Crested Butte loop .Co [Tilapia. Black beans]

Monday, June 1st, 2009
Old Faithfull b  
yellows d  

One of those days with somber clouds disturbing the peace of the land, and yet with sheets of rain surrounding us not a single drop touched us all day! It was as the skies were guiding us, opening the path for our ride, a loop going through Crested Butte. I am having a harder time combining photography and riding. Yesterday as I had missed a long ride and as passing where I would have stopped to take photos, I often did not. It is a battle within. Gloves, eyeglasses, helmet, at least one ear plug to hear oncoming traffic, all has to be removed, then put back on sometimes for one shot or… none! Photos that I think are going to look great generally do not… the ones often snapped from the waist down or using my boot as a tripod, well, they turn out interesting. And still yet, that is not the point. I myself so often feel as getting into a zone takes time and luck.


I cannot rush photography, I don’t take snap shots, at least I don’t like to, I know I do often.  As an example the ones from the previous blog [the beach] where taken all only about from a 500 feet radius away from our campsite in a span of a few hours, it was one of those great days. So when on a 200 miles or more ride for the day, how can one truly get into using a camera as I would like to. I was thinking maybe by doing the same ride twice… Enjoy once the great riding and then again one more time stopping as often as needed for photos, only for photos and taking it all in… that in itself would take a few days!

Spirit b  

The days fortunately are now long, as taking up time, there is always the Fresh Market little side stand one cannot avoid, including the much chatting taking place when Spirit is noticed and the cameras come out, then we have the road shoulders, sometimes not being the only ones admiring the scenery inducing more talking. There is often the Historical little downtown of the little town through by a little road that one just should not miss. Sometimes every spin of the wheel is a photo, not for the sake of the photo in itself but for one to allow themselves feeling with all their senses the incredible surroundings. I feel as we should be just walking, that is about the speed I would like for us to travel. I believe many have done it. Just a thought.

Mountains b  
Old Faithful a  

So there was no sun for the day, but PMS [Parked Motorcycle Syndrome] had taken it’s toll, as riding is an almost daily need. Could have waited one more day as right now the sun is shining full force even if the temperatures are still really cold, specially at 10,000 feet through Kebler Pass which has just opened up. I am slowly discovering the unpaved roads we can ride on, the large meadows welcoming free camping [14 days limit], there is so much around here, as in many others spaces we have been in, truly discovering it all can take a Lifetime, more.

black canyon  
Hwy 92 b Co  

Highway 92 was a blast, one of the best twisty road I have been on. No guard rails, smooth surface, and yes, the remembrance of our crash in Louisiana due to the sidecar separating did come to mind. I have had an added mount since, the ride was comfortable. For some reason Black Canyon above did not move me as much as I thought it would have. I have been here before and I remember taking the same photo a few times… I think everyone has the above first picture, looking a bit surreal to me.

Black Bridge Winery f  

Rode through Paonia, had also been there before also many years ago for a BMW Motorcycle Rally which we cannot now attend as they do not allow dogs. That is the City Park that does not, which by the way was the same situation in Moab at their City Park for the Art Festival. We did not know and got caught very quickly by the Animal Control Deputy… You got to love it… Poor Spirit! He got thrown out. But a few miles passed the Paonia turn off on 133 I saw a big sign “Orchard Valley Farm & Market“, as I think they took it upon themselves to make it real legible, a huge sign, I could not miss it… I did miss it, made my usual U-turn.

Black Bridge Winery a  
Black Bridge Winery c Black Bridge Winery d

And again, what was I thinking? Fresh Produce, Peaches only picked hours ago? Of course this is the wrong time of the year! A Chef for forty years and not thinking straight? But Joe saved the day and more. He shows up every Saturday with cheeses made by his Wife on their little Farm in Delta, not too far, the little City with all the Murals. I was born in Provence, South of France and my weakness ARE cheeses. So, for once I splurged and end up after more much chatting with some freshly baked bread, Goat Cheese in Thyme and Lavender, some Roubideau Tomme, some more Goat Cheese and what I called Gorgonzola… I have been in Heaven these past couple days savoring those delicate Flavors one bite at the time, trust me!

wine bottles  

They also have great Preserves, Jellies, Jams, Wine mainly in the form of a Pinot Noir, it was a real fun time and I just need to be careful not to ride that road again specially on a Saturday. This is what living on the road is all about… meeting these people, chatting, exchanging stories, I am always curious about their business and on and on… It has been a treat truly in comparison with what the generic cheese industry has to offer these days. Right at their entrance also was a bridge, an old bridge and much fun to photograph even if the sunlight was not cooperating.

bridge c  

bridge f 

bridge d bridge e

It took a lot for me not to pull over at some point, specially on 12 and open up my prizes. The turn off for Crested Butte was only a few miles away, a nice dirt road, well maintained with the usual pot holes here and there and real cold when reaching Kebler Pass at around 10,000 feet. Will save some of Crested Butte’s visit for the next time, I actually was starting to run late, real dark storm on the horizons and I just did not spend enough time in that town, we just need to go back. There is below however a couple of my favorites from Crested Butte. I have played with the colors on these two as I simply call the next one “The Lady and the Car”.

