One thing I failed to mention was that it was my first year attending. Last year was technically my first year living at 8,000 feet however last January Nate and I went to Cambodia so we missed out on the event. I’m very glad that we were able to go this year! I have heard nothing but amazing things regarding this event and it did not disappoint.
So, leading up to the weekend we had our schedule all planned out, my clothes all laid out, and a car full of gas. One thing I know is that when you have eight people evolved with a plan, everything is subject to change. Schedule, out the window. Clothes that were packed were pushed aside for brand new clothes [oh how I miss living next to a mall]. But luckily, the car worked beautifully.
First change of plans… I was planning to take Monday off and leave on Friday. Instead, I took Friday off so Nate and I could leave on Thursday. Second change of plans, Nate and I figured we would relax Thursday night to prep for the weekend.
On the drive over to Denver, our friend [nicknamed] Gassy gave us a call to let us know he got us entrance to a VIP event. So, instead of resting up for the weekend, Nate and I found ourselves at an extra concert. I’m so glad we were able to go too… all the artists performing that weekend were there and each either did two songs or two poems! There were a lot of artists so it was a long concert but it was wonderful. And, when the artists were not performing they were mingling in the lobby so I got to meet a few of them. Two artist I got introduced to on Thursday night were Mikki Daniels and Eli Barsi. Both are wonderful artists and I was completely amazed at how friendly they were. And, I’m glad we were introduced to Mikki since that was the ONLY time we actually got to hear her sing on stage. We somehow missed out on her other concerts.
Quick side note: I am very amazed at the artist over the weekend. Every one of them were so inclusive to our group and genuinely as thankful that were were there as we were that they were. I guess I’m just so used to other music genres giving music artists a bad name. Most of the artist at this event are winners of the western music’s and poetry’s version of the grammys.
During intermission, Gassy was cleaver enough to get an opportunity to say hi to Dave Stamey and we were all lucky enough to find out that he didn’t have dinner plans on Saturday. So, we got to have another change of plans.
After a late night on Thursday, I got up early Friday to do some shopping [I am a city girl at heart, after all]. Dan and Alyse came over to join us on Friday so Alyse got to get some big city shopping in too! It was great to have everyone all together.
Friday night was food, friends, and concerts. We went to one amazing concert followed by an equally amazing jam session.
If your like me before this weekend, you don’t know that jam session means that the artists get together after the concert. They sing, say poetry, and have a very good time.
Generally the jam session is only for the artists. But, somehow, our group was invited!!! Even though I had nothing to contribute, I was so happy to be a part of it. And it was fun watching everyone else participate!
There were a few from our group who did participate in the jam sessions. Gassy’s daughter can play the violin so she got in the mix [she’s got her back to the picture in the Jam Session photo]. Randy also did two of his poems. His Buckaroo in Baghdad poem is published here. Even though I’ve read the published version it was brought to a different level when hearing it read.
Saturday I got to have another first. I went to my first real rodeo! I say real because I’ve been to our local rodeo but there is no comparison between the two. Nate was a proud husband taking me there! He is an ex-bull rider and has done a few other events in the rodeo. He had a great time introducing me to ‘his world’ and teaching me a thing or two about the rodeo. After the rodeo was the stock show. I learned that people actually blow dry a cow. Did you know this??? If you don’t believe me Google ‘Blow Dry Cow’ and your world will be changed. It was a lot of fun walking around the stock show and seeing all the different animals… unfortunately they wouldn’t let us touch them… not even the bow dried cows!!
We didn’t have tickets to the concert on Saturday night but we did have our dinner with Dave and his wife. We were lucky enough to be joined by another artist, Bob Bovee too. It was great to get to know them all a little bit more. We have a pretty fun group to begin with but they all added a bit of something to our mix! Saturday night we went to another jam session. Alyse and I were so tired we had to bail early but Gassy and Randy had a great time staying out until sunrise.
Sunday afternoon we went to our final concert for the weekend and it was bittersweet. We were all exhausted and ready to go home to sleep but we also wanted the fun to continue. I think the highlight for the group was having Liz Masterson call out “Gassy, Randy and the crew” right before announcing Dave Stamey. Nate’s highlight was probably Dave singing ‘Mariah’ to start his show. Randy’s highlight was probably Dave calling him out from the stage to be the train whistle for Dave’s new song.
All in all it was a wonderful weekend spent with some amazing friends! Glad I was able to meet a few new people and learn a little bit more about Nate’s past in rodeo and getting to understand more his love for western music the lifestyle. I may still like to get my clothes from the city but I’m becoming more and more western every day!