Page 1

AUGUST 2012

Stay gold A new life for ‘Goodie Girl’ (pg. 8)

Life NORTH

Family time Summer fun for your family (pg.11)

COUNTY

Santa Margarita Ranch

F OOD

zips into ecotourism

People get this sense of place, of the beauty here, of the history...Now you're not looking at a bottle of wine. – Karl Wittstrom

Jennifer Best

ong-embattled Santa Margarita Ranch is carving a new path owners hope will provide long-term economic and environmental stability, inspire and inform visitors, and build greater loyalty to its agricultural products. "When people get this sense of place, of the beauty here, of the history, now you're not looking at a bottle of wine; you're thinking of this particular place, this ecosystem, this particular spot, this terroir, and hopefully you've made a connection with people," said Karl Wittstrom who owns Santa Margarita Ranch with

L

Doug Filipponi and Rob Rossi. Santa Margarita Ranch encompasses roughly 14,000 acres of diverse habitat and terrain that varies from impossibly steep, rugged, chaparral-covered hillsides to densely oak-shaded hollows, wide expanses of grassland and seemingly endless rolling hills. The Chumash people lived here for untold eons before Spain declared the land for itself and the Catholic Church built the Santa Margarita asistencia, a small-scale mission which supported Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa until 1835.

FRESH FISH & lettuce wraps (pg. 12)

FEATURE

Jennifer Best

FLYING HIGH – Santa Margarita Ranch encompasses roughly 14,000 acres of diverse terrain. Now visitors can take in the beauty from a high-flying vantage point.

MARGARITA pg. 9

Bulls, broncs and true cowgirl grit Youth riders kick up their heels in preparation for the Creston Classic Rodeo Sept 14-16 Jennifer Best

he bulls are back! After a multi-year hiatus, cowboys once again will strap themselves to the backs of the snorting, slobbering, bucking beasts for a shot at buckles, cash prizes and good times Sept. 14-16 at the 17th Ever Creston Classic Rodeo. Saddle bronc riding also returns to Creston's rodeo grounds this year, and a new ranch team competition will be offered. Audience admission is free. “This rodeo is very much about family," said 2012 Creston Classic Rodeo President Jeff Rigby. The rodeo was established in 1996 to raise funds for a community center.

T

Courtesy photo

ROYALTY IN THE RING – Dalanie Villa of Atascadero is one of four roughriding princesses competing for the crown of Miss Creston Classic Rodeo Queen.

The event traditionally is organized and staffed by volunteers, but United Bull Riding will run the bullriding events this year. Scott Silveira of Templeton and Clint Hayes of Paso Robles will provide the rough stock. "We changed from a professional rodeo to a rodeo with more ranch-related events several years ago," Rigby said. "This county has a lot of cowboys who have their pro cards. They're good people, and many of them have qualified to go to the (PRCA) National Finals Rodeo. Some of those pros will compete, but the ranch rodeo events level the field a little bit so the average cowboy or horse owner can compete and have a chance at the buckle or the cash." Other events slated for this year's rodeo show include mutton bustin', team roping, barrel racing, steer roping, team sorting, ladies' breakaway, men's tie-down roping, ribbon roping, ribbon dogging, steer stopping and double mugging. Teams of four will combine their scores from all team members' events for a chance at the winner-take-all RODEO pg. 6

WINEMAKERS get cookin’ (pg. 5)

FITNESS

STAYING FIT a man about A-town (pg. 15)

Paso Robles Press P.O. Box 427 Paso Robles, CA 93447

Presorted Standard US Postage PAID Permit 163 AMS Paso Robles, CA


August 2012 North County Life

page 2

Life NORTH

COUNTY

This summer, be sure to get outside and enjoy the the many events exploding across North County. Spread out a blanket and enjoy concerts in the park, dig into some olive delight at the Paso Robles Olive Festival or get your grub on at the first-ever gourmet macaroni and cheese fest (Yum)! Whatever you do, be sure to stay in touch through facebook. Post best summertime photos on our wall for a chance to be featured in the next edition of North County Life.

Dive head-first into summer fun with North County Life.

NEWS: 3

COMMUNITY: 4 LOCAL BUZ Z: 8

FITNESS: 15

Dig in!

CALENDAR: 10

PUZZLE: 11

Hayley Thomas Editor, North County Life

NORTH COUNTY

Life

Published monthly by Paso Robles Press & Atascadero News Paso Robles Press P.O. Box 427 Paso Robles, CA 93447 Ph: (805) 237-6060 Fx: (805) 237-6066 www.PasoRoblesPress.com

Atascadero News 5660 El Camino Real Atascadero, CA 93447 Ph: (805) 466-2585 Fx: (805) 466-2714 www.AtascaderoNews.com

www.YourNCL.com

GOOD EATS : 12

PUBLISHER Jason Cross jasonc@pasoroblespress.com EDITOR IN CHIEF Hayley Thomas community@pasoroblespress.com STAFF WRITERS Jandy Jones Creig P. Sherburne Lisa Pretty Judy Bedell Jennifer Best Kathryn Wingfield

Life

NEWS COMMUNITY SPORTS

NORTH

COUNTY

Visit us on www.facebook.com/northcountylife Follow us on www.twitter.com/northcountylife


North County Life August 2012

page 3

Martin’s on Main new name, same great food

Photos by Jandy Jones

WELCOME IN – The new sign and name made their debut on July 20. It was a monumental moment for owners Dan and Tina Martin as their dream was made into a reality.

Jandy Jones

T

he eatery formerly known as “Burger Station” is getting an updated look and fresh name. The little burger joint – located on the south end of Main Street in Templeton – is now known as “Martin’s on Main.” The classic burger-based menu will stay, but with the addition of a few tasty treats. The new name and menu debuted in July. New owners Dan and Tina Martin purchased the business in December 2011. “We started looking for business opportunities and hadn’t really set out to buy a restaurant,” she said. It just worked out that the land and the business were for sale and the Martins decided to take a chance on it. The couple had been living in Colorado for the last 20 years and decided to move the North County to be closer to Tina’s family. The couple now calls Creston home and spends the majority of their

time manning Martin’s on Main. Neither came into the business with any restaurant experience. Tina used to spend her days in an air-conditioned showroom selling luxury tile and stone. Now she’s in the kitchen and making sure daily activities run smoothly while Dan handles the financial end of the operation. The couple also rely on their four employees. “In some ways, it is extremely liberating to be a business owner, but it is also the hardest thing I have ever done,” Tina said. The ups and downs that come along with owning a business doesn’t slow Tina and Dan down. The duo is determined to make Martin’s on Main a destination eatery as well as an impulse stop. Over the last couple of months Tina has used “specials” as a way to test out potential menu items. “The challenge is not lack of ideas, but being able to implement them,” Tina said. The limited space and storage make it difficult to store enough ingredients to feature a wide-variety of items on the menu, but she came up with ingredients that can pull double duty as incredible, classic roadside

