Everyone has one or two unbelievable experiences in their life that they will remember forever. The kind of experience that makes you look around and think: “Wow, this is actually happening.” In many cases, we may work a lifetime to achieve these moments. Other times, they are completely unpredictable and just sort of happen.
In this case, I’m going to tell you a story of the unpredictable and just sort of happened kind. It all started with an e-mail in my inbox titled “WINNER,” one that I would normally write off as Spam and ignore completely. But this e-mail was from Osprey, who I had recently entered in a Facebook contest with to win a trip to the Telluride Jazz Festival. Things like this never happen to me, I was dreaming. After asking the nearest person to pinch my arm, I read the details and enthusiastically responded to the message. Over the course of the next couple of weeks, flight and lodging confirmations arrived in my inbox and a cardboard bundle of joy containing an Osprey Ozone 22 bag and Comet pack landed on my doorstep. It was real. I was going to the Telluride Jazz Festival.
The days couldn’t go by fast enough. I spent my evenings Googling popular restaurants and searching for nearby hikes, listening to jazz on Pandora and dreaming of the cool Colorado mountain air. August 2nd finally came, and bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, I left my home in Lake Tahoe for a whirlwind weekend in the San Juan Mountains. When I arrived in Denver for a layover and met up with my plus one, my friend Ashley, the wow, this is actually happening started to take over my entire body. After one final flight to Montrose and a gorgeous car ride into the valley of Telluride, I was in full disbelief.
After a quick geek-out over our epic condo in Mountain Village, we high-tailed it down to the festival; we didn’t want to miss the “Spirits Tasting” or any of the evening entertainment. Five samples of miscellaneous liquor and two Tempter IPAs later, the alpenglow started to simmer on the peaks surrounding our venue and the good vibes started to flow throughout the entire valley. It was my first time to Telluride and I had no idea such a small town could nonchalantly carry so much charisma and personality. There couldn’t be a better setting for such a brilliant event.
The rest of the weekend wasn’t any less incredible. We tasted local food, watched some truly amazing musicians and visited the iconic Bridal Veil Falls. Best of all, we met a bouquet of people from all different walks of life, each with an interesting story and unique reason for finding themselves at Telluride Jazz. When Sunday came around, although I felt completely satisfied and successful with our weekend, I was not ready to wake up from my dream.
Monday morning, I zipped up my pack and quietly stood in the village waiting for our ride to the airport, sipping in my last breaths of Rocky Mountain air and contemplating my good fortune. I still can’t believe that all just happened. Thank you Osprey, Elevation Vacations and the organizers of the Telluride Jazz Festival. I will remember this forever.
The happy winner of our Telluride Jazz Festival Contest, Margo Stoney, wrote this aprés-Fest blog post. Margo works as a graphic designer at Heavenly Mountain Resort in Lake Tahoe where she eats, breathes and lives the mountain culture. She fills her days (and nights) with snowboarding, longboarding, mountain biking, camping, beer, huevos rancheros, hanging with her dingo dog and, of course, long walks on the beach. Follow Margo on Twitter and Instagram @highmtncreative.