CapRock Farm Bar

Last night I had the pleasure of going to the opening of Peak Spirits’ new tasting room in The Source, located at 3350 Brighton Blvd.

CapRock Farm Bar: It’s totally modern industrial swank-ilicious.

The clean look of the tasting room, which is situated smack dab in the middle of The Source, makes CapRock Farm Bar the shining jewel of the old foundry. With seating that fits anyone’s mood, from half booths to tables to bar stools, you can get cozy and enjoy the wares of gin, vodka, peach and pear brandies, and grappa.

If you’re looking for beer….you’re not going to find it here. What you will find is a menu of very unique, simple drinks that are made with mother earth lovins’. The ingredients in their mixed drinks are organic and damn spanking tasty. With names like Detox Retox, North Fork, Summer Wind, Woo Woo, and A+ Farmhouse you can imagine what these drinks have in store for you. Carrots, watermelons, strawberries, crab apples, golden beets are just some of the juices they use to create concoctions that fit anyone’s palate. Don’t be shy to ask for a variation either. These guys know what they’re doing. I don’t think I’ve ever had cocktails that felt and tasted so clean.

Never had any of the CapRock spirits? Not a problem. You can also order a flight. It’s a tasting room! Duh…

And just when I thought it couldn’t get better, it did. The Farm Bar works with the other establishments there and has snacks! Cheese and salumi plates, olives and nuts, or if you want to get all French, half a baguette with butter. From what I hear, it’s all part of their master plan to create a feeling of community with the businesses around them and for the public. Swanky, tasty, organic and ethically minded? These guys should get an award.

After 3 drinks and tasting the other drinks my motley crew ordered, I awoke today with a feeling of awesomeness instead of a hang over. That’s what high quality does.

And the piggy back ride I got probably helped too…

*I would have taken a photo, but I felt a little overwhelmed by the place when I first walked in. And then I just totally forgot after drink #1. Whoops.*

The SLC Epilogue: The Moab Detour and San Luis Valley

“Well…it looks like it just adds on an extra hour to the trip. Do you really want to go or not?”

Famous last words.

That extra hour added onto the 8 hours we needed to drive already turned into a 3 hour detour, on top of not having good directions to the campsite in the San Luis Valley. Beer was necessary when we finally arrived.

I like Moab. It’s a groovy little town. I love Wicked Brew. But if I had known it was going to be an extra 3 hours, I would have voted no. Getting to the campsite sounded like a much better idea but hey….it’s the journey, not the destination, right? Not always.

After days of driving, I really just wanted to get this leg of it done. I wanted to be in the middle of nowhere with a tent pitched and stars beaming down on me. I wanted campfire and the fear of being eaten by a much larger animal than me. I wanted to be where the population of trees out numbered the population of humans.

Although, I do have to say, my travel companion was actually upset about the detour. He was definitely not happy it took us so much longer.  Sometimes there are pluses to detours. Like finding an awesome deli for lunch!

Pantele’s Desert Deli doesn’t look like much but their hulking Dagwood-ish sandwiches make up for the lack of ambience. I think their club sandwich is the best one I’ve had in years. They don’t skimp on ingredients.  Well worth the price.

After taking a much longer lunch than anticipated, we detoured around town for extra groceries and beer. Detour with a big D because the main strip through town was completely under construction. Two and a half hours after arriving, we finally are back on the road to the San Luis Valley.

On the way, we pass through Olathe, CO. If you’ve never eaten uncooked corn on the cob from Olahthe, then you have no clue what sweet corn is. We turned around on the road when we saw what looked like farmer Joe with an old pick up truck full of corn parked on the shoulder. He gave us 6 ears for $2 with an extra one for us to try! After my first bite, I didn’t want to hand it over to my friend. I wanted to eat the whole thing and the other 6. Holy corn, Batman!

Many hours later and after one of the more scary parts of my life*, we reach the northern edge of the absolutely beautiful San Luis Valley. What road are we looking for? Dorsey Creek? Ummm…I don’t see one…

Oh wait…that’s because Dorsey Creek isn’t a road. It’s a creek and part of the National Forests so it’s marked with a brown sign. A very small brown sign. After driving up a treacherous dirt road for a Tiguan, we find our two friends that found this out-of-the-way little piece of camping heaven. Settled into the side of a mountain with HUGE aspens and an amazing view of the valley, we pitch our tent, get dinner rolling, and crack open much needed beers.

