The weekend of July 20 featured another Salida artfest, this time in their Riverfront Park. It billed “art, music, beer, and food” so naturally, we had to go. It turned out that the beer and food were served at the surrounding bars and restaurants downtown, and of course came with prices inflated specifically for the festival. ($6 beer? Gimme a break!)
The art struck me as weaker than what we’d seen the week before, but the prices, ah, they were last week’s on amphetamines! A nice color photograph of an aspen forest in autumn gold – actually a reproduction of his original photo – sized about 16” X 24” – asked $700. A nice old lady offering her bronzes of Nez Perce and Ute Indians, bison, and wolves started hers at $2,000 and they went up to over $5,000. The painters were uninspired craftsmen, and everywhere you turned there were baskets, trinkets, and cosmetic jewelry. Still, the weather was perfect, and had I felt the urge, I coulda got my face painted for only $10. I thought of having it done for this blog, but what the hey, to paraphrase the immortal Morty Sline, “This blog is yet to gross Dollar One.” Ixnay on the face painting.
We did eat and drink quite well. There is a wood-fired pizza place called Animas right on the bicycle race route. I had seen their menu in a local washateria, and it looked promising. It was right across the street from The 1% Pig (children were posing as its droppings, alongside its real ones: Greed, Corruption, Misery for the Working Class, etc). We ordered a Montenotte accompanied by porter and brown ale which Animas brews in the back. The pizza was a 12 inch thin crust with a topping of copocollo ham, kalamata olives, Italian sausage, mushrooms, marinara, and fresh oregano. There was hot oil, dried pepper flakes, and freshly shaved Parmesan right there on the table. It was so good we dipped the pieces of crust in the oil and consumed them as greedily as The 1% Pig.
Later in the day we hiked on the other side of the river. It was hot and Pinky and I made it by the hardest. We did see some kids paddle boarding. I used to stand up and do 360’s on a ski board behind a fast boat, but as they say, far too often it seems, “That was then; this is now.”