Friday, March 27, 2009


We took a couple days off from work to enjoy spring break with the kids, the decision made to go to Glenwood Springs to soak in the hot spring pool. We left home Wednesday night in advance of a winter storm scheduled to hit Colorado that evening. Early snow made the ride over the mountain passes tricky due to icy road conditions, but once we got past Vail it was smooth sailing. I did my virtual concert late this same evening, more on that later. Snow began falling in Glenwood as we pulled into town that evening.

Woke up and we had breakfast provided by the hotel. Only a few inches had fallen in town overnight, causing me to wonder how improved the slopes would be considering what was available last weekend. Dropped the family off at the hot spring pool and I continued on to the nearby ski resort, Sunlight. This mountain is small compared to all others in the state, considered to be a "family" ski area made up mostly of blue and green runs.

I arrived at the ski area and was pleasantly surprised to find that much more snow had fallen at this elevation. On my first run I was even more surprised to learn that knee deep powder covered most of the slopes. With so few people present at the mountain today, I was anticipating skiing in powder all day long. And that's the way it was right until the 4 PM closing. After a few runs on the open slopes I was ready to plunge into the aspen glades covering most of the mountain. For the remainder of the day I was carving tele turns in the deep untracked snow amidst the white trunked trees, going back for more until closing time. The best runs lay in the trees between Rebel and Beaujolais. It continued snowing all day, clearing up in the late afternoon.

Dinner at Uncle's Pizza and then back to the hotel where Rachel and I hung out while Mira and Eric returned to the hot spring pool. One of the best ski days for me this whole season!! An unexpected treat!

Snow falls overnight
Ocean moisture blankets hills
Knee deep powder runs

Float on powders bed
Glides through the snowy aspens
Pale green trunks race by

Silent sentinels
Hieroglyphic scared tree trunks
Like eyes, watching me

My virtual concert happened Wednesday night shortly after arriving in Glenwood Springs. Once everyone settled into our room at the hotel, I took off and found my way to an isolated bridge passing over the Colorado river, a short walk from the hotel. It was there that I cranked up the CD player and listened to Van Halen's June 120, 1978 show at the Hammersmith Odeon in London, England. An excellent soundboard recording with the young band playing at their best. Classic Van Halen at its finest! The 1978 UK shows are some of the best sounding concerts in the entire Roth era bootleg collection, real gems which I'm sure every true Van Halen fan has and cherishes. The footsteps in the snow on the bridge marked my nearly hour long dance party on this mild evening!

Two ribbons run west
One carries mountains snow melt
Concrete feels our wheels

Act two of the evening was Echo & The Bunnymen's show on January 17, 1984 at the Sun Plaza Hall in Tokyo, Japan. Another great quality recording of some of their best tunes up until that point in time, before Ocean Rain was released.

Here's what POPocalypse says about the Bunnymen from this time period:

"Coolness was an important key to the Bunnymen's earliest success. Once McCulloch, guitarist Will Sergeant and bassist Les Pattinson dispatched with their drum machine "Echo" and hired Pete DeFreitas as their drummer, they became renowned for powerful, shambling live shows in which McCulloch would break away from the song in progress to start adlibbing old Doors or Stones tunes. Washed in shadow and wearing long trenchcoats, they were the Liverpudlian counterpoint to Manchester's Joy Division."

"The Bunnymen spent 1982 continuing to build their reputation, and broke into the top 20 singles chart for the first time with "The Back of Love" in the summer. It was included on 1983's Porcupine, which some critics today consider the weakest of their first four albums. It was recorded while the band members were beginning to stress each other out and this paranoia is evident in the music. Nevertheless, the album was their biggest hit at #2, and spawned their first top 10 single, "The Cutter." The very commercial and upbeat "Never Stop" followed it into the top 20 in the summer as the band played an important date at the Royal Albert Hall. They were the first rock act to play there in a decade; allegedly, the venue had banned rock acts after Mott the Hoople trashed it in 1973."

For this show I wander back towards the hotel, using the bridge over I-70 as my dance platform. Very little traffic at this time of night, watching the occasional vehicle pass me on the highway below. Unfortunately one of the only vehicles to pass on the bridge where I was partying was black and white and belonged to the Glenwood Springs police, stopping to find out what's going on with this guy at midnight. Got id? No. What's your name? Where you staying? Etc. The two guys were real cool about the whole thing, understanding that I was a paying visitor in this town that is dependent on tourism. They claimed they nearly hit me when passing (no sidewalks on the bridge), but that was simply the excuse to convince me to get me off. I finished out the concert on the snowy grass alongside the highway after climbing back down the bridge embankment.

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