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Summit Up

Good morning and welcome to Summit Up, the world’s only daily column that is feeling frisky and frothy after a weekend backpacking trek into the wilds of the upper Snake River Basin.

The frothy part comes into play because we’ve discovered a new way to start the day while camping, and we can’t wait to share it with our readers.

Let us start by saying that we love our coffee. It’s something that we’re unwilling to give up, even if it means carrying a bit more weight, as in a Melitta filter holder, paper filters, etc.

OK, so it’s not THAT much more weight, but we do have some purist backpacking friends who would definitely look askance at this behavior.

But never mind, we think the smell of fresh-brewed coffee mingling with woodsmoke from a campfire is one of life’s great joys.

We did, however, forget our plastic filter holder , which caused a brief moment of panic the first morning, as we stood there sniffing our coffee beans, wondering how we were going to convert that aroma into an ingestible form.

We considered our options: Cowboy coffee, brewed in an old sock ” less than accepable; Turkish style, with plenty of grounds ” but we’d rather sip than chew our daily dose.

Not to worry, said our indomitable and resourceful partner, who fashioned a filter holder by cutting a slot into a paper plate and taping it up with duct tape.

To give it a bit more support and waterproof-ness, we cut a plastic baggie into the shape of a filter and snipped the teensiest little corner off it to make a spout ” et voila! We were soon up to our eyeballs in fresh brewed java.

Now for the frothy part: If you take Safeway brand powdered milk, mix it with a bit of water and sugar and shake like crazy in closed bottle, you can make foam so thick that you can stand your spork up in it.

It’s true! Thanks to this serendipitous discovery, not to mention some down-home ingenuity, we enjoyed some of the best backcountry coffee we’ve ever had.

We know the company and the setting had something to do with that, but the foam ” Ahhhhhh! We’d put our foam up against the best that a professional Roman barista can concocts with his stainless steel, high-octane espresso maker and feel pretty darn confident that we’d measure up.


We also need to add that we are writing today’s edition of Summit Up at great risk to our own personal safety, showing the caliber, dedication and sheer determination of our staffers.

Twice we had to evacuate the Summit Up Corporate Suites due to a natural-gas leak, but did we let that stop us from completing our appointed task? Not a chance!

We felt kind of silly standing around outside front door of our building, realizing that, if there were to be an explosion, we’d probably still be in the crater zone.

So in the end, we just toodled back inside, put our heads down, and kept at it, hoping for the best.

And once the friendly folks with our local fire department assured us the coast was clear, we knew it would turn out OK.


And finally, we have a Smarty Pants Alert!! From Williams College, founded in 1793, letting us know that Louisa Berky, daughter of Suzanne Farver of Aspen, CO, and George Berky of Breckenridge received a B.A. in art. Louisa participated in varsity crew and was a museum associate at the Williams College Museum of Art. Honors and prizes include: 1960s scholar in art (which included organizing a four-part lecture series) and first boat All-American for crew in 2007.

And Evan Barrett, son of Brett and Lori Barrett of Breckenridge, graduated from the same fine institution, also with a B.A. in art.

We say, rock on, and way to represent for Summit County at one of the country’s most esteemed temples of higher learning.

We out dodging raindrops.

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