Adventure Tubing with Sage Outdoor Adventures

Adventure Tubing…can those two words really go together in the same sentence?   When I think of tubing, I think of a nice easy float down a stretch of river, not something adventurous.  Well, guess what, those two words go quite nicely together!  In fact, I think they are my two new favorite words together!  I grew up rafting on all the rivers in Colorado and Utah, was a raft guide for 6 years, and loved tubing when I was young.  Little did I know that a family owned company called Sage Outdoor Adventures  (just 100 yards from the Antlers condos) would come up with a NEW outdoor activity to do in Vail beside whitewater rafting.  So…here is a bit of my adventure:  Started out getting to the meeting spot to get all of our gear (wetsuits, booties, gloves, helmets, etc.)  We decided we looked A LOT like frogs with our gloves, but they really helped with navigating down the river!

After dressing in our amazingly attractive wetsuits, we jumped into the river in our tubes and set off downriver!   We got a little taste of everything.  From relaxing in the calm water to getting splashed by the waves in the little rapids.  It was awesome!  We saw some amazing wildlife too!  A blue heron was drinking out of the river next to us and flew right above us- it was beautiful!  Saw some baby ducks, geese, and a variety of other birds.  There is nothing quite like being outside, in the wild!

Meadow Mountain biking

Looking for an easier mountain bike ride near the Antlers at Vail hotel ?  Try Meadow mountain for some mountain biking down near the town of Minturn.  Go West on I-70 to Down junction, exit 171.  Park at the U.S. Forest service station at Dowd Junction just southoff of Interstate 70.  Once in the parking lot and on your bikes, go south of the parking lot and start up the double track road.  After about 1 mile of climbing you’ll come to a sign on your left that says, “1 mile to Grouse mountain trail”.  Take this single track here that goes south.  It is a fantastic trail.  There are two short hike a bike sections for about 10 feet.  Once you cross the bridge (over Grouse Creek), you’ll come out to a double track (Grouse Mountain trail)  Turn left here going back down to Hwy 24.  Just return on Hwy 24 going North for about 3/4 of a mile back to the parking lot.  Quick and easy.

Riding on Meadow Mountain

Overlooking Minturn, CO

Recipe of the Week from Chef Angelee Aurillo

Hi Everyone!  This recipe came about on a snowy day, (just like today) and by me not wanting to leave to go to the market (just like today); only using ingredients I had in the kitchen.  I wanted something quick, light and satisfying.  For some reason, the sharpness of mustard was tasting delicious to me…The night before, I had made the Dijon Chicken recipe I posted a few weeks ago.  For anyone who is wondering, our dinner was the Paillard of Chicken with a Dijon Sauce; Sauté of Spinach with Grape Tomatoes and Jalapeños; and Loaded Twice Baked Potatoes…This salad was made with left over Chicken, Jalapeño, Grape Tomatoes and Baked Potato.  If you are making this recipe without these left over ingredients, poke some holes in the potatoes and throw them into the oven on some foil 40 minutes before roasting the chicken.  Using a Roasted Chicken from the market would make this salad even easier!  I would enjoy this salad with some warm bread and a buttery Chardonnay…Divine lunch or dinner!!

Chef Angelee Aurillo

Roasted Chicken, Grape Tomatoes, Salad tossed in a Dijon, Lime, Jalapeño and Honey Vinaigrette (Serves 4)

Dijon, Lime, Jalapeño, Honey Vinaigrette

2T Dijon Mustard

1/4c Lime Juice

2t Honey

¼ of a Jalapeño, minced

1/2c Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1/4c Vegetable Oil (mix the two oils together)

Salt

Roasted Chicken (OR both breasts from a market roasted chicken)

2-3 Skinless Chicken Breasts

Vegetable Oil (Or Non-Extra Virgin Olive Oil)

Garlic Powder

Paprika

Potato “Croutons”

2 Baked Potatoes, cooled, peeled and cut into a “crouton” size dice

Vegetable Oil

Garlic Powder, Salt& Pepper

Mixed Field Greens Salad

Mixed Field Greens for 4

10 Grape Tomatoes, quartered

1 small shallot, thinly sliced

Salt& Pepper

Preheat oven to 350*.  Bake the potatoes until soft through the center.  Rub the chicken breasts with oil and Garlic powder.  Sprinkle with Paprika.  Fold the thinner end of the chicken under so the chicken breast has the same thickness.  Roast in the oven for 18 minutes or until cooked through.  Let the chicken cool slightly.  Keep warm and slice the breasts into four portions just before serving.  After slicing, sprinkle the slices with salt and pepper.

While the chicken is roasting:

Make the croutons: Dice the cooked potato into “crouton” size cubes.  In a bowl, add the oil, garlic powder, salt and pepper.  Add the cooked potato cubes and toss well to coat.  In a sauté pan, cook the potatoes over medium heat until browned on all sides.  Keep warm until ready to serve. 

