It’s ski season and having grown up in Colorado, this time of year brings back a lot of mountainside memories.
One that comes to mind is riding one of the chairlifts at Copper Mountain that goes above a lot of expert terrain. One section has a cliff where you can watch adrenaline junkies ski right off.
In addition to those that go over, I have memories of the guy that stops right at the edge, looks down and contemplates everything in his life. Meanwhile people on the lift with no skin in the game shout down, “Do it!” and “Just jump!”.
Whether yelling or not we’re all thinking the same thing – does he really have the stones to take the leap?
Somehow that guy contemplating going off the cliff is a bit like I feel about our latest experience with the Dads’ Bucket List crew.
We’re going to do something terrifying for a lot of folks. It’s something none of the dads and all but one of our kids has ever done before, so it could be a complete disaster.
And here’s the big reveal, we’re going to perform before a live audience as a ROCK BAND! Just typing that made me break out in a cold sweat. And to add to the degree of difficulty we’re going to do this by having exactly two practice sessions – an hour each of the prior Saturdays leading up to an open mic event on Feb. 27.
The idea to be in a rock band always sounded like a blast. While I was channel surfing over the holidays I came across the movie ‘School of Rock’ and the seed was planted.
I reached out to Mark Gallegos who runs a local music teaching studio and told him my idea. There was a long silence over the phone followed by, “Mark, Mark are you still there?” He was and had a few questions:
Mark: “Musical experience?”
Me: “One kid plays the guitar, the rest of us sing in the shower.”
Mark: “How many months until you want to actually perform?”
Me: “Practice and perform in front of a live audience by the end of the month.”
He gave a nervous chuckle and then said, “we can give it a shot”. Bingo, we were in business! From there we scheduled our practice sessions. But before we hung up, Mark had to ask me just one more thing.
Mark: “Are you on drugs?”
Me: “No. But I figure if you’re going to ski all the way to the cliff you may as well go over.”
Go. See. Be. Do.
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As a fellow former Coloradan, I have a different memory of Copper. As you know, the lift is open in the summer, too, for hikers and bikers to enjoy the wildflowers and views. Walking back down one July day with a friend, we came upon a father and a son hunched over the drainage ditch funneling water and god knows what else from the maintenance buildings above.
When I heard him say, “That’s clear mountain water, son, you can drink that. Go ahead. It’s pure,” I stepped in quickly.
“So,” I asked casually. “Where are you guys from?”
“That’s nice. Ever hear of a thing called giardia?”
The father shook his head but had a happy, expectant look on his face like I was about to point out a wild animal to him or explain how to pan gold right there in that disgusting rivulet.
“Well, the emergency room staff will explain it to you. By the way, don’t drink that water.”
We waited until we were out of earshot to begin laughing. I sure hope he took our advice or that family vacation would have had a whole different feel to it.
Great stuff. I chuckled too while reading this!
Someday I’ll tell you about the big, tough boyfriend from the dangerous side of Detroit who shook like a leaf and then marched off like a little girl in a tantrum in the middle of rock hopping with me at the flatirons in Boulder. Apparently, boulders are scary.