June 2011 We went to Salida Colorado for a whitewater festival called FIBARK (First in Boating the Arkansas). I found this festival when looking for 5Ks to run in this summer.
I wanted a good night sleep before the race, so we decided to stay at a B&B instead of camping. We selected the Mountain Goat Lodge just north of Salida. It was a really nice Bed and Breakfast. The owner Gina keeps a bunch of goats and chickens on the property, which provides some entertainment. She also allows dogs, which is what really sold us on the place. The property itself is not all that pretty, but it has some really nice views of the surrounding mountains.
Saturday morning was an early one. We left the blinds and windows open to get some fresh air, so we awoke with the sun. We got ready and headed to town for the 7:30 AM race registration. Overall the race went well. My goal was to break 30 minutes which meant I had to push myself really hard. I was running an app on my iphone that allowed me to monitor my pace, so I knew I was running fast enough I should be able to break 30 minutes. As the finish line came into sight I spotted Angela. She was yelling and motioning for me to hurry up. I was exhausted and already running as fast as I could, but I tried to push it just a little bit harder. I crossed the finish line in 29:56 just barely meeting my goal. I sat down in the grass and rested as other contestants came in. The 10K winner crossed the finish line just 4 minutes after me! I can’t imagine running twice as fast as I just did.
After some relaxation and a shower back at the B&B, we headed for FIBARK down at the riverfront. The festival was in full swing. There was music, food, beer, and lots of fun to be had. We found a clear spot on the Arkansas River and watched the free style kayak, and stand up paddling competitions. We met up with our friends Jon and Kassy around 3, and did some window-shopping in downtown Salida.
The highlight of the festival is the Hooligan Race. In this event contestants dress up in costumes, and ride their crazy homemade contraptions through the rapids. Much to the delight of the crowd, many of the boats end up coming apart in the rapids. In between waves of hooligans we had a great time people watching. Overall this was a really fun event!!
Sunday morning we enjoyed a leisurely breakfast at the B&B. Since Gina has goats, she offers some goat related breakfast items. I enjoyed a goat’s milk latte, and some goat yogurt with strawberries.
After breakfast we packed up the car, and headed up 285 to do some hiking. Our goal for the morning was to hike up to a waterfall off browns creek. This turned out to be a really outstanding hike. There was good scenery the whole way up, and the falls were spectacular. I would highly recommend the hike. I put together a guide over at everytrail.com
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