Make the vinaigrette: In the bowl, in which you will be tossing the salad, whisk together the first four ingredients.  (I like to put a damp cloth or damp paper towel under the bowl to keep it from moving while whisking.)  In a slow stream begin adding the oil while vigorously whisking until you have a nice emulsification.  Add salt and put aside, reserving a bit to drizzle over the chicken.  Or sometimes, what I like to do is use a jar with a tight fitting lid with all of the vinaigrette ingredients inside.  Vigorously shake and serve…Super easy.

 In the bowl with the vinaigrette, add the tomatoes, shallots, the mixed field greens and half of the potato “croutons”.  Gently toss together.  Divide the salad onto 4 plates.  Sprinkle the remaining “croutons” and fan  the chicken at 6:00 (as if you were looking at a clock), sprinkle with a bit of salt and freshly cracked pepper (if you so desire), drizzle the reserved dressing across the chicken and serve…Try to have some of the tomatoes visible on the salad; it adds great color.  Enjoy!!

Fun Fishing & Some Unexpected Moments

We had a surprising moments when were fly fishing this past Labor Day at the end of the Owners Weekend at The Antlers. I was fishing in a small lake up at the end of the Vail Golf Course and some movement caught my eye. I turned and there were two of the biggest “marmots” that I had ever seen swimming in the lake – looked like they were patrolling “their” territory. I was puzzled as I had never seen such big marmots and they were totally unafraid of me – came within abou 15 feet – I thought they were going to take my fly…then one slapped his tail on the water and they both dove under …and I realized they were big beavers, with a nest right at waters edge! They stayed with me while I was there – occasionally slipping into the water and patrolling their territory. What a great experience!! –

From SnowWitch, September 2009

Bears in Vail, can't get in the Antlers bear proof trash bins

Well the bears are sure out in full force around the Antlers at Vail this month.   There have been many stories in Vail about the bears getting into the trash, into cars, dumpsters, etc. as they eat as much as they can to store fat for the coming winter.  A couple of  mornings ago we found one of our bear proof trash containers tipped over.  Was it a bear?  Not that we were checking, but……. the trash bin had some great food from Garfinkles that was thrown away.  Probably it smelled pretty good for a bear.
Bear
Tipped over trash can, it was heavy

Vail Pass new Highway clean up sign for Antlers at Vail

The Antlers at Vail has a 2 mile section of Interstate 70 up on the top of Vail Pass that we clean up.  This past June a number of guests even gave us a hand!  It is one of the most beautiful sections of highway through the State of Colorado.  And guess what?  We just got some new signs placed by the highway department this summer.  They look great.  Thanks to the Colorado Department of Transportation.


Antlers new Highway clean-up sign near Vail Pass bike path

Michela family enjoy another Vail Summer

Once again the Michela family enjoyed a Vail Summer vacation at the Antlers at Vail.  Bob and Catherine had daughters Danielle and Stacy with them, and of course the five grandchildren.  They were busy.  Gondola rides, hiking, biking, dinner at Blu’s, dinner in the condo, adventure ridge, rebound trampoline, etc.  Hope to see you again next summer…..


Michela Family at the Antlers (grand kids are taking the picture)

VICTORY!

SCHLADER PITCHES COMPLETE GAME AND LEADS THE G.H.O.S.T TO FIRST WIN…EVER.

It was a beautiful evening for America’s past time sport. The teams gathered early for warm-ups at Ford Field. The stands were filling slowly and young fans stood near the dug outs hoping to get a glimpse and maybe an autograph from their heroes. The atmosphere was relaxed and typical for the start of any softball game. This night, however, would permeate with drama as the innings unfolded.

It was more than Schalder’s curve ball which kept the Snow Pigs guessing at the plate. It was more than than the almost flawless defense which continually frustrated the hitters on the opposing team. It was more than the bats of the G.H.O.S.T. cracking hit after hit. Scoring run after run.

There was magic in the breeze that surrounded us on this night.

The tension escalated as the team and the fans began to fathom the un-imaginable. “Relax and have fun out there” were the cries from the dug out as we took to the field in the last inning, clinging to an 8 run lead.

The Pigs are a proud team and refused to go away. A rally by the opposing team in the last inning was all to familiar to the G.H.O.S.T. Victory snatched away and the disappointment that goes with it has troubled this group in the past. But this Monday evening was different. After all, there was magic in the breeze and this group of fighters walked away with a 13 to 7 win.

The masses didn’t flood the streets and there were no car fires or riots in Vail on this evening to celebrate one of the greatest victories in modern sports. Rather the team had a quiet dinner and a couple (hundred) drinks and reflected about the achievement. I asked one player what’s next? His response while sipping on a pitcher of beer, “This hasn’t even hit me yet, ask again tomorrow”. I guess I should have clarified that I was talking about the game.

Greg Z