Tag Archives: Colorado

Frozen Dead Guy Days

DV9A9031-Edit-350x438Take one dead Norwegian grandfather, a few too many long winters, and a repurposed Tuff® shed then add in a quirky community located in the first state to legalize the use of marijuana and you almost have to expect some kind of strange party. That party is “Frozen Dead Guy Days” in Nederland, Colorado. How did I not already have this on my bucket list?

A rather unremarkable Bredo Morstoel, a retired parks and rec director, died in 1989 in Norway where he was born and raised. But rather than bury him, his family packed him in dry ice, shipped him to a cryonics facility in California, and let him languish in liquid nitrogen for almost four years. Maybe he got lonely or there was a personality conflict with a neighbor, I don’t know, but he was moved to Colorado in 1993 to stay with his daughter Aud Morstoel and his grandson Trygve Bauge.

It’s always nice to live near your kids, except Grandpa was in a shed. Shed of the Dead? Then Grandson Trygve got deported because his visa expired, and Daughter Aud was tossed soon after, leaving an uncertain future for the favorite frozen family member. Enter the “Ice Man.”

In 1995, Bo Shaffer answered a want ad and for the past 23 years has worked with a team of volunteers to deliver 1,600 pounds of dry ice every month to pack Grandpa Bredo in his Tuff® shed sarcophagus, surrounded by foam padding, a tarp, and blankets so he stays at a steady -60 degrees Fahrenheit. Okay, that’s just weird.

But Nederland, Colorado – population about 1500 – digs weird. So Frozen Dead Guy Days became the hottest thing to hit town ever. Coffin racing, polar plunging, icy turkey bowling, frozen salmon tossing, live music, lots of beer, food, more beer, they live for this stuff. While you’re there, don’t miss a showing of the documentary “Grandpa’s in the Tuff Shed” or a performance of “Call Me Ned,” a musical (no, really. A musical!) that looks at what would happen if the Frozen Dead Guy wasn’t frozen anymore.

With festival-goers pouring in from all over, including international journalist, cryonicists, film-makers, investigators, and the occasional odd psychic, the festival has taken on a life of its own over the past 17 years. So much for that whole “Rest in Peace” idea, Grandpa! I highly recommend you mark your calendars for next March, pack your thermals and plan to be the life of the party at Frozen Dead Guy Days!

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Filed under From the Snow Drift

Texas v Colorado

Flag-Pins-Texas-ColoradoI’m a firm believer that everyone should travel. You learn a lot about other places and people, and then you really appreciate what you’ve got when you get back home. Go ahead and hop in the car for a road trip past the state line (which, if you live in Texas, will take you a couple of days to reach – yeehaw Texas)! Personally, I just spent a bit of time outside of this great State and was amazed at how odd some of our nearby neighbors can be. Let’s take a look at Colorado, for example.

First of all, Open Carry has a completely different meaning there. In Texas, we’re all packing. But we’re packing a weapon that, until recently, was concealed and now is proudly slung on the hip John Wayne style. In Colorado, they’re packing spray. Bear spray. Because in Colorado, you’re going to get eaten by bears not gators and probably trampled by moose instead of bulls. And just so you know, bear spray is not applied the same way that mosquito spray is. To a bear, covering yourself in a fine film of bear spray is not unlike putting butter on popcorn. In the same way you’re not going to spritz each little individual skeeter that threatens to drain a pint. Things there are just a bit weird.

Did I say weird? Let’s just huddle up and sing a round of “Kumbayah” while we talk about some of the local folks. These are people that have graduated with honors from the Willie Nelson Master Gardener Program. It seems every corner is crowded with a liquor store, snack shop, and a dispensary. A dispensary is where you can go for your “organic healing” and to meet with your “alternative medical practitioner.” All of which is very likely driving business to the liquor store and the snack shop, if I have to guess.

Like wow man, that is totally so cosmic and psychedelic fur shur, but, well, not for me. I think I’ll stick with my Cigna-approved providers, skip the energy healing, pass a drug test with flying colors and just head on back home to Texas where taking a trip means you’re heading to Austin for the weekend. Dorothy had it right when she told the Wizard of Oz that “there’s no place like home.” Texas may not be heaven, but it’s got Whataburger and, for me, that’s close enough for now.

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Filed under Much Ado About Nothing