All settled in at the Ewok condo village, it’s time to get busy performing and hiking!
Our condo is located one mile from the northern edge of Heavenly Mountain Resort. Heavenly is a massive operation with 97 runs, 33 lifts, and nearly 4,000 feet of sweet vertical drop. But, as Wikipedia points out, pop singer-turned-Congressman Sony Bono had his own distinctly NOT Heavenly experience at the resort in 1998 when he collided with a tree while skiing at a high rate of speed. My rate of speed while hiking the first two days on the resort’s trails posed no equivalent danger. The only menace I encountered was four deer grazing on what must have been truly awesome shrubbery. They held their ground until I was less than 20 feet away. For a brief moment, the thought of a new reality TV show crossed my mind: When Deer Attack! There was no attack; there will be no show.
|Deer and their shrubbery!|
Now on to the raison d’être au Lac Tahoe! That’s French for “I’m supposed to be working!”
The show, Forever Plaid, is a jukebox musical telling the story of a singing quartet come back to life 52 years after being killed on their way to a debut performance in a collision with a bus full of parochial virgins on their way to see the Beatles in concert. (Wow! This blog is taking on a morbid theme. I must remember never to become a congressman or join a singing quartet.) Anyway, for one night, The Plaids resurrect their show, long ago rehearsed, and perform it in front of a live audience.
We had three tech rehearsals during which every body movement and stage position, every vocal note and inflection, and every prop placement was scrutinized and finalized. It’s an interesting process to watch and be a part of. The most fun was watching the actors jump in horror as June beetles, irretrievably confused by the bright lights, dive bombed the stage and suffered fatal consequences as a result of the collision. (I must remember to never become a large flying beetle or let bright lights confuse me!)
|My view from the stage during tech rehearsal.|
Shayla on upright bass, Peter on keyboards.
|Working a fog machine glitch during tech rehearsal.|
Friday night was the show’s preview night. In this case, preview night means there's a paying audience to take in the performance but the director and her team are in the theater taking notes to give to the actors after the show. Saturday night was the official opening night. The director and her team watched the show and flew home the following morning; the reins were handed to the stage manager for the run of the show.
The show’s a hit! We received standing ovations both nights and, while this is common audience behavior back in Boise, it is uncommon here, as in almost never.
Leaving the parking lot, the actors almost collide with a black bear.
Time for more hiking! This time at Squaw Valley Resort—home of the 1960 Winter Olympics—and Tahoe’s second largest ski area after Heavenly. Wikipedia points out that the 1960 games were the first to be televised. It further points out that, in 1978, the aerial tram came off one of its cables during a bad storm, dropped 75 feet to the ground, bounced back up and collided with another cable which sheared through the tram. Most, but not all, survived. (It’s good to keep the collision theme going, isn't it?)
Peter and I hiked the area’s Shirley Canyon Trail—3.5 miles and 2,000 feet elevation gain—and thoroughly enjoyed the increasingly alpine vistas. The trail ended at the resort’s High Camp where we encountered people sporting various amounts of swimwear and dancing poolside to a rave-like music mix. It seemed odd. What was not odd whatsoever was how good the $7 cold beer tasted after the hike. When we learned the tram ride down was free because we hiked up, we decided a second beer would be even better. And it WAS! There was nothing bad about the collision between my mouth and two cold beers.
|Peter hiking the granite slabs on Shirley Canyon Trail.|
|Why yes! I'm standing in snow in July and I like it!|
|Pool party at 8,200 feet at Squaw's High Camp.|
Yes, they are dancing, even in the pool.
|Did I mention the Wanderlust Yoga Festival|
taking place at Squaw Valley?
No thanks, I think I'll talk on my phone.
|The view coming over the final hump.|
|The aerial tram's cables in sunlight.|
Our tram ride down was super scenic and uneventful; it was not stormy; we did not bounce. I plan to make the hike again and, when I do, I’m going to tell the story about the 1978 accident to everyone on the tram as we begin the spectacularly acrophobic-inducing drop. We’ll see if my face collides with a fist.
Ciao! ~ Todd