food. “The burgers are the foundation of this business and that is still the core,” she said. The original Burger Station recipes are staying with the addition of new ones, like a barbeque bacon burger and a green chili burger. Tina added a chopped salad and a blue cheese chicken. Other items include grilled cheese sandwiches, chicken chipotle sandwich, BLT and patty melts. She also expanded the dessert menu to include malts, floats and cups of ice cream. All perfect for these warm summer days. The menu and name change don’t come without a little apprehension though. Tina worries that it may affect the flow of business which has been steadily increasing. “We really felt this business had a lot of potential and in order for it to grow and update it, a name change was a good thing in the long run,” Tina said. With the future in mind, Tina also wants to add breakfast and maybe – if fate allows – a second, larger location. For now though, she will continue modernizing the building along with the separate indoor seating. Locals will continue to love the location’s patio and outdoor seating. If you’ve never been, now’s the perfect time to try out Martin’s on Main. Order a big, juicy burger and relax under plush, shady trees. What could be a better summer treat? Martin’s on Main is at 628 Main Street at the South end of Templeton. It is open Monday through Friday from 10:30 a.m.to 6:30 p.m. and Saturdays from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

MODERN MAKEOVER – “Burger Station” is now “Martin’s on Main.” The business has recently freshened up its image and menu with delicious results.

Photos by Jandy Jones

GRUB DOWN – Dan and Tina Martin, who purchased the Burger Station in December 2011, made the name change to Martin’s on Main last month.


page 4

August 2012 North County Life BUSINESS FEATURE

Ambassador Paso Wine Centre exposes local wines to the world, one bottle at a time Hayley Thomas

PASO ROBLES – It’s been about two years since Paso Wine Centre re-opened its doors on Park Street in downtown under new ownership. Kevin Rankin, a Los Angeles transplant and self-proclaimed pinot noir fanatic, ushered in a new wave of meaningful changes, including weaving live music, fresh artwork and sophisticated chef pairings into the fabric of the modern wine hangout. The centre continues to offer an everchanging array of about 100 to 200 local wines (with the help of those nifty European-style enomatic machines). However, there’s more to Paso Wine Centre than “Wine by the taste, by the glass or by the bottle.” Rankin aims to offer tasters a context for the wine glass in their hand. With more than 200 wineries in the area, it’s not difficult for tourists – and even the most seasoned tasters – to let a few good wines fall through the cracks. That’s where Rankin comes in. “It’s not so much trying to sell a person a given bottle of wine, but finding out what they like,” said Rankin. Wine tasting is, in a sense, a form of self-exploration, as palates develop and become more sophisticated over time. Some people enjoy a helping hand, where others prefer to lead themselves. Rankin said he’s happy to guide anyone who walks through the door. “Most people feel comfortable that we’re trying to figure out what they like, and from that standpoint, they can buy a glass, a bottle to take home, or open a bottle with friends,” he said. There’s no corkage fee, and crowds are welcomed. That’s why Rankin aimed at softening up the space, taking the cold, stainless steel aesthetic out and cultivating a warmer vibe. Case in the point: Rankin built two slab tables out of 100-year-old wood sourced from Halter Ranch. Denner Vineyards lent Rankin the workspace needed to create what he proudly calls “community tasting tables.” The polished wooden centerpieces – emblazoned with a Denner Vineyards cattle brand – are about 20 feet long, but only about 20 inches wide. Rankin said the shared space makes for good conversation. “Everybody sits and hangs out, and there’s no reservations,” he said. “What I hoped for, and what I found was that wine is kind of this social lubricant. People sit down, and pretty soon, they’re exchanging phone numbers and Facebook friending. It brought a lot of people together.” Rankin also started searching out artists, both local and out of town. Currently, a grab bag of colorful artwork (including mixed-media pieces incorporating crystal-infused fabric) enlivens the walls. The business participates in the First Sat-

to the best in local wine

urdays: Wine & the Arts events each month. “We wanted to bring lots of different elements together that people could enjoy,” said Rankin. “Yes, Paso Robles is about the wine, but it’s also about meeting new friends and having a comfortable zone to hang out.” But what’s a hangout without good grub? A fixed menu including cheese plates and other wine-friendly nibbles is regularly available. Since April, the centre has partnered with local chefs to bring sophisticated pairings to the public each Thursday. Jeff Wiesinger of Jeffery’s Catering and Alex Martin of Crush Catering are among the foodies who lend their expertise. Paired with local wineries, Rankin said the tastings have been a big hit. The centre has also subcontracted with a website designer, launching an e-commerce website. About 100 different Paso Robles wines are listed and shipped to 38 states. “When people stop by here from outside the area, and they have tasted some wines, they may or may not take a bottle of wine with them, but now they can go online and we can ship it out to them,” said Rankin. “One bottle at a time, we are exposing people to the wines of Paso Robles.” Rankin knows Paso Robles doesn’t need a ton of help in this department as of late. The region – and the centre – has been featured in USA Today, among other media (Wine Spectator has also been particularly kind to Paso Robles). “When you get to that level, you get people from Anytown, USA, that know Paso Robles exists and we have great wine,” said Rankin. “In the years to come, Paso Robles is going to continue to grow and mature and people are going to be exposed to the wines and the Rhone varietals, zinfandels, the cooler climate pinots that are being produced here.” Rankin said one of the best things about his work at Paso Robles Wine Centre is not just exposing tasters to new wines, but discovering new wines for himself. With so many smaller producers popping up, there’s always something new to swirl and sip. Thomas Alexander and Barr Estate Winery are two newly-discovered favorites. “I’m excited when I see little brands that are just popping up around Paso Robles and making what I would consider outstanding wines,” he said. Rankin added that it’s inspiring to see bigger wineries like Denner and others helping the little guys out. “That tells me that those smaller brands will succeed because they have the help and appreciation of those in the industry,” he said. “When the wine is as good as it is, it just takes off.”

Exploring the Paso Wine Centre Located at 1240 Park Street in Paso Robles, the modern wine lounge features live music on Saturday nights and chef pairings on Thursdays Call 239-9156 or visit www.pasowinecentre.com for more information. Hours are Tuesday through Thursday 4 to 9 p.m., Friday through Saturday 1 to 9 p.m. and Sundays 1 to 7 p.m.

Photos by Hayley Thomas

Kevin Rankin of Paso Wine Centre aims at helping tasters find a wine they like in a relaxed, friendly atmosphere.


North County Life August 2012

page 5

From bottles to bbq Winemakers to bring the sizzle at annual cook off Aug. 11

Courtesy photos

WINEMAKERS’ TREAT – More than 30 wineries will gather on August 11 for a cookoff to remember.

