It’s time to head back to Colorado. The land of Boulder Clams, Gunnison law dogs and Breck blue monkey 22. From Big Beaver Brewing in Loveland, Oskar Blues in Lyons, and 3’s in Longmont, the top has a rocky reputation. Welcome to Salida and Green Chile Sauce recipe. Let the flavor of Colorado and New Mexico be yours for the long haul. It’s New Years Day and that means the Gamecocks vs. Michigan, Auburn vs. Central Florida, LSU vs. the domeheads, Georgia vs. Oklahoma and, come nine tonight, the Tide vs. Clemson. Roll Tide y’all. Breakfast is almost ready so let’s get stoned on grits and gravy.
This green chile slather is mondo flavorful with as much heat as you wish. Purchase mild, medium or hot green chile peppers. This sauce can be made thick enough to scoop or thin enough to pour. Hatch Green Chile peppers are the most flavorful of any green chile peppers on Earth. If you don’t live in Roswell or have access to Hatch chiles, Anaheim chile peppers are descendants of New Mexico chile peppers. Anaheim peppers are grown and harvested year-round and they are available across the country throughout the year.
This recipe was served over steak burritos with mushrooms. Restaurants in Colorado pair it with sausage gravy and serve it over breakfast burritos. It’s delicious with all manner of Mexican and Tex-Mex cuisine. Visit The Victoria Hotel and Tavern in downtown Salida for a cool Banquet draft right on the banks of the Arkansas River. Connected to their side door is Little Cambodia, which lets folks eat their pho right at the lunch. That’s Vietnamese noodle soup with beef broth to you beautiful people.
The best kept secret in Colorado is out and Salida is on the map. Only two and a half hours from Denver, U.S. Route 50 runs along the southern edge of the city and leads east down the Arkansas River 58 miles to Cañon City. To the west it leads 4 miles to Poncha Springs and 63 miles over the Continental Divide to Gunnison. Be careful law dogs. Law don’t go around here. You might consider keeping your Chihuahua in Utah.
Salida is bordered on all sides by mountains which have a considerate effect on its climate. Average annual snowfall in the valley is just fifty inches and rainfall in the valley is 10 to 12 inches. Residents can anticipate 330 days of sunshine with humidity in the 20 to 30 percent range, making it comparable to places such as Xanadu and El Dorado. Despite the low precipitation and numerous days of sunshine, the valley appears lush as a result of the extensive annual snowmelt from the mountains. Temperatures in the valley are much milder than surrounding communities such as Alamosa and Gunnison. Shhh. It’s a secret.
When you’re done with your southwestern slather, load up the bus with dead cats and head up the Arkansas River Valley for some serious white water rafting fun.
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 small yellow onion diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1⁄4 teaspoon ground cumin
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 1⁄2 cups pork stock or 1 1⁄2 cups chicken stock
- 1 cup chopped roasted and peeled new mexico pepper (or canned)
- 1⁄4 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 diced jalapeno pepper
- 1 cup of diced fresh tomatoes or 1 (12 ounce) can of Rotel tomatoes & chilies
- 1 teaspoon cilantro
- In a medium sauce pan, saute the onion and garlic in the oil over medium-high heat, until tender (about 3 minutes).
- Stir in the flour, cumin, salt and pepper and cook over medium heat, stirring, for 2 minutes.
- Stir in the stock and simmer until thick and smooth.
- Stir in the chiles, peppers and oregano.
- At this point you may cool, and store in refrigerator, covered, for up to one day.
- To serve, heat thoroughly.
- You may place sauce into a blender and puree
The Browns Canyon section of the Arkansas River is the most popular whitewater section in the U.S., because it is challenging enough for experienced rafters, yet forgiving enough for first-timers. This boulder-strewn canyon sports large, exciting rapids, each followed by a calm pool that allows time to recover and prepare for the next big rapid. It is this pool-drop character that makes Browns Canyon suitable for a wide range of ability levels.
