Make a picnic brunch while hiking with just a little prep.
I love living in Colorado; there is so much to explore and the views are gorgeous. One of my favorite outdoor activities is to hike in the mountains and foothills along the many trails offered by Colorado’s Bureau of Land Management. There are often picnic tables and other rest areas that are perfect to take a mid morning brunch in nature.
If you haven’t been to Red Rocks, in Morrison, Colorado, it is an amphitheater among a series of trails along the rock formations that jut from the earth at reaching angles. There are plenty of stairs and other walkways along the rocks, offering a lot of exercise for the truly motivated. The bleachers of the theatre are used by many for a little cardio, and free yoga was once offered here on specific mornings.
I noticed a steady stream of people driving into the park around 9am and the trails were well-traveled by 10am. I found a picnic area at the top of a geologic look-out and set up my prepped foods to make some chilaquiles and a Bloody Mary.
I found a great picnic area with a view of the valley. There was a garbage can in the area, which made packing out even easier. There are many picnic areas like this one to fix up a trail-side brunch.
One of most used camping items is this portable burner. I’ve been hiking and camping with this one for more than twenty years. It folds onto itself, so it takes up very little room, and screws easily onto a variety of propane tank sizes.
The key to a good trail-side picnic is preparation. To prepare for my adventure, I packed a bento box with the components for my chilaquiles. In one box, I put the chips and salsa (in a sealed container) with the un-cracked egg. In the other bin, I put the toppings: cheese (wrapped in beeswax), sliced onions and chopped cilantro.
In a pot over a gas stove, pour in a tasty salsa and bring it to a simmer. Crack in the egg and cover. Cook over low heat until the egg is done to preference. I like mine medium.
When the egg is cooked, remove from the pan and place on a bed of tortilla chips. Pour over the sauce. I prefer my chips to be crispy, but they can be made soft by putting them directly in the pan with the hot salsa.
Garnish with thinly sliced white onion, chopped cilantro (to taste, of course) and crumbled queso fresco. If you have the room and available weight in your pack, bring some hot sauce. You can find some of my favorite ideas for chilaquiles here.
I also brought along a Bloody Mary kit and a can of spicy tomato juice. In a small liquor bottle, I combined in advance, pickle juice, worcestershire, gin and spices to mix with the canned tomato juice. The small liquor bottle fit well into another container and I surrounded it with all the usual Bloody Mary garnishes: pickles, celery, beef jerky, and cheese.
Take a hike to the next level and prepare a snack while enjoying the view you earned! Next time you take a day hike, bring along a snack bag and make it more than just an exercise and sightseeing experience. Happy Travels!