Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Part Two of My Experiences at FIBArk

Yesterday, I blogged about being the Honored Guest or VIP in the FIBArk Parade in Salida, Colorado, last weekend. I'll continue talking about the festival, and my participation in it, today and tomorrow. First and foremost, FIBArk's reason for existence is whitewater races.

Freestyle events award points based on the paddler's ability to do tricks and maneuvers in a river hole or standing wave. Below are photos of two standing board paddlers in a freestyle event.

Slalom racing requires paddlers to negotiate a course of gates, poles hung three feet apart and suspended above the river, through the Whitewater Park in downtown Salida. Below are two photos of kayakers going through slalom gates, followed by a cataraft paddler aiming for a gate. In my mystery, Deadly Currents, my whitewater river ranger paddles a cataraft, so this photo gives you an idea of what one looks like. The fourth photo shows slalom gates across the river and also shows how high the water is, washing over the riverside sidewalk.

Also, FIBArk was the venue for the 2011 U.S. Wildwater National Championships. Below is a photo of two kayakers pushing hard to get a good start in the wildwater race. Notice the slim, sleek shape of the boats, which are built more for speed than maneuverability.

The festival also hosts its signature race that it began with 63 years ago, the downriver, which is a 26-mile long-distance marathon paddle to the finish line. Below is a photo of the start of the raft downriver race.

Over time, many other activities have become part of the festival, including a carnival with games and rides for the children, food stands, musical performances, foot and bike races, and more. Below is a photo of a line of food stands, followed by two of the Amphitheater in Riverside Park, the music venue.

Last but not least are two photos of Lisa Marvel, the owner of The Book Haven bookstore, and me manning our book signing table for Deadly Currents across the street from Riverside Park and in front of the very popular Boathouse Cantina.

Tomorrow, I'll post photos of some of the creative and wild entries in my favorite FIBArk event, the Hooligan Race. You'll also see some interesting crashes. Be sure to check back!


Beth Trissel said...

Wonderful pics! What a fun time everyone seems to be having. this is a subject I know next to nothing about but clearly you are in your element and have the perfect background for your stories. Wonderful to be a VIP and recognized that way. :)

Beth Groundwater said...

Thanks, Beth, for your comment. Yes, I had a wonderful time over the weekend and enjoyed the compliments from folks who came up and told me they'd seen me in the parade and I looked great. That's because I was beaming with happiness!

Linda R said...

I loved seeing the photos, Beth! When I read Deadly Currents I was unfamiliar with a lot of the watercraft, but now I have a clear picture of them!

Ellis Vidler said...

Nice photos, Beth. It must have been a wonderful day. We watched white water rafters and kayaks on the Nanatahala in NC last week. What fun!

jenny milchman said...

Looks like such a fun event! I can't believe the skill of those paddlers. This is such a great way to bring your book to audiences besides suspense readers. Glad you enjoyed!

Michelle Black said...

What a great weekend, Beth! Wonderful photos. The parade looks like so much fun.

Beth Groundwater said...

Thanks, Linda, Ellis, Jenny, and Michelle, for your comments! It indeed was a great weekend, and there's still photos of the Hooligan Race to come.

I love the Nantahala river! My husband and I spent a wonderful week at the Nantahala Outdoor Center in a fall canoe clinic before our kids were born. I'd love to go back someday.

motorcycle decals said...

Thanks for sharing such a wonderful pics.. love your blog and bookmark so please update and add some more pics...Thanks again.

Beth Groundwater said...

Thanks, motorcycle decals, for your comment. Whenever I do something fun/interesting or my husband takes some great photos of something, I try to share them on my blog. It adds something more to the articles about books and writing.