In late August 1994, I arrived in Carbondale, Colorado, three months short of my 22nd birthday. After graduating from college, I was working in an outdoor shop in Urbana, Illinois when my buddy pointed out that it was pretty dumb to be working at an outdoor shop in the middle of nowhere.
In response, I decided to head west, along with college friends Johnnie Z and Derrick, with everything I owned either in or on top of my car. We arrived in the Roaring Fork Valley desperately needing to find a way to pay rent.*
* True story: We did not have enough to pay our 2nd month’s rent until Johnnie Z won the weekly football pool at our local pub on the Monday before our rent was due.
We ended up volunteering — for free — at the 1994 Jazz Aspen Snowmass Labor Day Festival, featuring James Brown, Ziggy Marley, Pato Banton, and Toots & the Maytals.
We were joined by my buddy JJ, who had stopped off while he was hitchhiking across the US. We all scored primo gigs as volunteers — Johnnie worked refreshments and Derrick and I were in charge of the VIP area, resulting in free food and drinks for all of us.
Working VIP, we met our first celebrities.
JJ, however, scored the best gig and was responsible for storing all alcohol and drugs confiscated at the festival.
I know, right? Needless to say, an amazing weekend was had by all, thus leading to some lifelong friendships as well as my love of Snowmass.
As anyone who follows our travels knows, V and I are pretty much useless about planning ahead more than a few days at a time.
For a change, we know where we will be two months from now — seeing Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros and then Journey, headlining day 3 of this year’s Jazz Aspen Snowmass Labor Day festival:
In addition to the music, we will ride some of my favorite trails in the area, like Government Trail:
We will also climb up on Independence Pass.
We would love for you to join us since you are either a dear friend or have exceptionally good taste given that you are reading our blog. We will sort out lodging depending on who can join us. If nothing else works out, we can likely crash on Cassie’s floor:
Or, worst case scenario, we can camp in the woods across from the Silvertree, which was Hansil’s home for one summer.
If you’re not sold yet, check out this trailer for the documentary about the new lead singer of Journey:
Hope to see you there.