Searching for the Colorado cocktail |

Searching for the Colorado cocktail

April in Glenwood
April E. Clark
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
April E. Clark

I love those days when everything mixes together like the ingredients to a perfect cocktail.

For me, those are gin, vermouth and olive juice. Shaken, not stirred.

Just like Mr. Bond.

Saturday started off not with cocktails, but with a nine-mile walk. I admit this isn’t a typical Saturday morning for me. But, who knows? Maybe with a little motivation I could make a habit of it.

Walking, not waking-and-martini-shaking.

My friend Janelle rallied a group of about 10 ladies to walk with her from Glenwood Springs to Carbondale, along the Rio Grande Trail. She’s training for the Breast Cancer 3-Day, which benefits Susan G. Komen for the Cure and the National Philanthropic Trust Breast Cancer Fund, in Florida. Janelle and her sister, Tiffany, will be walking 60 miles in three days to support breast cancer fundraising and awareness. So I couldn’t really complain about a measly nine miles.

Something tells me Janelle’s not as sore as I am today.

Anyone who has been walking, running, biking, or inline skating from the Glenwood cemetery to Carbondale on the Rio Grande Trail knows the view alone is justification for making the trek. In all her natural splendor, Mount Sopris guards the trail like a mamma bear over her cubs. Part of the route neighbors the Roaring Fork River, a source of sheer beauty that washes away any thoughts that walking nine miles on a Saturday morning is impossible. Throw in several hundred trees changing colors in the fall, and it’s a perfect mix.

Kind of like a Colorado cocktail.

Another motivation was the destination: The annual Oktoberfest celebration in Carbondale. German beer, food, music, and dudes in lederhosen are hard to resist. I personally appreciated the liter stein grip challenge, which involved men and women competing as they held really big beers for the longest amount of time. Despite an attempt at persuasion from a friend, I did not compete. My arms aren’t exactly known to balance heavy objects upright for long periods of time. Maybe I should start training for a triathlon next year.

Walking, stein gripping and polka dancing. Oompah!

I once arm-wrestled the infamous Carbondale arm-wrestling champion, The Croatian Princess, and lasted about 10 seconds. So I knew I wouldn’t make it very long at gripping a liter stein full of beer the longest. I had many friends in the liter stein grip challenge, though, and rooted them on as their muscles flexed, veins popped and hands shook until beer spilled from their glasses. My friend Matt came pretty darn close to winning it all, but a mustached mountain man took the title. I’d like to see his training regimen.

I’m thinking the ‘stache is his secret weapon.

Nothing tops off beer gripping and brats-and-spaetzle eating like dancing to a honky tonk band. Especially a honky tonk band appropriately named Red Eye Junction. So we moved the party to Beau Jo’s, where REJ played the likes of Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings. Obviously the pain from the fitness-related portion of the day had not quite kicked in for me. I commenced to two-step with a female newspaper colleague and some random guy who asked me to dance. All part of my new training regimen.

I’m still working on the secret weapon ‘stache.

By the time I had showered and collapsed into bed, somewhere near 18 hours had passed. And I had never felt better.

Maybe I’ve found the perfect Colorado cocktail, best served in October.

April E. Clark would love for everyone to donate to Janelle Rhoton’s cause by visiting Click on Donate and search for her personal fundraising page. April can be reached at

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