Still Waters: Go outside and play

No one can legitimately complain that there’s nothing to do in the San Luis Valley, especially in the summertime.

If nothing else, we can go outside and play. We are surrounded by mountains full of roads less traveled and hiking trails, wildlife, wildflowers and waterfalls. We have rivers and reservoirs to fish in or just take a nap by. We are blessed with a national park in our back yard.

For those of us who are more sedentary, there are museums to visit (get a punch card and visit as many museums as you can for a chance to win gift certificates and t-shirts,, trains to ride (Cumbres & Toltec and RG Scenic Railroad), concerts (many for free, Sundays @ Six in Cole Park, Alamosa, for example) to enjoy and plays to watch. Creede Repertory Theatre, which opens with “She Loves Me” tonight (“You’ve Got Mail” plot), has a great lineup and cast, as always. I’m hoping to make it to “Arsenic and Old Lace” at the very least.

Every weekend, and many times in between, the Valley features rodeos and festivals beginning this weekend with SummerFest on the Rio in Alamosa, followed by the Round-Up Rodeo later this month, Manassa Pioneer Days, Cat’s Classic Motocross and Ski Hi Stampede in July and Covered Wagon Days, Beat the Heat BBQ, Rhythms of the Rio Music Festival and Crestone Music Fest in August and of course the Early Iron Festival, SLV Potato Festival and Rio Costilla Studio Tour in September, which right now seems a long ways down the road but will be here before we know it.

That’s just a few of the better known events, each of which brings hundreds of visitors to the area, with those of us who live here joining in.

There are also the Dirt Drags this weekend in Monte Vista, the Rollin’ Deep Car Show on Father’s Day in Alamosa, Little Britches Rodeo in South Fork, Creede’s 125th birthday party, music festival at Wildwood Sounds in Del Norte and Kids Fishing Day at Tucker Ponds near South Fork. Plus, the Ride the Rockies cycling event will begin in Alamosa with a celebration on June 11. That’s just June, and that’s only a partial list.

There are also ongoing events such as the Sundays @ Six concerts in Cole Park, farmers market throughout the Valley and free concerts in the town park in La Jara in July.

There are rodeos and races, carnivals and parades, long-time traditions and new celebrations, tractor pulls and trap shoots … and accompanying every event are good food and good fun.

The summer is the best time to stay right here where the days are warm and the nights are cool … and there’s always something to do.