Go camping in the San Luis Valley. Especially when there’s a meteor shower like the Perseids. It’s freaking fan-tabulous. It’s all free camping but you need a vehicle that has some clearance and 4 wheel drive is a definite plus. Just look for the brown signs (they’re all up and down 285) and go on an adventure down a dirt road! Be sure to bring a shovel and your Freshette…there’s no bathrooms.

All in all, it was a fast, furious, and fun 5 days. Over 1,300 miles, 2 nights of camping, 2 nights in a hotel, 4 destinations, and a crap ton of laughs and good memories. That’s what car trips are for.

Yeah...we did that.

Yeah…we did that.

*My friend was a professional race car driver for 10 years. He was having having alot of fun on going up the switch backs and applying his skills. I, on the other hand, was scared poopless because there’s no guardrails along the road  and I could see ALL THE WAY DOWN the mountain side. My mind just kept coming back to flying off the road because some tourist who doesn’t know how to drive in the mountains pushes us off. I asked him to slow the hell down because I was sweating. I rarely sweat. I trust his skills. I don’t trust the other drivers. Oy vey….

The Salt Lake City Adventure: Antelope Island

You are here...

You are here…

According to the brochure you get after you pay $10 to get into Antelope Island State Park:

Salinity is too high to support fish and most other aquatic species. However, brine shrimp, brine flies, and several types of algae thrive in the lake and are primary food sources for millions of migrating birds.

What they don’t tell you in the brochure is that the flies are like a quaint plague for about 40 feet from the water line and the shrimp aren’t just hanging out in schools here and there but float everywhere like chia in kombucha.

Which totally ruined my idea of trying to float peacefully in the lake.

What was funnier, my travel partner got totally grossed out by this passage that I read out loud:

Oolitic sand is a unique feature of Great Salt Lake. These round grains of sand are formed when mineral grains or brine shrimp fecal pellets are coated by concentric layers of aragonite, a form of calcium carbonate. This is similar to how pearls are formed.

He was not too keen about walking on coated shrimp fecal pellets.

I have to say, nothing could have really prepared us.

The parking lot was quite far from the shore line. We walked and joked and threw a frisbee around until I noticed something that my brain just couldn’t comprehend. My eyes saw it but processing what I saw was not happening. There were little kids playing in the water and right by them, this black “cloud” rolled up from the ground, settled back down, and then rolled up again and settled. Blink…blink….blink….


We both stood there for a moment not comprehending. Then we kept walking…closer and closer until we met up with the edge of this phenomenon. It was brine flies. When disturbed, it causes a domino effect which causes a cloud of them to surge and roll away from the stimulus. It was gross, intriguing, oddly biblical, and definitely surreal. If I hadn’t been squeaking out eeks as these flies rolled away from my feet, I could have had alot more fun with it. Like pretending like I was some evil master mind and releasing my minions to take over the world.

Once we situated where our belongs would not get over run with flies and made it to the water’s edge, we kicked off our flip-flops and waded into the bath-tub warm water. And waded…and waded….and waded. According to the brochure:

Great Salt Lake is currently 75 miles long by 28 miles wide, covering 1,700 square miles. At this level, maximum depth is about 33 feet. Size and depth vary greatly with seasonal evaporation and precipitation.

About 300 feet away from the shoreline, the water finally went above our knee caps. When I said the shrimp float everywhere like chia in kombucha, I shit you not, they are EVERYWHERE. If I had known this in advance, I would have taken the shower cap from the hotel with me so I could try to float in this wonder of the world. The idea of all these tiny little orange shrimp getting caught in my dark curly hair did not appeal to me. I did NOT feel like being a walking surf n turf.

With my dreams of floating peacefully with no effort dashed upon the oolitic sands of reality, we decide to just hang out in the water and play some frisbee.

Plague of tiny flies, plague of shrimp, bath-tub warm water, salt cakes on your skin… yes, you should totally do it!

After taking a freezing cold shower by the parking lot, we jaunt off to check out the rest of the island. We stop at Buffalo Point Trail and take a short yet quite steep stroll up to the top. It’s actually a great view! Just be mindful that the bison roam freely on the island which includes this peak.

Next time I’m in Salt Lake City, I will definitely make sure I have time to hit some of the other trails that are further down Antelope Island. Apparently, the rocks in Farmington Canyon are the same age as rocks in the bottom of the Grand Canyon (1.7 BILLION years old…). Sounds like a geek-tastic time to me! Seriously….my dad is a rock hound. Apples do not fall far from trees.

Up next: The Moab Detour to the San Luis Valley

Antelope Island from Buffalo Point with SLC in the distance

Antelope Island from Buffalo Point with SLC in the distance