TENNESSEE PASS — The growing season is short at 10,000 feet — unless you have a greenhouse, a handful of solar panels and a lot of time.
Blaze McTokerson has all those things and a green thumb to boot. He can pluck a vine-ripened tomato in the middle of January, and his hydroponic pickled beets are the stuff of legend at neighborhood picnics. But McTokerson is spending much of his time these days trying to grow Eagle County’s first, and most poignant, strain of marijuana. Using careful cuttings and precise cross-pollination, McTokerson has developed his first hybrid marijuana strain.
A keen student of local history, he calls it “Pando Hack,” named for the tubercular-like cough 10th Mountain Division soldiers at Camp Hale developed from breathing too much coal smoke while they were training there in the 1940s.
“After the first couple of hits, I thought the name was appropriate,” McTokerson said.
Ironically, McTokerson’s work focused on a couple of existing strains — “strawberry cough” and “Casey Jones.”
“That’s just what I had on hand in the greenhouse,” he said.
IDEAL PAIRINGS FOR PANDO HACK
Those who have smoked Pando Hack say it goes great with a day of snowboarding, jalapeno-cheddar Cheetos, black lights and Widespread Panic bootlegs.
“It’s a pretty cerebral high — once you acknowledge that you’re pretty damn stupid, too,” said local weed aficionado Eddie “Bongzilla” Ashshifter. “One thing’s for sure, you do not want to drive on this stuff.”
Another local who’s sampled Pando Hack said he was impressed, too.
“I know we’re at 10,000 feet, but it feels like 20,000 right now,” Jefferson “Airplane” McNugget said between puffs.
For McTokerson, creating something that’s “mountain grown, for richer flavor,” might be his greatest greenhouse accomplishment.
“I know the guys in the 10th Mountain Division weren’t known for smoking weed, but I’m happy to honor their heroism, and the fact I don’t have to breathe coal smoke,” he said.