White Water Rafting on the Arkansas River:
- Browns Canyon: Designated a national monument in 2015, this beloved section of the Arkansas river boasts 10 miles of class II-III+ whitewater rapids that are silly fun. Hit rapids such as the infamous Seidel’s Suck-hole and get vertical on the Silver Bullet’s seven-foot drop.
- The Milk Run: This section of river section of the Arkansas River is a fun, fast-moving section of river with a handful of small, bouncy rapids. This section is perfect for snowflakes, grandparents and timid Clemson fans and is also great for short float fishing trips searching for brown trout behind the bubbles.
- Lower Browns Canyon: This section of the river offers fast-moving water, with just a few mild rapids. It’s a great alternative to Browns Canyon if you have young children or are looking for a scenic, slow float. This area is popular for fishing or for trying out inflatable kayaks. As you raft past large cottonwood trees and green pastures, take in the stunning views of the snow capped 14,000 foot Sawatch Mountains.
The Sawatch Range runs north and south and is located roughly 10 miles west of Salida. Methodist Mountain, which is a major feature on Salida’s southern horizon, is the northernmost mountain in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. To the north of Salida is the Arkansas Valley and the town of Buena Vista.
- The Numbers: White water rafting in Colorado has been around for well over a century. The Numbers section of Colorado’s Arkansas River got its name in the late 1800s by local miners who viewed the rapids as a group of, then non-navigable landmarks. Due to emergent rafting technologies what was once thought to be impossible is now sporting fun. Don’t miss the majestic views of the Collegiate Peaks as you navigate eight Class IV rapids and the continuous white water in between. Experience huge drenching waves and steep drops through your 6 mile, action packed ride.
- The Royal Gorge: This canyon of the Arkansas River located west of Cañon City begins at the mouth of Grape Creek about 2 mi west of central Cañon City and continues in a west-northwesterly direction for approximately 6 mi until ending near U.S. Route 50. Being one of the deepest canyons in Colorado, it is also known as the Grand Canyon of the Arkansas. The canyon is also very narrow at its base to wide at its top, as it carves a path through the granite formations below Fremont Peak and YMCA Mountain, which rise above the north and south rims, respectively.
This post has been sponsored by Brown’s Canyon Rafting in Buena Vista, Colorado. Be sure to check out Brown’s Canyon Rafting for some world class rapids on the Arkansas River. Visit Byron in early summer for some “sporting” rafting as the snow melt turns the river intro a frothy mess. Visit their website and support their social media sites on Facebook and Twitter. Big fun, here in River City.
A huge thank you and long distant hug goes out to my main man, Pud of Salida. The road west got long a few times and you f’sho rolled out the red carpet for our entire road trip crew. Occasionally, a contributing photographer to the site, his amazing nature shots can be seen gracing the covers of such magazines as Outdoor World and Gay Men Digest Weekly.
The road heads south to Telluride where Sam Bush and Bela Fleck lie in wait for the nailtravels security detail to arrive. As security consultants to Telluride City Officials and Planet Bluegrass, the sincere hope is that they would be supplied with weapons. If not, everyone is already strapped.
Lucienda Rosalita had been visiting the Mount Princeton hot springs while the vote was taken, so naturally, she was elected to drive, as the rest of the crew finished up the last of the sour burritos and contraband from Boulder. The Dead & Co. show had indeed, been more fun than could be easily registered and after a few days of much needed rest, it was widely regarded that she was the least impaired of the group. She would have to learn the hard way, not to pick a chicken fight with a Piggly Wiggly truck driven by a madman who was, admittedly, moonshine blind.
Keep up with nailtravels as the story heads south through the Arkansas River Valley in search of fortune and glory in the sleepy nook of Gunnison, Colorado.
Stay tuned to the continuing adventures of Baitbucket and Lucienda as they head south to see Grass is Dead at the inaugural Everglades Roots Festival and find their way to Lazlito and the Dead & Co. rescheduled shows at Sunshine and Orlando. Happy New Year to our people in Oregon, Texas, Louisiana, South Carolina, Michigan, Colorado, Florida, Roanoke, Martha’s Vineyard and Crimson Tide country. Ma Roux’s red beans and rice are startin’ to smell good from the kitchen.
Roll Tide Y’all.