Sometimes you can’t choose where you live, it chooses you. In the same way my dog, Dahli, of 16 years, chose me as her owner, I think Arizona chose me as a resident. What started off as a reluctant relationship with the state (not enough water, mountains aren’t big enough), has since blossomed into a life intertwined. Now, 17 years later, I have a budding business, partner, family, friends, my playground, and my sanctuaries in all directions around me. We call our AZ home the “Shire” with endless outdoor recreational opportunities of all varieties in all directions in all months of the year.
The Grand Canyon had something to do with it too…a lot to do with it. Once that Canyon sinks its teeth into your soul, you can forget about ever really leaving it. So I always returned. Down the River—the Colorado River—all spring, summer, and fall for over a decade.
When the Executive Director of the Arizona Trail Association first contacted me about partnering with them to create an Arizona themed bar to celebrate the AZ Trail, Huppybar was barely crawling as a company. I was mostly busy “field testing” my products: on my bike, in my boat, on a hike, or down a canyon formulating the Huppybar vision.
Nonetheless, I was intrigued and honored that he would ask Huppybar to be a part of the endeavor and I was excited to take it on. The AZ Trail through Flagstaff is one of my favorite rides, and being a Long Trail thru-hiker alumni, I am a big fan of long, continuous trails.
Choosing the right ingredients and their sources to represent AZ and the AZ Trail was paramount. I consulted all my savvy friends on native plant options, but it was quickly apparent that mesquite would be the feature.
Mesquite trees are ubiquitous in the desert regions of the Southwest. It is a plant I had become well acquainted with as a river guide in the Grand Canyon: we used them for shade, to tie up our boats, or chew on a pod occasionally while on a hike.
Beyond my personal connection with the tree, mesquite lays its roots deep in the cultural history of the Southwest. For thousands of years, native people have used the ground bean pods to sustain their families. The Tohono O’odham Nation of Southern Arizona are still doing this today. They wild-harvest in the late summer, and take the ground meal to market at the San Xavier Co-op and Farm. We are excited to be sourcing our mesquite from the San Xavier Co-op and to be supporting the traditional farming practices of the Tohono O’odham Nation.
In addition to mesquite, we feature AZ-grown pecans, AZ-harvested honey, and cayenne chiles from the nice folks at Whipstone Farms who booth next to Huppybar every Sunday at the Flagstaff Community Market. If you don’t feel the energy from the nutrition itself, you will feel it from the hard work and love that has been put into these locally sourced ingredients.
When you bite into an AZT Wild Mesquite Huppybar, you’ll notice it’s not as sweet as most bars you’ve tried. We kept it low on the sweet and high on the flavor. Some have likened it to cookie dough and many say it is the best bar they have ever tried. The AZ Trail Association loved it so much, they’re calling it the Official Energy Bar of the Arizona National Scenic Trail and a portion of the proceeds from the bar will go to help protect and maintain this amazing 800 miles of trail from Utah to Mexico!
Check out what www.vitalmtb.com had to say about it!
Wherever your trails lead, Huppybar adventure-inspired nutrition will get you there!