Archive for October, 2016


Dining in the rearview mirror

Posted on Oct 29 2016 | By

Tailgating is ultimate “eating out” experience 

For denizens of I-66, tailgating conjures up the nerve wracking experience of a heavy-footed driver six feet off your rear bumper at 60 mph. There’s no quicker way to engender road rage in the heart of the tailgatee.

But wait. It’s also a word associated with the fine art of feasting from the back end of a car, minivan or pickup. Same word. Polar opposite experience.

So drop the former image and focus on the good times the fall season offers for outdoor dining. Downhome style.

Be it either point-to-point races, football games, or even post soccer game revelry, tailgating embodies what makes America great; good food and good times in the open air.

Here are some libation and food pairings well-suited for back bumper dining:

Long considered the innocuous beverage of the masses, today’s beer selections are seemingly endless. Craft brewing has taken a bottle of suds to heights not previously known. The exciting new offerings pair nicely with a wide variety of picnic foods.

Pilsner: The easy sippin’ brew nestles nicely next to salads, fried chicken, smoked salmon or brats. Lemon shortbread or berries with ice cream put a wrap on the meal.

Pale Ale: Burgers, potato salad and cole slaw make for a crowd pleasing all-American menu. The medium weight beer continues performing with a finishing act of pumpkin or lemon meringue pie.

India Pale Ale: The hop-centric brew yearns for spicy and robust dishes to tame the beast. Try Buffalo sauced chicken wings, gorgonzola and cambozola cheeses and carrot cake for dessert.

Porter: The dense, dark beer longs for roasted meats, barbeque or blacked fish. A plate of chocolate peanut butter cookies will seal the deal.

Croftburn wine
With over 26 wineries in the county and California backfilling when needed, choosing the right wine can be both easy and difficult; simply too many choices. Here’s a few suggestions:

Sauvignon Blanc: Not widely grown in the Old Dominion exceptional examples are coming out of New Zealand. A chilled bottle of the light, crisp white matches perfectly with most salads, grilled chicken or lamb and a dessert of Italian ice.

Pinot Noir: The ruby beauty with mouthwatering acidity is a cinch match with roasted pork tenderloin or salmon filets with mushrooms. Consider chocolate-covered strawberries or chocolate mousse for a finishing touch and you’ll have the crowd smiling all the way home.

Cabernet Franc: As Virginia’s red grape you’ll have no problem tracking down a local bottle of this medium weight red that exhibits raspberry and cherry notes on the palate. Almost anything on the grill will work here but pepperoni pizza comes to mind if you are pressed for time in preparing the meal. Cherry cheesecake will have your guests hovering close to the bumper at the end of the repast.

Cabernet Sauvignon: The noble red is a cinch choice if grilled steaks, roasted potatoes and corn on the cob are on the menu. If there is any room left in the tummy, a raspberry or chocolate cake will pair well with the lush red.

And finally, for those folks who like a full throttle adult beverage, have gin and tonic in reserve. The libation will love the company of cold cured smoked salmon, cured meats, strong cheeses and lemon tarts as a closer.

And perhaps the most important part of tailgating is having designated drivers at the ready who will be the partygoers heroes.

Drinking responsibly is the mantra of the tailgate crowd.

Enjoy the fall season!


Published in the Fall 2016 edition of inFauquier magazine.

Categories : HAGARTY TALES

Weekend Warriors in search of a cure

Posted on Oct 06 2016 | By

Fighting childhood cancer one hike at a time

It’s a test of endurance. A rugged, mountainous 21-mile hike in the Dolly Sods Wilderness in West Virginia. In one day.

For the participating hikers the aching feet and sore thighs are a small price to pay knowing they are contributing to a cure for childhood cancer.

Perhaps no tragedy is more painful than the loss of a child. In addition to the arduous walk, some of the hikers carry heavy memories of their deceased young ones as they climb and descend the rolling landscape.

Jim Carson

Jim Carson

The spirit and energy behind one of several of these Mid-Atlantic annual adventures is Jim Carson. Carson is managing partner of Carson, Ashley & Associates, an engineering and surveying firm in Warrenton.

He is also founder of a hiking club called Boots ’n Beer. After each hike, members adjourn to a local pub to rehydrate with a brew. The club’s motto, “A drinking club with a hiking problem” underscores the fun and health-conscious theme of the organization.

Three years ago Carson realized his club also held the potential to support worthwhile causes. He created Boots ‘n Beer Charities, a not-for-profit entity, created in part by the loss of his son, Devin, at the age of six from leukemia.

The first charity the hiking club chose to support was CureSearch, a national organization committed to finding a cure for childhood cancers. One segment of the organization’s fundraising efforts is called Ultimate Hike. Carson found a perfect link with his Boots ‘n Beer Charities.

The coach & the hiker
Since his son’s death in 2005, Carson has personally raised over $50,000 in a variety of endeavors to find a cure for blood cancers. But when CureSearch’s Ultimate Hike crossed his path, he and fellow club member, Andreas Keller, became coaches supporting those who wished to undertake the marathon hike.

One of their prized trainees is Annie Gould. To clarify, she was a trainee, but is no longer.

Gould, 60, lives in Barboursville and lost her 14-year-old daughter, Eloise, to sarcoma in 2014. Since her daughter’s death she has raised $250,000 to support a cure search, mostly through walks in the Charlottesville area.

Annie Gould, left, takes a break with fellow hikers.

Annie Gould, left, takes a break with fellow hikers.

But Gould loves challenges and when she met Carson their mutual interests sparked a desire to ratchet up her physical endurance goals. She signed up for the grueling Dolly Sods hike and enlisted the support of two other people to hike with her.

Carson and Keller then set in motion a series of increasingly difficult training hikes for the team.

“Annie is amazing. She started out on our first training hike averaging 1.1 miles an hour and successfully completed the 21-mile hike,” Keller said.

All of the hikers regularly met at a central location, then motored together to the Shenandoah National Park to break both a sweat and time trial records.

Last fall her efforts reaped its rewards when she and her hiking teammates contributed $10,000 to CureSearch.

“I’m proud of what I’ve achieved and consider it an honor to be doing something to find a cure. I do it for my surviving daughter, my nieces and nephews. I want to find a cure for childhood cancers and the only way to do it is through more and more research,”Gould said.

With hundreds of people dedicated to Ultimate Hike in the Mid-Atlantic region, Gould’s dream will hopefully be realized in the not-to-distant future.

Today, Gould serves on the Board of Directors of CureSearch in addition to raising money for the charity.

To contribute to Annie Gould’s “Remembering Eloise” team visit: and follow the Ultimate Hike link.


                                                    So how’d they do?

On August 13, 2016 Annie Gould’s “Remembering Eloise” team completed their second arduous 21-mile Ultimate Hike in West Virginia’s Dolly Sods Wilderness Area. Gould’s coaches Jim Carson and Andreas Keller also crossed the finish line.

Given the heat wave that blistered the east coast that day, it was a significant accomplishment, creating over 90,000 foot falls per hiker through the remote mountain terrain.

By participating in the hiking fundraiser Gould and her small team raised $7,000 for CureSearch. The entire 40 registered hikers raised $114,700.

Congratulations to the sore feet brigade!

For information on the CureSearch Ultimate Hike visit:


Published in the Fall 2016 edition of inFauquier magazine.

Categories : HAGARTY TALES