Kathryn Wingfield

R

epresentatives from more than 30 wineries will gather on August 11 to compete for first prize at the 14th annual Winemaker’s Cook-Off at River Oaks Hot Springs. But it’s not their winemaking skill that will be put to the test – it’s their craftiness in the kitchen. Wineries will cook and compete from 6 to 9 p.m. in hopes of earning the Judge’s Choice and People’s Choice awards, all the while raising funds with Paso Robles Rotary for the Harlow Ford Scholarship Foundation to provide college and voca-

tional scholarships to local high-school seniors. The Paso Robles Rotary has been able to donate scholarships approaching $380,000 in the first 13 years of the cook-off, presenting $30,000 in scholarships last May and adding just as much to build a perpetual scholarship fund, according to Sharon Ross, 2011 Rotary Winemakers’ Cook-Off Chair. This year, wine and food lovers are invited to join in the fun and help add to the fund by purchasing a $75 ticket. Designated driver tickets are available for $40. Attendees will step into a culinary atmosphere char-

acterized by lawn chairs, blankets, and painted barrels in true summer cook-off style, and will be given three ballots to cast for their favorite winemaker-turnedchef. Recipes are kept secret until judging, though past popular dishes range from lamb to seafood to vegetarian delights, and are designed to win over the most taste buds – whatever it takes. participating “Some wineries will even try to ‘buy’ attendees’ votes with some type of ‘bribe,’” organizers said. This is encouraged by cook-off organizers and is always done in good-natured fun. It adds to the entertainment and unique character of the cook-off. Julie Beaver and the Bad Dogs, a band known to play anything from the Rolling

Stones to Aretha Franklin on the fiddle with powerful vocals singing along, is back by popular demand to accompany the cook-off at the River Oaks Amphitheater. Free parking will be available at the event and special shuttle offers are available for those who make reservations at participating hotels, available on the cook-off’s website. The cook-off is 21 and over and doesn’t allow dogs, coolers or wine brought in from outside sources – but it does encourage snapping pictures, bringing lawn chairs, soaking up the sun, and enjoying some of the central coast’s most delicious – and competitive – gourmet samples. Visit www.wine makerscookoff.com for more information.

Winemakers will cook and compete from 6 to 9 p.m. in hopes of earning the Judge’s Choice and People’s Choice awards.


page 6

August 2012 North County Life

RODEO Continued from pg. 1

purse. "If they're smart, they'll have a woman or two on the team. There are some events they do as a complete team, but events they do as individuals are also included. Women get points for barrels, breakaway and ribbon dogging," Rigby

said. 2012 Creston Rodeo Queen candidates Dalanie Villa, Shelby Pauly, Francesca Manella, Molly Clark and Kiley Amaral are already gearing up for the rodeo with training sessions and raffle ticket sales – a buck per ticket buys anyone a chance at 10 percent of the raffle proceeds. Each competitor is offered training on personal grooming, presen-

tation, interviewing skills, horsemanship, equitation and cattle handling. "It's a learning and character-building process," Rigby said. In a twist that puts horsemanship back in the forefront of rodeo queen judging, Creston Classic Rodeo will not count contestants' ticket sales numbers toward queen contest judging. Instead, competitors

will be judged on their personal presentation skills, an interview, and actual points scored in horseback events throughout rodeo weekend. "Queen candidates have to go out and compete to win like any other competitor," Rigby said. The 17th Ever Creston Classic Rodeo weekend kicks off Friday night with team roping from 6 p.m. until midnight.

Saturday's events begin at 12:30 p.m. with the grand entry followed by all other events except mutton bustin' which kicks off Sunday's competitions at 11 a.m. Cowboy church will also be offered Sunday morning at 8 a.m. This year's rodeo is dedicated to the memory of George Hearst, Jr. The Paso Robles rancher and media giant died on June 25 at

Stanford Medical Center in Palo Alto of complications from a stroke. "He was a friend of Creston Rodeo and a generous supporter," said organizers. The registration deadline for competitors is August 24. For entry forms or any other additional details Creston Rodeo, visit Classic www.crestonclassicrodeo. org.

Meet the Miss Creston Classic Rodeo Queen Contestants Kiley Amaral, Paso Robles

Francesca Menella, Paso Robles

Shelby Pauly, Paso Robles

Dalanie Villa, Atascadero

Sponsored by The Adelaide Inn

Sponsored by Creston Country Store

Sponsored by Chris Pauly Trucking/ Valentine's Concrete Products

Sponsored by Carnaza Hunting Club & Hunting Supply

More on the 2012 Rodeo Queen Contestants: This year, 65 percent of the total score will be based on Horsemanship. The contestants will be judged on a riding pattern, a queen wave run, a barrel pattern, and their knowledge of their horse and equipment. The remaining 35 percent will be based on a biography written by each contestant, an interview with the judges, a speech in front of an audience, and their personal appearance. Tickets sales are not included in the points to crown the next CCR Queen and CCR Jr. Queen. Tickets sales are required for each contestant to promote the rodeo. The winning ticket will be drawn at the Sunday Rodeo performance. The winner does not need to be present to win. The winner will receive 10 percent of total tickets sold. This year’s rodeo is set for September 14 with roping, 15 and 16. Bull riding will be presented on Saturday following the rodeo performance. Bronc riding is returning to the rodeo this year as well. The Creston Classic Rodeo is providing a new "Separate Pot" Team Competition - 80 percent payback - winner takes all. Get four people together to compete for this Team Competition. See www.crestonclassicrodeo.org for entry forms and rules.

Courtesy photos

ROPE, RIDE – Rough riding and family fun will kick off during the annual Creston Classic Rodeo Sept 14 - 16.


North County Life August 2012

page 7

La Quinta Inn & Suites Paso Robles debuts wine label “Innviting,” created by the hotel, in partnership with Sculpterra Winery, is now ready for tasting Hayley Thomas

T

he sun is rising slowly on the Sculpterra Winery vineyard, but the grape harvesting is already well underway. The small group of pickers work diligently, stopping only now and then to taste the sweet fruit. But this isn’t your average harvest team. They are employees of La Quinta Inn & Suites Paso Robles, and they are on a mission to bottle the essence of Paso Robles Wine Country for their guests. The hotel released its own wine label, “Innviting,” earlier this summer. The wine will be utilized in VIP packages and is available for tasting at the hotel’s tasting room. According to La Quinta Inn & Suites Paso Robles General Manager Victor Popp, a lot of heart and soul went into the inky blend. “Hotel, maintenance, front desk and sales staff went out to the vineyard as a group at 6 a.m. not knowing what to expect,” said Popp of that first picking experience back in 2010. “Sculpterra winemaker Paul Frankel had his jeep with his two big tubs behind and said, ‘Here’s your knives. Now we’ll go up to the vineyard and

