Sunday, June 19, 2022 @ 6:00 PM in General Travel
Even though Sam is eight month's pregnant, we still wanted to get out for one last adventure weekend while we could. Greg, Mattie and Aaron were all planning on going up to Salida for the FibARK festival (First in Boating on the Arkansas) so we joined up with them for the trip. The festival takes place on the Arkansas river in Salida where there are activities all weekend. The one even we were really excited for was the Hooligan race which is where people build their own rafts and try to float down the river without their craft falling apart.
Sam took Friday off from work so we packed the truck up with all our camping gear and a ridiculous amount of food and then left Santa Fe around 9:30 in the morning. Greg, Mattie and Aaron had gone up there on Thursday to secure a camping spot, so we weren't in a rush to try and take care of that. We rolled into Salida a little before 1 in the afternoon and decided to get lunch there. We had pizza at Amicas, where Aaron and his buddy Steve met up with us.
After lunch, we met up with Greg and Mattie by the river and watched some of the activities taking place. There were a lot of kayakers practicing for the freestyle event which would take place on Saturday. It was pretty neat watching them do flips and rolls in the big rapid right in town. We had some beer by the river and watched Greg take his inflatable kayak out so he could try and ride a smaller rapid. The boat ended up getting filled with water and flipping. Fortunately there weren't really that many people around to witness it, lol.
It started to thunder and lightning so me, Sam, Aaron and Steve decided to bail and head back up to the campsite so we could get our setup put together. We somehow fit Aaron and Steve's bikes on the truck and got them in the cab as well. On the drive up to the campsite, it started raining really hard. Steve remembered he left a window open in his camper (directly above his bed), so we booked it up there so he could get it closed. Fortunately his stuff wasn't too soaked.
We set up our camp and then had dinner while waiting for Greg and Mattie to come back from town. It got pretty cold and windy so we hung out in Aaron's truck for a little while. When Greg and Mattie showed up, they started a fire in their Solo stove and we hung out there until we were ready for bed. It got really windy and rained a few times that night which meant I didn't get great sleep. I still woke up around 6:15 in the morning so I got started with coffee. We brought stuff to make breakfast burritos which was really nice on a chilly and damp morning.
There wasn't a real plan aside from Sam and I trying to squeeze a hike in. We decided it would be easiest to head into town and hike around there. That way, we could park the vehicles somewhere near town so we wouldn't be too far from the festival. Aaron and Greg rode to town on their mountain bikes while we drove down. We parked right next to the river and set out to do a hike up and down S Mountain. The hike was only about 3.5 miles but got you some really nice views of the town. While up hiking, it sprinkled on us a little bit but nothing too bad yet.
We had lunch at the cars by the river when Aaron text me and told me to come to the Boathouse Cantina for a birthday shot (my birthday was going to be in two days). I went over there and had a shot of Mezcal and a beer. While there, it started to down pour again so we hung out there for a few while Sam and Max were in the truck. When the rain let up slightly, I ran out to the truck where we waited until it was sprinkling enough to feel OK about going and hanging out by the river again.
Greg had a spot he really wanted to watch the Hooligan race at, so we got situated there around 3pm (the hooligan race didn't start until 5:30). We left a few times to drop Max off, get some ice cream and more booze. The last time we returned with some booze, it had really filled up and people started giving us the stink eye even though we'd been there for a few hours already.
We watched the freestyle kayak competition which was taking place before the Hooligan race. Before the Hooligan race started, they brought out a gigantic bike ramp so BMXers could do tricks off of it into the water. Some of the people were able to pull off some extremely cool tricks. The Hooligan race had several heats of four rafts each. Most of them fell apart long before they hit the rapid we were waiting by. It was still really funny to watch what was left of the rafts try to navigate the rapids. I took an obscene amount of pics during the hooligan race, so be sure to check out the full photo gallery for all the action.
After the race ended, we met up with Maggie and decided to go back to the campsite for dinner instead of having it in town. Steve has a really cool camper which actually has a microwave in it, so he was able to warm up our lasagna for dinner which was very cool. It started raining again so we went back into Aaron's van and hung out for a while before finally calling it an early night. We had a lot more wind come through overnight (fortunately no real rain), but the wind was really blowing our canopy around and kept me up for most of the night.
In the morning, we had more coffee and breakfast burritos before slowly starting to tear down camp. Greg and I decided we'd ride down to town and meet up with everyone else before heading home. Our campsite was right next to a really nice trail system that went right into town. We rode Beasway, Rumba, Cottonwood and Chicken Dinner. It took me a little while to shake the lack of sleep and hangover, but the trail was really fun.
Sam and I had lunch at the Boathouse Cantina before driving home. Greg and Aaron had left a little bit before us in his van and we joked that Greg was bad luck and Aaron should be careful with his van. Greg has had a lot of issues getting stranded in his camper van in the past. Unfortunately, we got a call from Greg when we were about 20 minutes outside of Alamosa. Aaron's van shut down when they got to town and it wouldn't start back up. Greg had work travel on Monday so couldn't afford to miss it. We picked up Greg and loaded up the truck with all his stuff while Aaron was waiting on a mechanic to get back with him.
He was pretty sure the alternator had given out which was causing the battery not to charge. This meant there was a cascade of errors and problems. Aaron was ready to spend the night there while waiting for mechanics to show up, but fortunately found an alternator in town and was able to install it himself. This probably saved him a day of wasted time and several hundred dollars!
We got back to Santa Fe in the midst of a huge monsoon storm. We had to wait to unpack a little while, but were definitely not going to complain about any rain. The trip as a whole was a lot of fun. It was a lot of things rolled into one (almost Father's day for me, my birthday weekend and our last outing for a while due to a baby almost here). If we do FibARK again, we'll probably aim to camp in town so we don't have to drive back and forth so much.
Posted from: United States