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Blues, BBQ and barnyard animals

A few friends and I figured out a really good way to make raging fools of ourselves on the river.Here’s how: Wait until at least 5 p.m. – after the sun starts to set – fail to blow up an intertube to its full capacity, and head down the Colorado River from No Name to Two Rivers. Watch the raft guides point and laugh and tell their passengers “that’s what losers do” while begging for mercy from the River Gods.Two words: flippin’ freezing.Last Sunday, three tubin’ rookies and I spent most of the afternoon searching for tubes that would hold air. Glenwood Shell saved the day because the service department’s open seven days a week. Unfortunately I wasn’t quite the best advice-giver on how much air to put in the intertubes.Earlier in the day, a tube I borrowed popped, so I went on the safe side. That apparently was on the low end of the tube-inflating totem pole – not such a great idea as we cruised over jutting rocks like kids crashing their Big Wheels hiney-first onto a gravel driveway.My favorite quote of the day was when we passed some guy in a small – yet dry and warm – blow-up raft who commented, “You might want to fill your tubes up next time.”Yeah, well, you might want to give me a ride in your two-person boat when you see me freezing like a Bahamian on an Alaskan whale-watching cruise next time.That’s so what I get when I lose my rafting privileges.Maybe I should stay on dry land instead.

It’s happening in Rifle to boot: Garfield County Fair events, Garfield County Fairgrounds, Rifle. Information: http://www.garfieldcountyfair.comThis is why I’d kick it up here: Growing up in a semi-rural part of Indiana, the Hancock County Fair is how I rolled. Sure, I wasn’t in 4-H, and I’m not much for stinky barns and pigs and such, but there was always cool stuff to check out at the fair (mostly guys from neighboring high schools). Since my checking-out-guys days are basically limited to watching episodes of “Entourage,” I wouldn’t mind stopping by the fairgrounds for other forms of entertainment. There’s all those exciting carnival rides, deep-fried festival food, an exciting rodeo and a colorful parade – and don’t forget people watching. What fun is going to the fair without taking note of all the buckle bunnies chasing the cowboys? Now that’s entertainment.

It’s happening in Carbondale to boot: KDNK Blues and BBQ Fest, music, food and cruiser bike race, starting at 3 p.m., Main Street, Carbondale. Information: 963-0139This is why I’d kick it up here: You’d think I was from the South, what with my obsession with barbecue. Personally, I like mine with a vinegar base – but I’ll take what I can get when I’m not in Georgia. Smother dry pulled pork with a bunch of spicy sauce and I’m in hog heaven. There’s nothing better than a cup of Brunswick stew with a barbecue meal, but I know I’m asking a lot out here in the west. Hopefully sweet tea will be in order (health nuts need not apply). The great thing about this KDNK fundraiser is that with all that smokin’ hot food comes a cool side dish of the blues, B.B. King-style. Bring dancing shoes and plenty of wet naps.


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