We’re aware that we’re in a wine region, and we offer that to our guests.” -Victor Popp La Quinta Inn & Suites, General Manager

pick a ton of fruit’.” Plenty of restaurants and hotels can boast their own label, but not many can say they put in the time and effort to make the wine, said Popp. The hotel has been actively involved with the winemaking process, from picking to fermentation and aging. As a result, the fruit of their labors is that much sweeter. “To be able to taste the fruit in the field, and to taste what would become our wine, was incredibly exciting,” said Popp. “We first tasted the blend on a nice, cool mid October morning in 2010, and every six weeks after that we met with Paul and tasted it again.” Fast-forward more than a year and the wine

Courtesy photo

is ready for the tasting room. Popp said he chose American Oak and French barrels for aging, and the end result is magic. “It is an absolutely stunning, big inky black petit syrah with nice red tones from the primitivo,” he said. “It’s a really beautiful drinking wine that can be quite big in itself, and the primitivo gives it a wonderful grapefruit flavor, which is special to us.” The label comes at an opportune time for the al-

IN THE MIX – Hotel staff helped create La Quinta Inn & Suite’s debut wine lablel, “Innviting.” The hotel partnered with Sculpterra Winery to create 50 cases of the big, inky blend of 80 percent petite syrah, 20 percent primitivo.

ready award-winning hotel. The Paso Robles location was recently named a 2012 TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence award winner as well as the company’s 2011 Inn of the Year. Popp said being located in the Paso Robles wine region has a lot to do with those accolades. The hotel features wine tasting from different local wineries four nights a week.

“What’s different about our hotel is that we are aware that we are in a wine region and we offer that to our guests,” he said. In addition, La Quinta Inn & Suites Paso Robles boasts a wine gift shop, wine-centric decorations and imported Italian tables emblazoned with wine cluster designs. It is not surprising that “Innviting” will serve as yet another homage to

Paso’s beverage of choice. A second vintage – a straight Cabernet Sauvignon – is currently in the barrel and will be released in the future. “[La Quinta Inn & Suites Paso Robles] is always looking for ways to incorporate the wine region and our love of wine, said Popp. “We want to share that with our guests.”

Stuff it! Olive Festival ready to pop Aug. 18 Contributed

Ninth annual event brings the juice to Downtown City Park

P

aso Robles Downtown City Park will be bursting with olive flavor this upcoming Saturday, August 18 as growers, olive oil producers and more will share their edible creations from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Bring the family for a day of olive inspired fun hosted by the Paso Robles Downtown Main Street Association and sponsored by local downtown merchants. Enjoy free olive oil tasting as well as product sampling from an array of vendors. Producers from all over California will be on display throughout the day and culinary row will dish up epicurean delights. Wine and beer tasting will be available as well as an olive dish cooking contest and free olive oil ice cream. For more information, visit www.pasoroblesolivefesti val.com for more details.

Courtesy photos

GOLDEN GOODNESS – Get ready to sop up a range of local olive oils this month.


page 8

August 2012 North County Life

Goodie Girl! A good dog with a heart of gold Atascadero woman raises funds for Golden Retriever’s life-saving surgery Hayley Thomas

W

hen Atascadero resident Bev Magee looks at her dog Goodie Girl, she sees more than just a happy-go-lucky a golden retriever – she sees a friend in need. Magee rescued the North County hound from an abusive household back in January. An active member of the North County Humane Society and Second Chance at Love, she's given a home to about 10 rescue dogs in the past dozen years. Magee said she was happy to give Goodie Girl a new home and a new lease on life. Then came the spasms due to heart problems. “She'd have six or seven attacks at night where she'd just topple over,” said Magee. The 7year-old dog lived a dismal life before being rescued – she was chained to the side of a house for several years with little attention or exercise. Whether or not this mistreatment predisposed

or caused the dog's heart problems is up in the air. However, one thing is for certain: Goody Girl will need the equivalent of a canine pacemaker if she is to live a long and happy life. “Her heart rate is low, and her heart is not producing the flow of blood she needs,” Magee said. “When I have to leave her alone I worry about her.” Sharon Klintworth of Veterinary Medical Center in Atascadero is currently taking care of the dog. The cost of a pacemaker at U.C. Davis Veterinary Clinic will be almost $4,000. With the help of a little community support, Goody Girl may have her time in the sun just yet. Last month, Bev and Goody Girl found themselves amongst friends at the fifth annual Goldens in the Park event held at Laguna Lake in San Luis Obispo. Bev sold raffle tickets in support of her canine friend, explaining the un-

fortunate situation to fellow dog lovers. Many in attendance had gone through their own doggie health trials – whether that be cancer or other illnesses. As a whole, the event raised funds for Woods Humane Society & Animal Shelter. An estimated 300 golden retrievers roamed the park competing in categories like “king and queen” “best dressed” and “best fetch.” Magee has owned several Golden Retrievers in her life. “They have a great nature,” she said with a smile. “They're goofy but also very intelligent.” Goodie Girl spent much of the day underneath her owner's booth, peeking her snout out here and there when called to attention. “Goodie Girl is mellow and just a real sweetheart and very well behaved,” said Magee. Her good friend Kim Randolph, who works at Heritage Oaks

Photo by Hayley Thomas

GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY – Bev Magee of Atascadero is set on helping her new friend Goodie Girl receive the care she needs.

GOODIE pg. 11

An estimated 300 golden retrievers spanning the county roam Laguna Lake Park last month. One North County dog in particular – Goodie Girl – stole the spotlight with her inspirational story.

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 22ND REGISTER OR DONATE TODAY at slofoodbank.org or call (805) 238-4664

Walk in North County Plymouth Church, 1301 Oak Street, Paso Robles Sunken Gardens, Atascadero Check in @ 1 PM • Walk @ 2 PM  In SLO County, about 44,000 residents battle hunger.

7 SITES ACROSS THE COUNTY 5 CITIES • NIPOMO • CAMBRIA MORRO BAY • SAN LUIS OBISPO ATASCADERO • PASO ROBLES

 Last year, the Food Bank Coalition collected and distributed 5.5 million pounds of food from San Miguel to Nipomo and our coastal communities.  We partner with a network of 225 agencies including emergency food pantries, shelters and after school programs such as Loaves & Fishes, North County Women's Shelter, ECHO and Boys & Girls Club to provide free and low cost food.

$1 PROVIDES 7 NUTRITIOUS MEALS. JOIN THE WALK TO END HUNGER.

FIVE STAR RAIN GUTTERS, INC. Over 60 Designer Colors — 5 Year Work Warranty Customer Satisfaction Guaranteed! — Service & Maintenance Available One Piece Seamless Returns — Seamless Copper & Aluminum 7 Distinctive Styles of Gutters — In-House Fabrication of Gutters & Downspouts

Family Owned and Operated for Two Generations

461-3283 / 226-9006 3226 El Camino Real, Atascadero

www.FiveStarRainGutters.com Lic.#876930 • Bonded & Insured


North County Life August 2012 MARGARITA Continued from pg. 1

For more than 220 years, these vast lands have pastured beef, produced tons of grain, and, over the past decade, have experienced growing success with a 966acre vineyard. "The ranch is definitely one of the crown jewels of the county," Wittstrom said. But to many locals and Central Coast visitors alike, Santa Margarita Ranch has been just another vast expanse of privately held, inaccessible land.

