Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Traveling to Telluride

Early last week, BalletCollective (all seven dancers, plus Brandon - lighting designer, and, of course, Troy) boarded a plane en route to Denver, Colorado followed by a quick transfer to Montrose, where we were to be shuttled an hour and a half to our home sweet home for the week, on Wilson Mesa outside of Telluride, for our first summer residency!

BalletCollective has always wanted to have a summer residency so when we were asked to come to Colorado, it was perfect. The thought of having the opportunity to be in a breath taking place such as Telluride, surrounded by nature, endless outdoorsy activities at our reach (to take advantage of after or in-between our rehearsals), and for Troy to get to create, and the company to rehearse and perform - was a dream come true.

Room with a View
Photo By Ashley Laracey
"Welcome to Colorado", the Captain announced. We quickly jumped off the plane and were immediately out of breath as the altitude in Montrose is just over 5000 feet. After grabbing some water  at the concession located near baggage claim (supposedly to avoid altitude sickness one should drink tons of water) and collecting all our checked bags (yay they all made it!), we piled into the waiting 10 passenger van and began our journey to the Mesa. Upon arriving at Wilson Mesa, elevation over 8000 feet (located just 30 minutes outside the town of Telluride), we were all blown away by the beauty of the massive landscapes unique to Colorado. Waterfalls, large reddish rock, deer grazing in the fields, and the occasional brown bear or elk were our entertainment for the week. We were living in a National Geographic magazine or, even more, a NGC episode in high definition! It was truly unbelievable.

The house up on Wilson Mesa was generously donated for the week to BalletCollective. Just so happens it is home to one of our dancers, Harrison Coll, and his parents. It is their family home that they frequent often and for many weeks at a time most summers, winter and spring breaks. Harrison was in his childhood vacation home and definitely ready to be our tour guide for the week! He made our stay memorable and full of adventure! We are very thankful to him and his parents for their generosity. More on our adventures to come...

After receiving the grand tour of the "cabin" house, and everyone finding their new rooms, we began preparing our first meal on tour as a BalletCollective family. (The Coll's so kindly stocked the fridge with enough food for all nine of us for a few days, so we didn't have to make another trip into town for groceries after our 12 hour travel day.) Troy and some of the dancers cooked and a few us, including me, were the "Dish Queens". We had steaks, sweet potatoes, salad, and zucchini! It was delicious. We toasted with non-alcoholic beverages, as it is advisable to refrain from consuming alcohol (or other dehydrating liquids) your first few nights as it makes getting over the altitude sickness and adjustment to it harder. After a quick clean up we headed to the fire pit for S'mores and banter!

Soon the stars we shinning, shooting stars were shooting. We settled in for the night after everyone had witnessed a lucky shooting star! The adventures are just beginning...

1 comment:

  1. Enjoy the moment Ashley! But understand that sometimes altititude sickness sets in to flatlanders who come to the high country; don't ignore the symptoms, and if you get headaches, or extreme chest congestion, seek medical help ASAP; Sadly, I haven't been to Colorado since I was hit by High Altitude Edema in 1986