Friday, November 3, 2006

Five Best

Tom Iselin, author, baker, founder of the Blaine County Hunger Coalition and executive director of S

Tom Iselin

1) Surf Break: Blacks Beach, La Jolla, Calif.

Situated at the base of 300-foot majestic cliffs, "Blacks" is a famous West Coast surf spot. It's a long hike in, but each time I set foot on the beach, it has the feeling of a hidden gem, offering pristine views and epic surf. South swells funnel through a 400-foot canyon two miles out in the Pacific and then slam into a 12-foot shelf, creating powerful big waves and thick, juicy tubes. Sweet! If you rally for a dawn patrol session, you'll find yourself surfing with dolphins. It's a bit territorial, so if you're a gaper ... go surf Mission Beach!

2) Bread: Cornbread

Made by Native Americans long before Europeans plopped on shore, it's comfort food for anytime for any season. During fall, I like to start a kettle of elk chili and then head out for a long mountain bike ride with friends. Upon return, we crack cold beers, plop in front of a college game, and alternate bites of chili with cornbread smothered with gobs of honey butter. Yum! Too bad for the carbo-phobes.

3) Mountain bike ride: Prairie Creek

It's a short, semi-technical grind north of town with lots of rock and root dodging, patches of soft sand, and hard-packed pine. I love the lakes, views, and the frequent bear sightings. I suggest pushing all they way to Miner Lake, but bagging the loop (and the ugly, gutted downhill), and come back the way you went in. By doing the out-and-back, you'll be rewarded with an insane five-mile downhill of speed, agility, and one big grin.

4) Dog: Golden Retriever

Come on, who doesn't love a golden? Sturdy and fun-loving, they are loyal and intelligent dogs with great charm and a good sense of humor. They love children, thrive on making you happy, and are mischievous just enough to keep you wondering what crazy thing they'll do next. Oh, Koby, what have you done now? If you need a date, let me suggest buying (or borrowing) an 8-week-old golden and hanging outside Java.

5) Drink: Margarita

Rocks, no salt. For the tequila, I say spring for a premium such as Herradura, El Tesoro, or Patron. And be sure to use a quality mix, one that calls for real lime and lemon juice. This simple combo will make a smooth margarita that glides down gently and easily, bending your smile a bit wider with each sip. If you find yourself at Whiskey's sharing your sombrero with strangers, you'll know the mix is right.

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