"Through surveying our visitors, we learned that a large percentage of the people who visit the (Ancient Peaks) tasting room didn't even realize this place was here; don't know the extent of the ranch," Wittstrom said. With that in mind, the ranch began offering simple ranch tours in 2008, the same year Ancient Peaks uncorked its first bottle of wine under the new label. In 2010, the ranch installed its first and longest zip line at 1,300 feet in length. Two additional lines at 800 and 500 feet were installed before Adventures Margarita Photos by Jennifer Best

Karl Wittstrom of Santa Margarita Ranch dives into Native American culture and an explanation of the sundials used to mark the seasons.

page 9 opened in September 2011. At least one more zip line may be on its way, and plans to expand into additional adventure opportunities such as mountain biking, kayaking and even wildlife tours are in the planning stages. "The average person wants to come out and see something different. Maybe this could be something that would inspire them to look at their lives differently," Wittstrom said. The ranch recently has also hosted a variety of adventure sporting events organized by Kristin Tara and Yishai Horowitz of All Out

Events. Hard-core adventure racers zigzagged across the land in May during the Dawn-to-Dusk 12-hour Adventure Challenge. Hundreds more navigated up to 10 miles of natural and man-made obstacles during Mud Mash X later that month. And June saw mountain bikers from throughout California shredding the dual slalom course, shooting the downhill course and duking it out along the cattle trails during Ancient Peaks Mountain Classic. "If we can create something that people can come here and enjoy, if we can create an economic engine for this ranch that has the story and the basis behind it

and preserves the majority, man, I think that's pretty cool. I feel kind of proud, I guess, in taking something we all take for granted and marketing it for what it is," Wittstrom said. Margarita Adventures strives to offer uniquely thrilling perspectives on the ranch and its people throughout history. Wittstrom also hopes to build an interpretive center to educate people about the ranch's flora and fauna. "A big part of Margarita Adventures is taking people out to undeveloped nature and explaining to them the significance of the common miracles you just walk by and don't pay attention to," Wittstrom said while exam-

ining a lichen-covered boulder. "To take what's right before your eyes and make it interesting is a challenge I enjoy. You can see this from a geological standpoint, a botanical standpoint, a historical standpoint. When I drive around and show people, I enjoy seeing them start to get it." "What makes us special? This is it. Look around," he said with a sweep of his arms. For more information about Margarita Adventures, visit www.margaritaadventures.com. Jennifer Best is a freelance writer. She can be reached at JBest@BestFam ilyAdventures.com.

Margarita Adventure tours include discussions of history, geology, topography and biology of Santa Margarita Ranch.


page 10

August 2012 North County Life

COMMUNITY CALENDAR Get involved, see, taste and play FRIDAY, AUG. 3 PASO CONCERTS IN THE PARK Paso Robles—The City of Paso Robles, REC Foundation and J. Lohr Vineyards and Wines invite the public to enjoy live music each Friday at 5:30 p.m. in Downtown City Park. PROJECT OF LIGHT Global Alliance for Balance and Healing is offering free sessions of light and tone at the Project of Light clinic on Friday, Aug. 3 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Santa Margarita Community Hall, on the corner of I and Murphy streets. No appointment is necessary. All are welcome. Come and enjoy a free tune up facilitated by Global Alliance Healing Team members. For more information visit www.globalalliance.ws or call 438-4347.

SATURDAY, AUG. 4 POETRY GROUP The Spiritual and Inspirational Poetry Group has poetry readings and discussion the first Saturday of the month at Atascadero Lake Park near the gazebo from 8 to 9:30 a.m. Bring two to four poems to read and discuss along with a folding chair. For more information, call 466-3209. GOLF TOURNEY The fourth annual Dan McCornack Memorial Golf Tournament will be held on Aug. 4 at Chalk Mountain Golf Course with a shotgun start at 8:30 a.m. It is a fundraiser for Hospice of San Luis Obispo County. A $100 tournament entry fee covers everything needed to have a great time, including green fees, a golf cart, tee prizes and a chicken barbecue lunch with ice cold beer following the tournament. Not into hitting the green? Non-golfers are encouraged to join in the barbecue fun at Heilmann Park for $15 per person. After lunch, an auction will help raise more needed funds for Hospice. ATASCADERO CONCERTS The city of Atascadero will hold its summer concert ceries Saturday in the Park through Aug. 11 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Atascadero Lake Park bandstand. The concerts are free and open to

the public. Pacific Harvest Catering will have gourmet barbecue available for purchase. On Aug. 11, The Cinders will perform.

MONDAY, AUG. 6 QUILT GUILD Please join the Almond Country Quilters’ Guild for their August meeting to be held on Monday, Aug. 6 at Trinity Lutheran Church, 940 Creston Road in Paso Robles. Social time at 6:30 p.m., general meeting at 7 p.m. The agenda includes members helping with community quilts. For further information, check out www.almondcountryquil ters.org.

WEDNESDAY, AUG. 8 TEMPLETON CONCERTS Concerts in the Templeton Park are held each Wednesday from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. through Aug. 22. The concert is free and open to the public. Food will be sold by Templeton Market and Deli. Attendees are recommended to bring a blanket or low-back chair. No dogs are allowed for sanitary and safety reasons. On Aug. 1, Unfinished Business will perform. GRAPE GROWERS SEMINAR The public is invited to join the Independent Grape Growers of the Paso Robles Area (IGGPRA) for a seminar titled The Bitter and the Sweet on Thursday, Aug. 9 from 2 to 4:30 p.m. at Castoro Cellars, 1315 North Bethel Rd. in Templeton. Free for IGGPRA members and $20 for nonmembers. RSVP to Precision Ag Consulting at 434-3331 or email terri@precisionag consulting.com.

THURSDAY, AUG. 9 WOODWORKERS The Central Coast Woodworking Association will hold its monthly meeting on Aug. 9 at the Pioneer Museum at 2010 Riverside Ave. in Paso Robles. A program about how to glue wood will be presented. The meeting starts at 7 p.m. For more information visit www.ccwwa.org or call the association president at 237-0051.

FRIDAY, AUG. 10

adults or the Library Book Club, or visit www.prcity.com/library.

CONCERT IN THE PARK The city of Paso Robles, REC Foundation and J. Lohr Vineyards and Wines invite you to reenergize your summer with the big band sounds of the United States Air Force Band of the Golden West on Friday, Aug. 10 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the City Park in downtown Paso Robles. For concert information, please call the city’s Recreation Division at 237-3988 or log on to the city of Paso Robles website at www.prcity.com/recreation.

