Whirlwind - The Chip Peddler | Gourmet Potato and Tortilla Chips in Durango, CO
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Thursday the 18th of September starts like any other with a long list of items that I, would need / like to take care of, but while traveling north on Hwy. 550 the water pump pulley wheel on “Sunshine” (the name for our new truck) breaks.

The rest of the calendar for the next 17 days looks like this:
Regular Deliveries.
Entertain my mom and aunt who are visiting.
4 Scheduled cooking days.
Community Foundation Event at Blue Lake Ranch
Fall Blaze bicycle ride
Ute Mountain Ute, Farm & Ranch community lunch with ribbon cutting for new facility.
Pick up corn.
CO-USDA Filming at Nature’s Oasis
Back Country Experience Chili Cook Off
Apple Days

I have the truck towed to Affordable Automotive and within the week I am told that the part we are looking for is no longer in stock and that I should start searching junkyards for a used part.

Here I sit, once again, feeling like one part is stopping the whole operation from moving forward.

Luckily, they had ordered a part that was very similar for the Turbo Version of the same vehicle and we were able to take it to Andrews Design Works, makers of King Cage water bottle cages, and they modified it to work.

This is our second year serving chips to go with various salsas at the Community Foundations annual dinner held at Blue Lake Ranch. For the most part I feel out of place at events like this, I would prefer to be out on a big ride with a few hours to go until we finish, but everyone made us (my wife and I)
feel very welcome.
At this point I still did not know if the part for the truck was going to work and even if it did work had I ruined the motor when it got hot?

With the Fall Blaze bike ride approaching and no way of getting my bike and trailer to the event short of borrowing someone’s vehicle again it was hard to get motivated. however, late on Friday I receive a call from the mechanic and “Sunshine” is up and running, sounding better than ever. I was now feeling better about participating in the Fall Blaze and by participating I mean promoting the brand.

This years race included an exhibition Cyclecross race which included this water feature shown below.

Region 9, our local rural development lender called saying the the PR department from CO-USDA was going to come to town for the ribbon cutting at the new Ute Mountain Ute corn processing facility. Region 9 had told the USDA that we, Chip Peddler chips, were also part of the story as we used the corn in our tortilla chips and had them for sale at retail.

The ribbon cutting at the new plant coincided with the annual Ute Mountain Ute tribe yearly lunch that take place at the farm so I decided that I would drive the truck out and pick up a pallet of corn at the same time. The corn needed to make it back to Durango where it could be taken early the next morning to La Milpa, in Grand Junction, where the corn is made into raw tortillas. It was then that I was informed that they were in the process of switching out motors and and could I come back tomorrow. Again, one part is stopping the whole operation from moving forward. Usually when this happens I just hope for the best and sure enough things will work themselves out and by 3:00 the new motor was in and I was on the road home by 4:00 and by 6:00 I was transferring them myself bag by bag, all 2,500 lbs., into the truck going to Grand Junction the next morning.

Backcountry Experience has hosted a Chili cook off for the past few years to benefit the San Juan Mountains Association and this year we were invited to attend. Having never participated in a food event I was unaware at how competitive things would get, starting with BREW’s chili name being a direct slap in the face of corporate food chains (something like “Can’t be made with Sysco Foods”).
Our chili did come from locally made or processed ingredients:
Sunnyside Farms – Pork
Locally raised potatoes
Candlelaria’s Green Chili Spice packet
Locally Roasted Hatch Chili’s
This event happens the same weekend as OuterBike in Moab, UT, who knows where we will be next year.
Apple Days has always been a fun family event and with the abundant sunshine the turnout was steady through the day. Sometimes the best part is hearing the gossip…. New Raw Vegan place, Cream Bean Berry on Main, new owner of Zuma Natural Foods in Mancos?
Now just last thursday Whole Foods called unsolicited leaving a message wanting to know more about Chip Peddler products. I have called back but not gotten in touch yet.
One of the latest biking event to take root are the endurance races lasting multiple days. This year local rider Garret Alexander (Current DEVO coach) raced the Colorado Trail Race CTR and finished something like 5th with a time of 6 days 14 hours or so.
I have not been able to get into the very “High Country” at all this year but I did get in a few bigger classic rides including Elbert to Little Elk – twice, and mostly annual “Durango to Farmington” ride.
Starting at Needles Store the climb starts rough and finishes with ease.
Cabin on Little Elk trail

By the time you get to the cabin on Little Elk you will have covered a lot of terrain where on could find themselves lost quite easily.

Lemonade stand in Hermosa.

The day before the ride to Farmington I get a call from someone who is going and in the conversation they mention that there will be winds up 50mph the next day. I spend the night worrying about the impending gusts and don’t sleep much at all.
At the parking lot 4 of us take off with menacing clouds above but we proceed south at starting 8:40. It is not until the arch do we even feel a single breeze but after that the darkness looms over us and the wind starts up. The other three get ahead of me by about 40 yards as we crest a small rise in the road and sure enough as I am yelling into the wind for them to turn the pedals start moving quicker and off they go missing the turn. 20 minutes later and a few calls to their phones and we are all turned back in the right direction.

Climbing out of Kiffen Canyon this year we took a different route which pointed us directly into the wind for about 30 minutes but the new route gives the ride a new double track section. – 7 hrs. 20 min.

Every year SKA Brewing throws the best party in town and this year was no exception, Skatilites came to town during their 50th year anniversary tour and celebrated a great evening in Durango with some new friends.

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