Day 6: Santa Fe to Steamboat
I woke on Wednesday to an unwelcome surprise. Our tour manager woke up terribly sick, and we soon determined that he wouldn’t be able to travel with us to Steamboat Springs, the next stop on our tour. Without our reliable tour manager, responsibility feel to the regular Glee Club manager and some other assistant managers.
Even without our tour manager, we managed to get on the road on time. I was still tired, so although I tried to read Faulkner, I quickly fell asleep. When I woke up, we were approaching Pueblo, where we stopped for lunch. While we ate our Subway sandwiches, I found out that the three other sick members had gone with our tour manager to a buffet a day ago, and had all acquired food poisoning.
As the bus continued on its way to Steamboat Springs, I continued to sleep and listen to music. At some point, we started to watch “Kill Bill Vol. I,” which I found incredibly violent, but also kind of interesting stylistically. I’m not very familiar with “grindhouse cinema,” and I think I would have gotten more out of the film if I was aware of the tropes Tarantino references. The movie ended about an hour before we pulled into the parking lot next to the Strings Pavilion, the venue for our concert that evening. As I got off the bus and hauled my bags into the building, I suddenly had a splitting headache. I wasn’t sure if it was the altitude, the exercise, the prolonged sitting, illness, or a combination of all four, but I drank a lot of water and that seemed to help a bit.
We rehearsed for about an hour, and a few people took some oxygen in order to adjust to the altitude. I noticed that I had to breathe more often at elevation, and beside that, I still had a bit of a headache. However, after rehearsal, we had a delicious pizza dinner (barbecue chicken and sausage and pineapple) and I took some ibuprofen, and by the time the concert rolled around at 7:30 PM, I was feeling pretty good. The concert went pretty well. We were off book for almost all our songs, but did mess up the timing on the Byrd Mass in the Gloria section. I think the choir really missed those singers who couldn’t perform because of illness.
After the concert, we were picked up by our host and drove to their house, which was about a twenty minute drive west and up a mountain. It was still snowing pretty heavily, so we couldn’t see much, but those of us who were going skiing the next day watched the snow with anticipation.
Day 7: Steamboat’s Springs
Thursday was a free day in Steamboat, and many of the Glee Club members took the opportunity of cheap lift tickets and rentals to go skiing. I had some work to do, so I went with our host into town for a diner breakfast of Huevos Rancheros, then walked to a bookstore called “Off the Beaten Bath” to look for a course book. Unfortunately, this book came out a couple of years ago, so I was unable to find it there. I proceeded to the Bud Werner Memorial Library, where I did some reading and sent a few emails out. All the while, snow continued to fall outside; fat, wet flakes that stick in your hair and crunch underfoot.
Around 1 PM, we left the library to go to the Strawberry Park Hot Springs, natural hot springs up in the mountains. The drive there and back was a little scary; the snow fell almost constantly, obscuring the road and making it quite slippery. We even passed an SUV which had slid off the road as we drove in. However, the hot springs themselves were rather relaxing. There were three pools: hot, warm, and cold. Although I did jump in the cold one for just a few seconds, I spent most of my time in the hot and warm pools. It was quite relaxing, and I enjoyed talking to my fellow Glee Club members about music, pop culture, classes, and even theology.
That last topic was the beginning of a rather strange encounter. There were two men who were in the warm pool with us. When one of them overheard our conversation, they chimed in, saying “What about Jesus?” He went on to explain how Jesus had washed his feet and put the fire of the Holy Spirit in him. He was periodically backed up by his counterpart, who mainly echoed whatever he was saying. Based on my previous experiences with people using marijuana, it was fairly clear that they were stoned. Eventually, we figured out that the only way we were going to end the conversation was by praying with them. They grabbed onto one of the Glee Club members in a partial hug, and prayed for the fire of the Holy Spirit to come down, both in English and in tongues. After we had finished praying, we quickly retreated to the hot tub, where we debated whether they were drunk, high, and/or Pentecostal. At times it seemed like it was all a big joke to them, but the first man seemed surprisingly knowledgeable about Scripture. Eventually, we decided that they were all three, and washed our worries away with a game of Marco Polo.
Upon arriving back in town, we went to a burger joint with our host, where I ordered a milkshake and a large bacon cheeseburger. I hadn’t eaten anything since our brunch earlier in the day, so I enjoyed this meal greatly. After dinner we picked up the other Glee Club member staying with us, who had gone to the hot springs later in the day, and drove back to the host’s house for a game of scrabble, hot chocolate, and March Madness. This was really quite a relaxing day, and although I did work earlier in the morning, I enjoyed the break before our next day, when we would be driving to Denver for our final concert.