss that is neither infinite nor an abyss.

Summer Cooking

I love good eating good food, and since I’ve moved out of the big dorms, have gotten into cooking. Nothing too gourmet or anything fancy, but just really trying my hand at all the different cuisines out there. My favorite recipe website is http://www.tastespotting.com/ and I salivate every time I look at all the pictures. The site has all types of recipes and its nice when I can see what my food it supposed to look like. This site also opens up a whole new world of food bloggers, and you would not believe the number of foodies out there. The summer is the best time to experiment because there’s all this fresh produce left and right and I have a lot more free time then I do during the school year.
This is one of my most recent recreations:
Spicy Chicken Wings
Ingredients:
500 gms chicken wings (skin on)
2 tsp garlic paste
1 tsp ginger paste
2 tbs vinegar
1 tbs chili sauce
1 tbs ketchup
1 tsp red chili powder
salt to taste
For the sauce:
1 tbs oil
2 green chilies, chopped finely
2 tbs tomato paste
salt to taste
1 tsp chili powder
2 tsp paprika powder
2 tsp cayenne powder
2 tbs hot sauce
chopped coriander to garnish
Directions:
Marinade the wings in the ingredients listed for at least half an hour or more. Broil in the oven on high heat until cooked and just beginning to char.

In the meantime, prepare the sauce by heating the oil. Add to it the chopped green chilies and stir fry for 30 seconds. Add all the rest of the ingredients and stir fry for 2-4 minutes until cooked through. You can add up to 1/4 cup of water at this stage if you want a thinner sauce. Add the grilled chicken wings and toss to coat. Garnish with coriander.

Enjoy eating!