We can’t quit you Salida

Have you ever been interested in someone who relegates you to the lunch date? Or where you can’t seem to get beyond just being friends? Are you, god forbid, the side chick?  That is what we are doing to Salida. 

Sweet Salida. Sweet Arkansas-river-side Salida. Everyone loves you, Salida! Outside Magazine called you the “Best Unsung Mountain Town”. Sunset Magazine called you a Game Changing place to live!  You are a certified creative hub. You have hiking, biking, rafting, hot springs! You have riverside restaurants, affordable housing, and killer outdoors. 

So, why can’t we settle down with you, Salida?

We’ve passed through three times now and stopped every time to take in something new. We pick Salida over its neighboring towns time and time again. And, yet, we can’t commit to Salida. Maybe we are better off as friends. Maybe Salida would be better later in our lives. We like the idea of having a hard time choosing between hiking trails. And we really like the thought of living somewhere with hot springs. 

But, for now, we will keep passing through and keep enjoying the pleasures of the company of Salida. 

We went to Boathouse for a late lunch on one of our swings through town. They have a mostly Baja/Mexican menu, with burgers, of course. We sat on a table overlooking the river and got to watch some kayaking and paddle board lessons in the Arkansas river below. We were also delighted to see that they contribute 3% of every check to trail maintenance in and around Salida. I’ll drink to that! They are also committed to sourcing from Colorado purveyors, have organic produce when possible, and, get this, only marine stewardship council certified fish on their menu! I love when we can feel good about the food that we eat, not only because it is delicious and nutritious, but because it comes from good places and people. 

We also went to the Moonlight Pizza on another drive through on our way back from Black Canyon of the Gunnison to Colorado Springs. I love when the vegetarian options do not seem like an afterthought. I love it when the vegetarian options at a pizza place are more than just green pepper, mushrooms, and onion (even though that is delicious!).  At Moonlight, they had. Oh gosh, I am salivating. They had the Venus. A white pizza is crafted with an olive oil base, then topped with garlic, basil, spinach, tomatoes, red onions, pepperoncinis. Diners have the option of adding pesto and artichoke hearts. I opted for the addition. Of course I did. It was the best. I did pick off and eat the pepperoncinis separately as I prefered the pizza a little less zing-y than the pepperoncinis made it. We had our pizza and calzone, some of their own beers, and left stuffed and happy. 

On another detour through the area, we stopped at Elevation Beer Company in neighboring Poncha Springs, Colorado, which is a 100 mile, 2 hour drive away from where we are staying in Colorado Springs. BUT, we ventured past it two times now on explorations that started and ended in Colorado Springs. In any case, the beer. It’s good. Really good. Which is why it makes for an excellent pit stop wherever you are going in Central or Southern Colorado. 

I tried the Pale Ale on Nitro, yum, and Cas had the Galactic AF. Neither of those are widely available commercially, so we felt like true insiders. If we wanted to complain about Elevation Beer, the only thing we’d be able to come up with is that the tractor seats at the bar aren’t very comfortable. Of course, we could have moved. Instead, we stayed and endured the discomfort of our own making. 

Will we go to Salida again? Maybe. In fact, I kinda hope so. Maybe we can make it serious. 

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