COFFEE & CHOCOLATE

The other morning before work I took a short hike up Pilot Butte, a cinder cone that sits in the middle of town, and one that promises an excellent view and a burst of cardio if you do it right. Along the way I passed a woman most definitely training for a long hike. She had a heavy pack on, trekking poles in hand, and even her dog wore a small pack. The walk would no doubt be great training, as I’ve also used the backyard butte for my own.

In addition to the physical challenge in training for a long-hike, I find today’s post to be perfect timing to announce two other ways that I’m training for the hike and, simultaneously, two new sponsors….which is that I’m drinking lots of coffee and eating plenty of candy! Although I’ve been eating chocolate since before taking my first footsteps, it wasn’t until a couple years ago that I started drinking coffee. Perhaps it was the kiwi-tradition and camaraderie of that afternoon cuppa that got me hooked. While wandering the length of the Te Araroa in New Zealand in 2014, I was invited into many homes for a cuppa. I now love a good cup of coffee just as much as that chocolate bar!

So, I’m happy to announce that Salazon Chocolate Company and Stumptown Coffee Roasters will be sponsoring next year’s 7,500-mile hike: Chocolate, Coffee and the Calendar Triple Crown. Yeah!

Salazon Logo_NewSalazon Chocolate Company is based in Eldersburg, Maryland. A dear friend and fellow thru-hiker, Shera, mentioned that I must reach out to the kind folks of Salazon Chocolate. Why? Not only does Salazon Chocolate offer delicious chocolate bars that are hand-sprinkled with natural, solar-evaporated sea salt, but they offer a Trail series. Say it again… Trail Series. A portion of proceeds from these dark chocolate bars goes toward the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, The Pacific Crest Trail Association and the Continental Divide Trail Coalition. What a beautiful relationship! Additionally, Salazon chocolate is made from 100% organic, single-origin, Rainforest Alliance and Fair Trade certified beans in the USA. Chocolate that is good for you!

Stumptown Coffee Roasters is headquartered in Portland, Oregon. A co-worker, and her taste for fine coffee (and fine craft beer…Thank you Tina!), set the sparks to this partnership. They work with producers in Africa, Indonesia and Latin America forming a symbiotic relationship, where it seems that all are benefited: the farmer, the roaster, the coffee connoisseur, and last BUT certainly not least, the planet. And, to make things even more exceptional, these are the words that Stumptown shares with all of us, but a few of those words ring especially true for me: “Coffee is about pleasure. It’s that moment when your hand is warmed by the mug, you bring it up to your nose, inhale deeply and then take a sip.That sip is the culmination of years of work, three-thousand mile journeys, and passion.” Three-thousand mile journeys…I got that covered.

Fueled by chocolate and coffee, I’m sure that I’ll satisfy my sweet tooth while staying caffeinated en route. With 7,500 miles ahead, I’ll need all the encouragement. Thanks Salazon and Stumptown!

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