I am attracted to colorful walls, or maybe it is just color in general. I am color blind, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t see color. I just have problems deciphering between blue and purple, and green and red. When they bust out the chart with the colorful dots, I can’t see anything past the first card. I see color and I run to it like a mosquito to a bug zapper.
I have to say, this is one colorful town. There seems to be a mural around every corner, and the streets are lined with bars, art galleries and coffee shops. There is a beautiful park right along the river, as well as a really cool amphitheater that I would love to sit in and listen to some music. While camping just outside the city, a gentleman hanging out by the boat ramp at the Bighorn Sheep Canyon campground approached me and asked if I was from out of town. He said it was because I was taking pictures like I had never seen the mountains before. I just told him I’m always taking pictures. He replied “Oh, your one of those..”
I made several attempts to make my departure and get out of the conversation, but he had that masterful ability to hold me in the conversation, he was that guy that just doesn’t pick up on the uncomfortableness, or he just doesn’t care. Long story short: He informed me that Salida is home to the nation’s oldest whitewater festival, the yearly FIBArk. The festival coincides with an annual whitewater rafting race that has been going on since 1949. Originally the race started in the Arkansas River in Salida and was a 57 mile course culminating in Canon City by way of the Royal Gorge Canyon. Due to treacherous conditions over the years, caused by heavy spring runoff, the race was shortened to its current length 27.7 miles from Salida to Cotopaxi.
I suppose this is really an ad for Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer, and I’m not sure if that disqualifies it from being street art or not, but I like it. I’m not sure what the rules are regarding this, but to be honest, I’ve never been much for rules anyway. I like the fact that it’s painted on the wall, I think the beer cans in place of kayaks is a clever twist. The Arkansas River runs right through the center of town, so this fits right in. The whole town is actually covered with painted walls similar to this. We didn’t stay long, but I get the feeling we’ll be back. It’s just that kind of town.