So I get a text from Madeline Bergon from Pagosa Outside.
"Junk Show tomorrow night! Come join and see what river shenanigans looks like."
Ok. I'm intrigued. But what the hell is a junk show?
"Fun things that you'll want to film."
If it seems like a good time and if there's beer involved, count me in. So I loaded up my camera gear and headed to downtown Pagosa Springs on a Friday night. Little did I know there's a much bigger purpose behind this thing called a Junk Show.
Upon arriving at Pagosa Outside, the river guides were getting ready for their shenanigans. Putting on their dry suits with beers in hand, there was a contagious spirit and energy behind everyone there. Smiles, laughter, dogs. I knew a good time was about to go down.
The crew loaded up their rafts and tubes and marched across the street to the San Juan River, where there's a section of man-made waves and rapids that are perfect for what I was about to witness. Everyone jumped in with tubes on rafts or even with nothing at all. And they floated down to one particular section in front of the Springs Resort.
It was here where they tried to surf the man made wave with anything possible. Tubes. Rafts. Bodies.
Crowds begun to assemble around this area. Every tourist and local was intrigued by what they were seeing. With the current flow of the river, it's common to see rafts and kayaks. But not tubes.
And here are the Pagosa Outside crew members...barreling down the San Juan rapids...on tubes.
River Guide Training
It's here where Tobi Rohwer, owner of Pagosa Outside, showed me that this Junk Show event is much more than just having a good time. All these shenanigans are an opportunity for these guides to get a feel for the river. How to maneuver boats and tubes in awkward scenarios when others are moving in and out of boats. To get comfortable flipping upside down and into the rushing water and rapids.
I quickly learned, to become a better guide you gotta get tossed.
Getting tossed into the water never looked so much fun. Everywhere I looked, there's smiles on everyone's faces. As each guide tried to surf waves on tubes, we were surrounded by woo-hoo's and laughter. It looked like these folks were having the time of their life. And they were.
Which means there was also a lot of bonding. This crew guides together. And now they were having fun together. They are a team of passionate individuals who love the lifestyle the river brings to this town.
It's clear Tobi has put together a fun group of guides who know what they're doing. And that's what this Junk Show was all about. People passionate about the river, guiding, learning and having a good time.
And as always, a little beer helps out too!