FRIDAY, AUG. 17 The Central Coast Link and the Latino Outreach organization will sponsor a Taco al Pastor lunch fundraiser on Aug. 17. For $10, each plate includes three tacos, beans, rice and a drink. The fundraiser will help high school students in need of school supplies and clothing. The event will take place at the Link, 6500 Morro Road in Atascadero, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

SATURDAY, AUG. 11

SATURDAY, AUG. 18

WINEMAKERS’ COOK-OFF The annual Winemakers’ Cook-Off will be held on Saturday, Aug. 11 from 6 to 9 p.m. at River Oaks Hot Springs, 800 Clubhouse Drive. Admission is $75 per person, $40 for designated drivers. For more information, visit www.winemake rscookoff.com.

OLIVE FESTIVAL Paso Robles Main Street Association presents the Ninth Annual Paso Robles Olive Festival on Saturday, Aug. 18 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Downtown Paso Robles City Park Bring the family for a day of olive-inspired fun. Free olive oil and olive product sampling, producers from all over California Culinary Row serving great food, wine and beer tasting, open olive dish cooking contest, free olive oil ice cream and more. For more information, visit www.pa soroblesolivefestival.com.

MID-STATE CRUIZERS The Mid-State Cruizers will hold its monthly Show & Shine gathering at the Adobe Plaza on the second Saturday of the month at 5 p.m. Bring a car or just stop by and look at the cars. For more information, call 466-3853.

SUNDAY, AUG. 12 GRANGE BREAKFAST The Paso Robles Grange will hold its monthly breakfast the second Sunday of the month at 7:30 p.m. at the Paso Robles Grange Hall, 627 Creston Road in Paso Robles, from 7:30 to 11 a.m. This month's breakfast is scheduled for Sunday, Aug. 12. Pancakes, eggs, bacon, orange juice and coffee will be served. For more information, call Lester Reugot at 238-2340 or 8011766.

THURSDAY, AUG. 16 LIBRARY BOOK CLUB Rounding out the 2012 Adult Summer Reading Program’s Dream Big theme, the Library Book Club’s selection for August is Night Train by Clyde Edgerton. Call Karen Christiansen at 237-3870 for more information about the Summer Reading Program for

GRAPE GROWERS SOCIAL The public is invited to a wine grape growing industry social, hosted by The Independent Grape Growers of the Paso Robles Area (IGGPRA) on Saturday, August 18 from 6 to 9 p.m. at Heaven Can Wait Equine Sanctuary in Independence Ranch, 6275 Cerros Pioneros Way, San Miguel. IGGPRA will announce the two scholarship winners for the 2012-2013 academic year during the event. Reservations are required. Contact Elizabeth Torp at 226-8293. WINE COUNTRY AUCTION Join the Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance for a day of wine, food and live auction for the annual Wine Country Auction on Saturday, Aug. 18 from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Summerwood Winery & Inn. Guests can raise their paddles to bid on a range of lifestyle wine country items including rare wine collections, exclusive Paso Robles wine country getaways and luxurious international excursions. The occasion features a four-course brunch with a seasonal farm-to-table menu

Courtesy photo

HEAD TO THE PARKS – Concerts heat up at Paso Robles Downtown City Park, Templeton Community Park and the Atascadero Lake Park this summer. So, pack a picnic, grab a lawn chair or two and get into the groove.

from Villa Creek, Artisan, Thomas Hill Organics, The Restaurant at JUSTIN and Summerwood Winery & Inn. Last year's auction raised $80,000 to benefit county charities. For more information, visit www.pasowine.com or call 239-8463.

TUESDAY, AUGUST 21 EXCEED YOUR VISION SEMINAR The Paso Robles Chamber presents Options for Marketing on a Shoestring Budget, a free Exceed Your Vision seminar, on Tuesday, Aug. 21 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. The seminar will be held at La Quinta Inn & Suites, 2615 Buena Vista Dr. in Paso Robles and will address the common challenges of finding creative, low budget strategies for bringing customers to your business and explore tips and secrets to making bigger, better and smarter on a $0 budget. Call the Chamber office at 238-0506 or register online at www.pasorob leschamber.com.

SATURDAY, AUG. 25 GOURMET MAC & CHEESE FEST Spread the Cheese- its time for the Foodie event of the year. Gourmet Macaroni And Cheese Festival 2012 produced by American General Media Radio will be held at the beautiful Le Vigne Winery off Buena Vista Drive in Paso Robles. The event will be held on Saturday, Aug. 25 from 2 to 6 p.m. at Le Vigne Winery for the Gourmet Macaroni and Cheese Festival! For more information, visit www.pasomacandcheese fest.com. SOUTH COUNTY AG TOUR A South County Ag Tour will take place on Aug 25. For $65/ person, enjoy a fun and educational day including four tour sites, transportation in luxury buses, coffee and pastry breakfast and an elegant catered lunch. The tour includes wine sampling from local wineries and goody bags from local merchants. Register today by calling 831-385-8020 or emailing info@mcarlm.org.

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED Come make a Difference! Call today or check online about our volunteering programs.

www.centralcoasthospice.com P: 805-540-6020 F: 805-540-6025


North County Life August 2012 GOODIE Continued from pg. 8

Bank in Paso Robles, was on-hand to support the dog. According to Randolph, there's only one option when it comes to Goodie Girl, and that's to fight for her life. “We're part of a community of people who treat their animals as if they were family,” she said. “We want our animals to have the same quality of life we would want.” Randolph said she and Bev had “quite the pack” when it came time for dog walking. Now, Magee stays home to care for Goodie Girl, who can't handle – let alone enjoy much physical activity.

“As I understand it, this dog didn't have the opportunity to be active and that contributes to the illness she has today,” said Randolph. “If she had had a normal upbringing, her heart could have expanded and grown.” From an outsider's perspective looking in, the park appeared to be crawling with identical yellow dogs – save for the few in costumes, Hawaiian Lias and jaunty handkerchiefs. “You think they're all carbon copies of each other, but they have variation in color, shape and size,” said Randolph. “They all have different personalities.” Magee encouraged like-minded “dog people”

FARMER’S Markets Atascadero Farmer’s Market WEDNESDAYS 3PM - 6PM Albertsons parking lot Atascadero (805) 239-6535

Paso Country Farm & Craft Market SATURDAYS 9AM - 1PM 11th and Spring Streets Downtown City Park Paso Robles (805) 238-4029

Paso Robles Farmer’s Market TUESDAYS 3PM - 6PM 11th and Spring Streets Downtown City Park Paso Robles (805) 237-9254

Paso 101 Open Aire Farmer’s Market THURSDAYS 3PM - 6PM San Paso Truck Stop (off HWY 101) Paso Robles (805) 286-1436

Paso Robles Farmer’s Market FRIDAYS 4PM - 7PM Golden Hills Plaza at Lowe’s Paso Robles (805) 610-5023

Templeton Farmer’s Market SATURDAYS 9AM - 12:30PM City Park at 5th and Crocker Streets, Templeton (805) 239-6535

page 11

to come forward and give what they can in support of Goodie Girl. Donations can be made at Heritage Oaks Bank in Paso Robles. “She was pretty much chained up in Alaska in the cold and never got a chance to get off her chain,” said Magee. Now, before Goodie Girl has the chance to run free, she's got to clear one last big hurdle. Good thing she’s got a friend in Magee, who said, “For any animal, I would go the extra mile.” For information on the status of Goodie Girl or how to help, e-mail bev magee1@gmail.com.

