Wednesday, June 22, 2011

A Concert And Wilderness Tips

In case you missed it, I was in Denver this past week. The reason for this trip was primarily to see a concert at Red Rocks, an outdoor amphitheater created by giant, you guessed it, red rocks. Brandi Carlile, one of my favorite musicians was there on Friday opening for Ray LaMontagne.

The day of the show was rainy and we feared the concert would be cancelled or else, very wet. A large portion of the afternoon was spent in search of ponchos. Fortunately, we found but did not need the ponchos as the night stayed dry.

FYI, Denver is a mile above sea level and I am from New Jersey, which is at, or below, sea level. After parking we had to climb a small mountain to get to the concert. I am not in bad shape but I was out of breath after that hike. We traipsed through a field, a narrow path through a patch of woods and up a steep, steep road. It didn't matter much, we had arrived. Red Rocks is a legendary venue and it did not disappoint. The views of the Rockies alone were worth it.

Brandi's set was short but awesome, I have seen her three times before so I can't complain. Shawn Colvin (of "Sunny Came Home" fame) came out and sang a song with her which was an unexpected surprise.

Ray went on just as darkness descended on the mountain. It got colder and stars came out. I completely understand why this place has such a great reputation. It is incredible. A lot of people there were like us, and did not live in Denver, but had traveled far and wide to come to the show. I have been to quite a few concerts and it was one of the best crowds I've experienced. Second only to the folks at Ram's Head in Baltimore. I don't know what it is about that place, but the crowd is always fun without being rowdy or annoying.

The crowd listening to Ray
However, it was getting cold and we had only come to see Brandi (and in very thin sweaters), so we left early. I know fans of Mr. LaMontagne will gripe, but he serenaded us during our long walk down the mountain. We made our way to the exit and were just reveling in how much nicer it is going down hill when my girlfriend squeaked in fright and jumped back. There was a skunk up ahead. I am ashamed to say, I squeaked too. You would think we'd never seen wildlife. The skunk, who didn't notice us, quit the path and scaled the rock. I mean Spiderman style, the skunk climbed down the vertical rock face. I had no idea they could do that!

It was then I realized something. We were in the mountains. There are bears and mountain lions and who knows what else nearby and in leaving the concert early we would be walking back to the car alone in darkness. I considered turning around and waiting for the safety of the crowd we wanted to avoid, but I was set on staying tough. We spoke to each other in loud sing-song voices and clapped without rhythm. I don't know why we thought this would keep mountain lions away.

This picture was taken so the flash would scare off carnivorous beasts. 

Once we were out of the woods and in the field we ran as fast as we could to the car. All the while Ray's raspy yet soothing voice bellowed behind us. As you may have gathered, we made it to the car unscathed though very out of breath.

A few days later we went to the Denver Nature and Science Museum and learned what to do if you see a mountain lion. The first thing they say is not to run, as it may entice the animal to give chase and eat you. 


1 comment:

  1. I have always wanted to see a concert at Red Rocks. It looks so cool!
    Kelly Polark