the leg and the car  
the car  

A quick recipe the other night I made after picking up some frozen Tilapia. Frozen fish has come a long way, sealed frozen… called “cryovacked”, word which I cannot find the proper spelling, it has lost its ugly frozen flavor and truly has become acceptable to cook with. Being frozen it also lasts a while in the saddle bag while riding back to camp. One pan, this is really quick. Some olive oil, much chopped garlic, 3 to 5 tablespoons of pancake syrup and the same with some Rice Vinegar which I happen to have. Heat up well, place the Tilapia, spoon some of the juice over it, cook, turn over and add a good bunch of coarsely chopped cilantro. Add a can of black beans, I cover always with a splatter grill, let the beans heat up and you are done with much also juice very nice with tortillas or pita bread. The sweetness of the syrup mixed with the Rice Vinegar really does a great job. Maybe some plain rice would be also good? Good enough to make at home… some chopped red peppers would have made the photos look better!!!

talapia a  
talapia b  

This below is what happens when the light is just right for a photo. Not today, the clouds are back, low and menacing they are for now keeping us indoor. Not for long I hope.

campsite a

Till next time…

Any Photo and Merchandise can be purchased on Smugmug. Easy to navigate on…

Your support will help us continue these endless chapters you read. It will be more than greatly appreciated.

Be well…

Ara & Spirit

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10 Responses to “Crested Butte loop .Co [Tilapia. Black beans]”

  1. Baron Says:

    A marvelous post as usual…loved that quick meal…looks delicious. Your photography is just amazing

  2. kathy Says:

    Your photography takes me to places of my dreams.

    I have that same issue. Stop or not during a ride when a great photo op is recognized. By the time my brain registers it, I’m long past it. I resolve to go back and capture it later, but that doesn’t seem to work out so well. And then that’s the joy of motorcycling isn’t it? – the sensory experience that even a photograph may not capture.

    When do you think dogs will be recognized and welcomed as the life companions they are? I can’t imagine anyone tossing Spirit out of an event – how much more human can one be?

  3. Doug Smith Says:

    I would like to read about your “separaton incident” in Lousiana. Is it in the blog? If so..what date? I am not a morbid individual…….just want to find out what happened so It doesn’t happen to me! LOL…Doug Smith

  4. James NomadRip Says:

    You know, it’s strange. I had never heard of Tilapia before I started coming to Florida from California about 4 years ago (I moved here 2 years ago). Now I see it everywhere, and we eat it once a week. We will be trying this recipe, as she had been getting tired of the way we were making it, and the picture above made my mouth start watering, even though I just ate breakfast.

  5. Louise Says:

    A very old and dear friend of mine lives just a few miles from Hotchkiss, up at 8000 feet elevation in the aspen forest. We visited him last summer and so drove some of this loop in our bus. I spent the whole time saying, “This is a great motorcycle road!” I’m glad you got to RIDE it.

  6. a lady's life Says:

    Very beautiful shots as usual.
    I hope your ear and tooth are better.:)

  7. Chessie Says:

    Tears are stinging my eyes. Ara, I couldn’t continue to read…I scrolled and adimired the photos…I so understand the riding…the stopping…the time each stop steals…the need to continue…the need to stop… the pull of the road, the song of the wind, the voice of the tires….the hugs we get from the wind as we slice through this tuft and that one…
    If only Ara….but I still have time…when “it” happens again…my heart will soar…and I’ll be thanking you for getting me thorugh this part where the ride is getting so far away from me sometimes.

  8. Chessie Says:

    ahhh, I see her leg in the window… [Lady and the Car] yes…what a shot…and a shapely leg…and a very classic car! Another good eye…thanks for the shot Ara…

  9. conchscooter Says:

    My wife 9 the cook) is ready to try a new tialpia receipe now. I the dishwasher am always ready to clean up a one pan meal.

  10. James NomadRip Says:

    Maria and I finally had a chance to improvise this dish. We usually have Tilapia we get from the Publix butcher here each week, and have it the next night. We usually just bake it for a bit with a fresh tomato, onion and maybe a few bit here and there diced on top of it.

    We forgot the cilantro, and used something else in it’s place (I want to say basil, but I forgot already). It was quite delicious!! We made 2 slabs of Tilapia, and had to fudge the quantities a little to make up for it. The sauce had a great taste, just like you said! Sweet, yet…not sweet at the same time. Hard to explain, but it was good!

    She says she’ll be happy to buy your cookbook when you get around to it, even if it’s just a few notes and stuff 🙂 We pretty much try to eat only veggies and some fish now and then, though she is much more strict about it than I.

    Thank you and we look forward to trying others!

    We took some pictures. Obviously we can’t take as good of photographs or cook as well as you, but we’re learning!


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