Friday, November 23, 2007

Salida Art Walk

Journal: Entry Three; Salida Art Walk
The Summertime in Colorado has everyone outside almost all the time. For one thing, the locals have just completed enduring another winter indoors and they want to be outside as much as possible. I tell people who visit; if you do not like being outdoors, then don’t come to Colorado. One acquaintance I recently met said he was a city boy, all he liked was broken glass and concrete. How sad and profound, this stranger to me, summed up his personality and life with that singular self assessment. This type of person should not visit the fabulous Arkansas River Valley. If all you like is broken glass, then don’t come to Colorado where, if while walking or hiking we encounter trash or broken glass, we bend over hastily and pick it up, so the discarded items don’t interfere with the hike of the person who comes behind us. Or if you prefer concrete, don’t come to Colorado, where if while hiking in the high country, we happen upon tundra, we gingerly tiptoe around it so as not to step on and crush a delicate, fragile blade of foliage that an animal depends on for sustenance in the deep, cold winter months. The scenery is incredible at every turn you make. Also in the summer there are festivals, art shows, music, bar-be-cues, beer fests, and picnics and breakfasts in the park almost every day. In Salida, at the far south end of the Arkansas River valley, there is an Art Walk every year. This year, I thought was exceptional. There was more art to be seen, more galleries, more artists, and the street performers, were incredibly entertaining.

I saw ladies walking around on stilts with a young tiger on a leash. There was a group of Mud People dancing around the streets with a bongo player following them. Someone said this idea, I was told, came from Mexico, I had never seen anything like them before.
There was a banjo player sitting outside a show where he had some wonderful paintings on display. I saw a group of mountain minstrels; the dulcimer or auto-harp player was unique in her own way. The Arkansas River runs through this town and has a great playground for kayakers. We always stand at the bridge in amazement to watch these guys ride the whitewater, turn over in the water, and flip themselves upright it seems just before drowning.
The evening was spent at a small restaurant in Buena Vista listening to a friend who is a flautist that retired here from Dallas, Texas.
He and his wife both played for the Dallas Symphony, she the piano and he the flute. I thank them for sharing their talents with us here in the valley. This friend is sometimes a hiking companion as well. We hike in the mountains and she astutely shares and actually teaches us about classical music. This is a rare occasion for the music lovers in the group. Also this night was a local person who played a sweet classic guitar. Another wonderful day ended with a glass of red wine and good friends and easy music.

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