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How mountain towns become surfing towns

SALIDA — If it weren't for the snow-capped, 14,000-foot peaks and crisp, clean mountain air surrounding the surf break, the casual observer might be tempted into thinking that the giant "S" painted white atop the looming h

illside stood for "San Diego," or some similarly alliterated sandy, Southern California surfing stronghold.Longboarders await their turns in the lineup alongside shredders riding shorter, new-school designs. The scenario grows all the more surreal with a glance east toward a giant sign that reads "SURF SALIDA" in sans serif font.The letters attached to the riverside offices of the whitewater park designers at Recreation Engineering and Planning (REP) are revealing. The word "Badfish" imprinted on many of the boards surfing the so-called "Office Wave" in the Arkansas River just outside the doors, even more so. The common denominator connecting them is a Salida local named Mike Harvey.

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