Ear to the ground:

“I lost my hat, my sunglasses and my dignity.”
– Longtime river runner summing up her most recent run through the new and amped-up Whitewater Park

Cameo at Cameo

Local boater Dave Diaz has given new meaning to web surfing.

Diaz, an avid kayaker by day and bartender at the Diamond Belle by night, can be seen in full frontal-surf glory on CNN.com.

Diaz, and wife, Ashleigh, took a few days off last week to make the pilgrimage to Big Sur, the legendary wave off I-70 that only rises from its watery grave on the rare occasion that the Colorado River crests the 20,000 cfs mark.

Of course, USGS water gauge fanatics saw this coming and packed up play boats, SUPs and surfboards weeks ago in anticipation. Only making appearances twice in the last drought-ridden decade or so, Big Sur has developed a cult like following among surfers in Colorado, not to mention the world.

KKCO television, a CNN affiliate out of Grand Junction, visited the fabled surf spot last week, interviewing all manner of participants. They even tracked down Pete Atkinson, the Grand Junction boater and whitewater shop owner credited with discovering the wave in DeBeque Canyon back in 1983.

“We saw this giant standing wave ... we just had to surf it,” Atkinson recounted.

In between interviews extolling the virtues of Big Sur – “a very soulful encounter with the water,” one overly philosophical surfer waxed –  Diaz, in red boat, matching red dry top and trademark handlebar mustache, can be seen having his own soulful encounter, including an effortlessly executed spin.

Alas, faster than you can say “that was rad,” Big Sur has returned to its former flatwater self and Diaz to slinging drinks. But to relive Big Sur – and Diaz – in action, go to www.cnn.com. The clip can be seen under the “Weird Weather Phenomena” section.

Partially Weened

And speaking of cult following, surfers aren’t the only one doing a happy dance. Dean Ween (aka Mickey Melchiondo) – the guitar-slinging half of the ’90s alt-underground supergroup Ween – will be making a rare appearance in Durango at the Animas City Theatre on Aug. 12.

Although Ween the band has been pushing up daisies since front man Gene Ween (Aaron Freeman) called it quits in 2012 to get sober, Dean and former Ween keyboardist Glenn McLellan are carrying the torch.

Durango is one of a handful of stops for the Dean Ween Group’s Colorado tour, which includes opening act Brothers Keeper, a side project of Blues Traveler frontman  John Popper.

Tickets start at $20 for the 18+ show and are available at  durangomassive.com.