Steve in Telluride #2: Thunder on the Mountain
Good morning from Telluride. I left off last night announcing that we were headed into Town Park Campground to mingle, a plan that was derailed by an intense thunderstorm that converged on us around 7pm last night. As menacing clouds descended on the peaks, several campers around us predicted imminent snow, but half an hour later, lightning, thunder, and heavy rains forced us to hunker in our tents. And dude. I realized last night that I had never really heard thunder before, until experiencing it in a canyon at 10,000 feet. For a half hour, lightning would flash, and campers would squeal in anticipation of the thunderclap that would ricochet and reverberate for several minutes around the mountain walls, providing us the very real sensation of being directly inside a stormcloud as all hell breaks loose. It was thrilling and scary, and every camper around us seemed glad it was happening. And then it was over. Everyone started to emerge from beneath plastic and canvas and look up with awe as the sun came back out and played gorgeous tricks with the mountain summits. A rainbow appeared near one crest, as though the Bluegrass God was telling us that he just needed to get that outburst out of the way so He could bless us with sunny skies the rest of the week.
It’s going on 7am here in the Rockies, but I’ve already been up for three hours. Shane and I crashed early last night, having been travelling since 4am that morning. The campground was alive all night, however, with people imbibing with great aplomb in anticipation of the music that starts this morning. This same giddiness got me up very early, and I spent the pre-dawn hours walking around the campground and tarp line (the folks who sleep in line for the next morning’s tarp run to secure their places in front of the stage—more on this phenomenon later) and chatting with a few fellow insomniacs. I met a guy named Mike from Philadelphia, who was strolling around with his dobro, playing gentle tunes that blended with the rippling sounds of the creek. I strolled on into town, desolate at this hour, but soon to be bustling, and found the only open place in town, Baked in Telluride, full of fresh bagels, danishes, and breakfast sandwiches. My mission was coffee, but I stayed for a sandwich and then walked back to Town Park toward dawn’s first light.
The music starts in a couple of hours—more then…