Courtesy photo

Goodie Girl, in need of life-saving surgery, hopes to one day walk in the sun.


page 12

August 2012 North County Life

FOOD & WINE

Go fish! Lisa Pretty SPECIAL TO NORTH COUNTY LIFE

here are plenty of tips for eating healthy. Cutting out sugar, fatty meats, and the “bad” carbs is usually the first step. Eating lots of fresh fruits and vegetables loaded with vitamins is something all the nutritionists will recommend. When it comes to protein, going lean is the way to go. One of the recommendations I am seeing more often is to increase your intake of fish. Bob Harper, the weight-loss expert and star trainer on NBC’s The Biggest Loser, refers to fish as the “Protein King” in his book titled The Skinny Rules. Fish are delicious, satisfying and loaded with Omega-3s. The USDA Dietary Guidelines recommend eating at least 8 ounces of fish a week. Harper recommends making fish your go-to protein as often as you can. The benefits of eating fish are overwhelming. Some studies indicate that just two seafood meals a week can reduce your risk of dying from a heart attack by about 30 percent. Fish also protects against heart arrhythmias, lowers triglycerides and blood pressure, eases inflammation and keeps blood vessels healthy. Other studies also claim that eating fish may help with cancer prevention, help protect skin from sun damage, keep our brains healthy and even ease the pain of arthritis. Fish is a complete package with filling protein and vitamin D, zinc, magnesium and iron. Most local restaurants offer at least one fish item on the menu. A perfectly cooked piece of fish is one of my favorite meals. It is always interesting to see how the different chefs season the fish. Often a creative salsa or sauce is also offered. Next time you are dining out, skip the fatty meat and order something from the sea. Another advantage of fish is that it doesn’t take long to cook. I love to find a good looking fillet of fish at Pier 46 in Templeton or at Giovanni's in Morro Bay. Ahi, halibut and salmon are all perfect for grilling – serve over a bed of greens and dinner can be ready in just 15 minutes. A high-quality, fresh fish fillet can often be pricey, so I save those purchases for special meals. Less expensive fish like Tilapia and local cod are great for inexpensive dinners. Flash frozen fish is also very good and can be very reasonably priced. My freezer is

T

Photos by Lisa Pretty

FRESH – Lettuce wraps are the perfect solution to a hot summer day. Add flavorful fish and you’ve got a seaside slam dunk.

stocked with a few different types of fish, all individually wrapped in large bags from Costco. When it comes to pairing fish with wine, the options are endless. I personally enjoy a merlot with grilled salmon, so don’t think you have to go white if you are serving wine with fish. If the fish has a lot of spice it will pair well with light red wines or a nice rosé. In general a white wine with a good level of acidity is going to pair nicely with a lean fish – for example a sauvignon blanc with grilled mahi mahi. A fish that is higher in oils will likely pair better with a chardonnay or Rhône blend. When selecting fish, be sure the fish does not smell fishy – that is a clear sign the fish is not fresh. Also, try to avoid eating fish high in mercury on a regular basis. A final criteria for selecting fish is how the fish is farmed/caught. Fishing practices worldwide are damaging the oceans by depleting fish populations, destroying habitats and polluting the water. The Monterey Bay Aquarium publishes a Sea Watch Pocket Guide with recommendations on best choices and also what to avoid. On the “good alternatives” list in the Sea Watch Pocket Guide is Mahi Mahi – one of my favorites and available flash frozen at Costco for a good value. I decided to create a healthy alternative to fish tacos by using lettuce instead of tortillas and a fat free yogurt sauce instead of mayo and cream. The recipe was a huge hit with my friends and it paired well with a wide range of local, refreshing wines. The lettuce wraps can be served as an appetizer or as a light meal. What makes it really fun is everyone can create their own, selecting from a bunch of different vegetables for topping. Try this recipe with your favorite “meaty” fish.

LEFT: Ancient Peaks merlot with a meaty salmon plank. RIGHT: Local wines that pair well with a refreshing Mahi Mahi lettuce wrap.

SEA OFFERING – Penman trout offers up big flavor and meaty texture. Ahi, halibut, and salmon are all perfect for grilling – serve over a bed of greens and dinner can be ready in as little as 15 minutes.

North County Life Recipe

MAHI MAHI LETTUCE WRAPS ■ What

you need:

1 pound Mahi Mahi, cut into 1-2 inch strips 1 teaspoon olive oil Juice from ½ fresh lemon 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper 1 tablespoon dried thyme Salt and pepper to taste ■ Sauce 1 cup non fat Greek yogurt ½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped Juice from ½ fresh lemon ½ cup red cabbage, chopped ½ cup green cabbage, chopped 1 avocado, sliced 3 green onions, chopped 12 cherry tomatoes, quartered 5 radishes, sliced 2 jalapeno peppers, sliced

■ 1 head of bib, butter or iceberg lettuce, separated into leaves ■ Wash the fish and pat dry. Rub with oil, lemon juice, cayenne, thyme, salt and pepper. Place in refrigerator until ready to grill. ■ Mix together all sauce ingredients. Place chopped cabbage in a bowl and toss with sauce. This can be done a couple of hours prior to serving. ■ Place fish in a grilling basket and grill for 1-2 minutes per side over medium heat. Take care not to over cook or fish will be dry. ■ Place all ingredients on a large platter or individual bowls. Have your guest take a lettuce leaf and load it up with all their favorite ingredients.


