We may have been slightly soggy from fancy drinks at Ace Gilette’s the previous night, but breakfast at Dean’s house Saturday morning had all the proper ingredients for a fresh start: homemade bread, bacon, Bloody Marys with strips of bacon dunked inside and eggs cooked in bacon grease. And cantaloupe, with a side of bacon.
Yours truly made the Bloodies quite strong, so the morning flowed by easily on a current of salsa music and anticipation. I spent the morning getting everyone pumped to dress up in silly costumes for the ride up Poudre Canyon to the campground. After all, I rigged up a ghetto fabulous Wonder Woman outfit complete with handmade tank top, socks with miniature capes and a black wig that cost $6.95, itched and shed more than six Huskies at the start of summer. Luckily, Dean has a serious stash of dress up paraphernalia in his attic.The only downfall is that the ladder to the attic is more rickety than 1001-year-old men’s bones. Naturally, we sent our buddy Bligh up the sketchy ladder, since he has the arms and torso of at least three men and he’d be most likely to collapse the thing.
At any rate, I got some pretty good dressing up results.The team really pulled themselves together… Marcus donned a partially dreaded out wig that creepily complimented his skin tone. We almost had him talked into a blue, velvety crop top with silver satin pants (no dice). Clint stepped up to a white, troll-like wig and some sort of pearly white Lamé kimono thing with creepy brown stains on the front. And Mean Dean rocked a furry gold cape that could probably be spotted from the moon.
But Bligh took the cake with an impressively large blue tutu and no shirt. When we showed up to the entrance of Lee Martinez park, children were staring at him, their mouths hanging open in disbelief while their frightened parents pulled them quickly away. When we stopped for snacks at a gas station before heading up Poudre Canyon, a little girl asked her parent, “Why is that man wearing a tutu?” Not an easy answer, for any of us.
The ride up Poudre Canyon was mellow and fun. On one side, the river rushed by and on the other, cars rushed by steadily like a river. We made good time to our campground where we proceeded to immediately jump in the river, which was refreshingly cool after the hot summer sun. I spent some time lounging on a rock with my feet in the flowing water, a cross between the Little Mermaid and some sort of lizard. Then, we started drinking whiskey. Games of Bananagrams were initiated, poetry readings took place at the shady picnic table, naps were taken, wasabe snack mix flowed like the tequila we would later imbibe. The afternoon was beautifully chill and saturated with just enough alcohol.
However, there were a few pieces missing from our quirky jigsaw puzzle — like Tyler, Pete and Steve who rode motorcycles from various locations to meet up with us. Tyler hung out for the bacon-soaked breakfast and then bailed with Pete to find Steve somewhere between Fort Collins and Dillon. Of course Tyler, not a man to put a cap on all things biking, drove his motorized bike and brought a non-motorized one along for later. A small contingency from Summit County — Laura, Megan, Katie and Austin, as well as Steve’s Iowagean friends Kristin and Scott — joined us once we were eye deep in whiskey and mischief. The dudes also arrived later in the afternoon, delivering precious gifts of Tequila, wine and of course, their lovely selves.
At some point, we set up our little tent village (we had two sites, but somehow decided to put most of our abodes on top of each other). We goofed off, eating tequila saturated cantaloupe, taking pictures, chatting and drinking.
Eventually shade crept into camp and hunger took over. Food was calling us all like a generous man with a winning lottery ticket. I tried to leave with my underwear hanging out of my pant leg… guess I should have saved some tequila for other people.
So we rode up the canyon “four miles” to Mishawaka for some grub (and booze). Not a bad spot: the venue is perched in the Ponderosas, right over the river. While we ate, we watched some random dude climbing a jumble of boulders on the opposite side of the water. Although we generally agreed he might be on drugs (he had no shoes and an odd manner), it looked fun. As cooler wind blew off the river, I began to feel (more) excited for the concert — March Fourth, a circus-themed marching band type that was sure to be just as fun to shake our tailfeathers to as to watch. At an adjacent table, a sweet girl named Chelsea was giving free paint tattoos. Laura got a big, beautiful flower on her back, and I received some gorgeous Aspen leaves across my chest. Kathrine also got painted, but the alcohol has since erased from my mind what I’m sure was a swell piece of artwork.
And then the concert began. We crowded into a dirt square, vodka tonics and beers in hand. The opening band — A. Tom Collins with MurderARRS — was fun and high energy, ska mixed with marching band mixed with joyous noise. Their keyboardist got warm at one point and pulled his pants down around his ankles.We bounded around until March Forth hit the stage, and then we jumped and bounced some more. Everyone on stage had a ridiculous outfit; a couple members on stilts whirled around the front, one man on stilts lifting a stilted woman in fantastic stockings around and up over his head. A tiny girl in fishnet tights wailed on the drums. Band members roamed the crowd; we whirled and danced until the stars made their way across the sky. Darkness and music, joy and dancing and all of it covered in an alcohol haze.
By the time we made it home, it was at least 1 a.m. Needless to say, we slept in and then were treated to a swell breakfast of thick, luscious bacon, homemade pancakes with real maple syrup and french pressed coffee. Thanks to Emily for organizing — and cooking — such a scrumptious affair!
After leisurely breakfast in the already bright sunshine, we retired to shady spots or to the cool of the river. Steve, Scott, Kristen and company jumped off rocks into the river while Clint, Kathrine, Bligh, Dean and I played frisbee. Rather, Clint, Kathrine, Bligh and Dean played frisbee while I launched a frisbee-like object repeatedly at the river or into bushes. We packed up our stuff finally, back into bags and BOB and onto bikes. One last dip in the river before we headed down the canyon, during which I was baptized by Bligh and washed clean of all my sins (we’ll see if that worked).
Back in civilization again, we made a stop for grub and caffeine at the beautiful Bellvue Bean. Sitting outside surrounded by bikes and people, sipping on good espresso, watermelon spearmint Italian ice and a turkey, guacamole, garlic olive oil, tomato sandwich may have been pure heaven. Either that, or the nap on Dean’s porch later on. Or maybe just the whole entire event. My only question is: when can we do it again?