Tuesday, May 19, 2015
BREAKING NEWS… a group of opera singers, on tour through the western slope of Colorado, have been reported missing. A powerful spring snowstorm blanketed the area last night, dropping over a foot of snow. This morning, unable to drive to their performance location, the singers banded together and set out on foot. Sightings have been reported, but nothing is confirmed. If you see the singers, do not approach them. They are cold, waterlogged and have experienced back-to-back performance cancellations, making them moody and highly unpredictable. Information will be updated as it becomes available. Back to you Cherity…
Good morning readers! Guess what? We’re snowed in! In May… the 19th… In the teeny, tiny, town of Nathrop… Well, this was not on the schedule. We got hit with a massive storm front last night and it dumped over a foot of snow in the area. We were supposed to perform in Fairplay today, but they got close to two feet. Oh, and we also have no power. Seems heavy snow and power lines do not play well together.
There’s an outage that extends from here to Leadville. I don’t think I’ll ever forget the look on Daniel’s face as he held his raw, unscrambled eggs as the power went out just before he put them in the pan. We can’t cook, we have no heat and the snow is still coming down heavily. Not willing to give up, we try to get to the car so we can go to the lodge. It takes Daniel, Andrew and Brett working together to get enough snow off so I can see to drive. I trudge to the car and step in snow and mud that completely swallows my feet. Brett and I head to the lodge with Daniel so he can eat something and I can try and reach the school. Phone lines are down too, but after about 20-minutes, I finally get through and I’m told that schools is on a delay, they’re having power problems too and roughly 75% of the students aren’t there. We wait it out at our lodging for a bit to see if things improve, but they don’t. I go back to the lodge and run into an officer with the Sheriff’s department. He says the roads around here are passable, but the power outage has closed the road into the pass. Red Feather Hill, which is where we need to go, is icy and there’s freezing fog. He asks me why we’re in the area and I tell him that we’re with Opera Colorado. His response, “Opera Colorado… well what the heck are you doing out here?” Taking opera into Colorado’s communities! Or at least trying too… He strongly advises us not to make the trip and says the power may not be on until this evening. I call the school again and based on conditions, we decide to cancel the show.
This stinks – and there’s nothing we can do about it. Mother Nature gets the victory today. Katherine and Leah go to the gym where at least there’s a backup generator and they can shower, etc. While Leah is drying her hair, the power surges and the hair dryer sparks. It lands on her shoulder where it smolders and then goes out. She’s fine, her fair is fine, but I wouldn’t want to be that hair dryer. Andrew and Daniel hang out in their rooms, I think; I haven’t seen them – maybe they’re out playing in the snow… Taylor has a massage appointment set up which he is able to keep. Brett and I head out to the front porch and do some writing. There are still plenty of things I can work on. I have articles to write, guidebooks for the 15-16 season to create and the blog must go on. We make the best of it, but we’d rather be performing for those kids. As our rooms get colder, Leah, Katherine, Brett and I decide to try and head into nearby Buena Vista so we can at least grab something to eat. Andrew and Daniel decide to stay here and Taylor… he’s so relaxed after his massage that we just pour him into the car and take him with us.
There’s no denying that it’s beautiful outside but it looks more like December than May. It’s alternating between raining and snowing which is creating a huge mess. There are stretches of road that are icy, some places are mud bogs with huge potholes and there are tree limbs down all over the place. The mountains leading to the pass are completely socked in. You can’t even see most of the range. We find a restaurant in Buena Vista and stop to eat. Hardly anyone is out, but the food is very good and we’re able to warm up. A couple people decide to order food to take back with us in case we don’t have power tonight. Brett and I decide to take our chances – we can always eat tomorrow.
We head back to Nathrop. On the car ride back, the stress from being snowed in and back-to-back cancellations finally breaks through. Leah begins to sing mash ups of Mozart operas. Katherine is doing ornamentations for Non piu mesta that sound like a cross between jazz scat and southern gospel. Taylor is mixing up the words from the Lion King and Carmen; Hakuna Navaha. Brett is making up new text for Hansel and Gretel in an effort to be as culturally diverse as possible. I may have blacked out for a time… when I come to; we’re back in Nathrop I start a game of “Hey Cow” just to keep from cracking. “Hey Cow” is a game where you yell “Hey Cow” out of the window. There are rules of course. 1. There must be cows. 2. If the cows look at you when you call out, you get points. 3. Points are taken away if you scare a baby cow. My lesson in this game is not heeded and things quickly go awry. Katherine plays “hey snow,” Taylor is screaming at the horses, Brett is holding his head in his hands, possibly weeping and Leah is still singing. In the name of all that is good and right in the world… please let tomorrow’s performances happen.
Back at our lodging, the power is still out. Our lodging is pretty cold now, but, again, there’s nothing we can do about it. Some people take a nap. I work on an article for our upcoming issue for Ovation. Definitely not how this day way supposed to go. Deciding to take advantage of the time we have in this lovely location, Brett gets a massage and I get a facial. It’s a rare treat (and by rare I mean maybe a once-a -year event) and I’m feeling like a marshmallow by time I exit the spa. Brett is upright, has a very goofy smile on his face and is moving rather slowly. By the time the power comes back on, the day is pretty much over. We crank the heat to get things warmed up and Leah, Katherine, Brett and I watch an episode of Chopped on TV – because we can - then head to bed. We are up very early tomorrow to head to our first of two performance locations – and by sunder – we’re going! We’re in Frisco for a morning Hansel and Gretel, then we tear everything down, head to Silverthorne and do it all again. Two performances at two separate schools – now you’re talking my language! Plus we’ll be at over 9,000 feet.
Time to take a deep breath.
Till tomorrow readers,