North County Life August 2012

page 13

Spread the cheese, please! Calorie counters need not apply. The first ever Gourmet Mac and Cheese Fest offers up melty, cheesey goodness and more in Paso Robles. Contributed

ozy up to a new, ooey, gooey foodie event: The Gourmet Macaroni And Cheese Festival. No, you’re not dreaming – the comfort food favorite is now getting the credit it deserves. Produced by American General Media Radio, the event will be held at Le Vigne Winery in Paso Robles on Saturday, August 25 from 2 to 6 p.m. Organizers welcome the public to enjoy a classic pairing of gourmet macaroni and cheese with more than 15 different award winning wineries. It’s a point of pride that Paso Robles is now the number three wine producing wine appellation in California, behind only Sonoma and Napa Valley. “Over the past decade, the Central Coast has continued to grow as a tourist destination,” said event organizer Jessica Beattie. “We thank the locals for extending their arms and backyards to hundred of thousands of tourists per year. This is our way of saying ‘thank you’ and ‘enjoy.’” The fest aims at giving back. A portion of the proceeds will benefit local conservation ambassadors Zoo To You. These funds will help Zoo To You provide proper shelter, food and care for the hundreds of wild and exotic animals. Featured wineries include (drum roll please): Ancient

C

Get your cheese fix - Mac & Cheese provided by more than 20 local eateries - Wine poured by more than 15 local wineries

- Vote for your favorite mac - Live music by The Silent Comedy & Sons of Silver

Peaks, Bella Luna, Calcareous, Chamisal, Clavo, Derby, Grey Wolf, Halter, Hope Family Wines, Le Vigne, Niner, Opolo, Paso Port, Riverstar, Sculpterra and Summerwood. Tap It Brew will also be on-hand pouring beers for the crowd. Featured eateries include Apple Farm, Chef Jeff Scott, Cliffs, Crush Catering, Dining With André, Downtown Brew, Fenomenal, Fig Food Gourmet, Granda Bistro, Hunter Ranch Grill, Le Vigne, Mama’s Meatballs, Mondeo, MoTav, Paso Robles Inn Steakhouse, RB Smokin BBQ, Sculpterra Catering, Seaventure, Summerwood Inn, TJ’s Grill, Vic’s Cafe and Villa Creek. The event features six amazing display booths where foodies can purchase gourmet treats from local purveyors, including Leo Leo Gelato, Cattaneos Bros, Santasti, Lavendar Farms- Whizbang, Limerock Orchid and Peacock Cheese. The public will be invited to vote for their favorite mac and cheese creations. The top three winners will receive a cash prize and kitchen equipment. Live entertainment provided by The Silent Comedy and Sons of Silver will add a rockin’ vibe to the mix. Purchase your tickets and get more information at www.pasomacandcheesefest.com. You can find updated on Facebook.

Courtesy photo

BUBBLE UP, CHOW DOWN – More than 20 local restaurants will mix up an irresistable batch of the best gourmet macaroni and cheese dishes this month. Local wineries and Tap It Brewing Company will be on-hand to provide the perfect chaser.


page 14

August 2012 North County Life


North County Life August 2012

page 15 SPORTS & FITNESS

A good first tri for Jim Lewis Atascadero Assistant City Manager beats his own expectations

Life

FITNESS

Creig P. Sherburne

F

inances were the last thing on Atascadero’s Assistant City Manager’s mind. The first thing on his mind was swimming. Then he concentrated on bicycling. Then his focus was on running. Jim Lewis completed the 33rd annual San Luis Obispo Triathlon in less than two hours last month. It was the realization of his 2012 New Year resolution, to finish a triathlon. But he also achieved the goal of finishing in less than two hours — he actually blasted through the finish line after a mere 1:59:47, with 13 seconds to spare. Easy. “It was something I never thought I’d do,” Lewis said. “I’m not very athletic, it wasn’t easy.” Lewis said that through high school and college, he was overweight. In the late 1990s, he lost about 90 pounds, and it’s been a struggle for him to keep healthy. His last major athletic achievement was more than 10 years ago, when he ran the Long Beach half marathon. But on New Year’s Day, he decided he’d make a change. He researched on the Internet, he spoke to friends and he had the discipline and inspiration to make it work. K-Man Cycle & Run employee and longtime friend Dayne Mansfield, Lewis said, was his unofficial trainer. Lewis said he did most of his bike training on his Specialized hybrid bike, but Mansfield lent him his Giant OCR about six weeks ahead of the race, and the bike made a huge difference during the race. “[K-Man Cycle & Run owner] Keith Schmidt always encouraged me,” Lewis said. “I was definitely powered by KMan.” At the race itself, Lewis’ wife, Debi, and 4year-old daughter, Gracie, held a sign and cheered

him across the finish line. And his brother, Rick, took photos, counted laps in the pool and even chased Lewis down on his bike during the run to shout encouragement at him mid-race. “I feel like an athlete

I don’t ever want to be out of shape again.” – Jim Lewis for the first time in my life,” Lewis said with pride. The SLO Triathlon is a half-mile swim in Sinsheimer pool, a 15.3-mile bike ride out-and-back on Orcutt Road and a 3.1mile run up Johnson Avenue and then through some residential neighborhoods, ending at Sinsheimer park. Lewis said that while he was not the fastest swimmer in the pool, he felt good going in and didn’t embarrass himself. He also said he was most nervous about the bike ride. He’d gone out and ridden the route on his own a week or two before the race after work so he’d know what to expect. It was a much different race, he said, doing it in the morning, in the fog, with no wind. When he rode after work, it was hot, sunny and windy. “It was a beautiful ride,” Lewis said. “I felt great.” During the run, he said, he was pretty slow, but the long, steep hill on Johnson Ave. held absolutely no fear from him. In late April, he ran the Atascadero Firehouse 5K FunRun, a race which ran through Stadium Park in Atascadero and has one of

Courtesy photos

Go daddy go — Debi and Gracie Lewis show support for husband and dad Jim Lewis at his first ever triathlon.

the steepest, gnarliest hills of any foot race within 100 miles. “There is no run worse than the Firehouse 5K,” Lewis said. “Johnson is nothing compared to that.” Lewis said that his excellent performance at the race was due to his excellent training ahead of time. He said that each and every week since February, he would spend a day each swimming, biking and running. Then he’d do a day lifting weights and another with light exercise such as walking. He used iPhone apps MapMyRun and MapMyRide to track his running and riding progress, all the while listening to classic rock or island, steel-drum music. For the hard parts — the hills or when the going went tough — he’d rock the Matrix soundtrack. And leading up to the race, he hit a couple of speed bumps. First was a vacation to Arizona where, he said, he kept up with his training, “but running and biking in Arizona’s a lot harder than here.” The other speed bump was a wonderful one. His daughter’s fourth birthday was Friday. So his day-beforethe-race prep involved chasing 18 4-year-old kids around the house during a birthday party. He said that despite expectations, neither slowed him down. Lewis also said that it’s too soon after the realization of his major health goal to know what’s next, though he hasn’t ruled out more triathlons. The Morro Bay triathlon has a sprint and Olympic distance races in October. Scott Tinley has those and more in late September. But mostly, Lewis said, “I don’t ever want to be out of shape again. I’m just a big, average guy. If I can do it, anybody can do it.”

Jim Lewis gets his bike set up in the transition area at the San Luis Obispo Triathlon.


page 16

August 2012 North County Life

North County Life August 2012  

North County Life

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you