Thursday, June 1, 2006
Quite a show
The trail to Fish Creek Falls, typically lined with hikers and waterfall watchers, was taken over by kayakers, kayak enthusiasts and intrigued locals and tourists Monday.
Fish Creek wasn't as high as it had been in recent weeks, but the rapids -- and the rocks -- still kept the professional kayakers alert as they raced down the whitewater during Paddler magazine's 15th anniversary celebration, which included a pro kayak competition.
It was amazing how easy the kayakers made creek boating look, weaving their kayaks around rocks, rapids and driftwood. Note to self: Show up early when you want to find a parking spot near the trailhead.
Parking wasn't a problem for the kayak rodeo Monday afternoon. Situated downtown behind the library, Charlie's hole was visible from plenty of viewing areas for the freestyle competition.
Some of the world's best kayakers put on a show on Mem--orial Day. During the past five months, I have seen several of the world's best freestyle skiers and kayakers from front-row seats. Not bad.
Anticipating a crowd, we raced, well, walked, to Sunpie's Bistro to get a table for the post-event party. Getting a table wasn't a problem. By nightfall, however, getting in line for the bathroom was an issue. Note to self No. 2: Breaking the seal is a bad idea when there are only two bathroom stalls at a crowded event.
-- Melinda Mawdsley
Ride 'em, cowboys
The Grand Olde West Days' professional bull-riding showcase featured more than just saddles and spurs. On Saturday in Craig, the audience enjoyed a soundtrack of '80s hair metal as some of the region's toughest cowboys faced off against a slew of certifiably fierce animals.
The action left viewers and participants dizzy. Hung-up cowboys whirled out of control before being rescued by the rodeo clowns. One excited bull spun so quickly that he left himself reeling at the end of his eight seconds in the spotlight, falling three times before drunkenly stumbling out of the arena. Between rounds, children made "dirt angels" before accosting a terrified goat and calf while sporting candy necklaces. The barrel clown danced like Michael Jackson and, even better, dressed in a mini-skirt and sang a Shania Twain song between riders. What a looker.
Craig deserves 100 points for the show it put on. Yee haw.
-- Kathryn Bennett