Monday, March 29, 2010

Follow the Map

Watching the latest episode of “WANTED: Adventure Host” on Comcast SportsNet, I found myself screaming at the TV, “Look at your map! Read the Map!”

Sounds familiar. I remember screaming the same thing at myself the day we filmed!

With a cliff, a river, and a small area to navigate, every point was obvious on the map. Who needs bearings? Who needs a compass? Who in the world needs a GPS! It was so simple.

What you saw in Episode #5 was a classic case of over thinking. Who found the most points? Brent – classic case of keeping it simple.

In Alaska, I ran several orienteering courses over several miles in the foothills of the Chugach Range. What was I given? An outdated map that I was warned, “May or may not be up to date on all its trails.” I knew North, South, East, and West by looking up at the mountains. And somehow I found every point in thick, dark woods. How? I followed the map!

However, at Smith Rock time pressure, unfamiliar instruments (that we all pretended we knew how to use except for Brent), and an audience was added. Mix all this together and you get 10 normally competent people running around like chickens with their heads cut off!

Instead of following the basic map, we were distracted by all that other things that were going on around us. Part of me thinks there is a lesson here!

What is really important? Do I focus on the simple staples of life or am I distracted, nervous about my own performance and chasing the new thing?

Faith, family, and friends – now that’s not so complicated.

John 14:6 “Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life.’”


Smith Rock is a Mecca for rock climbers and feels like the back-drop for an old Western. All around Smith Rock, the air is perfumed with sagebrush, echoed in this quintessential cowboy food – hash! Healthed up with ground turkey and olive oil, this dish is the perfect carbo-load for cowboys and rock climbers. Make at home or over the campfire!


2 lbs or 6 red potatoes, cooked (wash, prick with fork, wrap in foil and baked for 1 hour at 400 degrees F. Keep foil-wrapped in the refrigerator to use later.) In this recipe, cooled potatoes hold together better but freshly baked will do.
1 lb ground turkey
4 eggs
1 onion, diced
1 yellow bell pepper, diced
1 clove garlic, minced or grated with a microplane zester
4 Tbsp olive oil
2 tsp kosher salt
2 tbsp flat leaf parsley, finely chopped for garnish
1 tsp Agave nectar or brown sugar (agave is a natural, liquid sweetener readily available in most grocery stores. However, if you cannot find it, you can substitute sugar)
1 tsp finely chopped sage, about 8 leaves
½ tsp red pepper flakes
¼ tsp nutmeg
kosher salt and pepper


1. Heat 2 tbsp. olive oil in a large skillet or oven safe pan over medium heat. Add onion, garlic and yellow peppers. Sauté until onions are translucent and peppers are tender. About 5-8 minutes.
2. Add turkey, sage, agave, red pepper flakes, nutmeg and 1 tsp salt. Sauté over medium heat until turkey is cooked through. About 4 – 7 minutes. While turkey is cooking, dice potatoes. Remove meat mixture from pan and set aside.
3. Heat 2 tbsp olive oil over medium-high heat. Add diced potatoes and 1 tsp kosher salt. Let brown on one side, about 2 – 3 minutes. Turn potatoes and brown for another few minutes. Do not stir or over work potatoes or they will fall apart and become starchy and gummy.
4. Reduce heat to medium and fold in meat mixture. When heated through, make 4 wells with the back of a large spoon. Crack one egg into each well. Depending on the desired doneness of the eggs, you may serve immediately or cover skillet with foil and place in a 425-degree oven for 2 – 5 minutes. Spoon egg with hash onto plate, garnish with parsley, and serve with whole grain toast to sop up the yolk. Enjoy!

Serves 4
*Tip – Leftovers can be spooned into a tortilla with grated cheese, salsa, and fat free sour cream, and rolled into a burrito. Wrap in foil to take on the trail for a well balance pick-me up.

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