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Silverton Jamboree Rocks the High Mtns

June 18th, 2009

The Osprey Brand Team, a group of 10 ambassadors reporting from the field at consumer outdoor events across the country as well as reporting on adventures in their own neck of the woods, checks in with Theresa Blake, our brand team’r from Durango. Theresa recently headed up Silverton, CO, home to extreme heli-skiing, the high San Juans, and a beloved music festival called Silverton Jamboree. Here is Theresa’s take on this 9,000 ft.-high festival…

Mountain towns are often colorful places when it comes to both scenery and character. Most of these places are not for the meek and the town of Silverton, Colorado has got to be one of the burliest, most rugged towns of them all. So naturally a weekend camping and music festival in such a place is bound to draw a lively bunch of individuals and performers determined to have a blast no matter what the conditions.

The drive from Durango and over Molas Pass reaches close to tree line and imparts glorious views of Molas Lake, the Animas River Gorge and Snowdon Peak. Silverton is situated at 9,320 feet and sits nestled amid Sultan Mountain, Kendall Mountain and Storm Peak. This drive alone is more than most people can comprehend yet we-the-mountain-people commute these roads daily for work and play.

Silverton, with a population or 500, is a tribute to the survival of a gritty, tough community for whom quitting was never an option. The entire town has been designated a National Historic Landmark. It is a favorite destination for train fans, history buffs, and outdoor enthusiasts. Silverton remains Silver Queen of Colorado, beloved by those who live here and those who come to visit. *courtesy of Silverton Chamber of Commerce

Saturday produced some major downpour-age and frigid temperatures but luckily the Silverton Historic District was only a few short blocks away. Here revelers, myself included, took shelter from the storm to enjoy a pint or two and dinner while holding out for better weather. I wasn’t worried at all since I had plenty of layers and winter gear just in case stowed in my Talon 33 for my overnight trip.

The Saturday line up included names like Bruce Hayes, Papa Mali, Tony Furtado and Aftergrass to name a few. The rain continued for a few hours during the afternoon with some hail but by evening had dissipated enough for a rocking session with the Soul Rebels Brass Band where my down puffy coat came in handy and kept me toasty throughout the night.

The night continued on and on with three Juke Joints at various local taverns with a $15 all access ticket granting attendees entry to all 3 shows. Aftergrass, Papa Mali and Bruce Hayes made it tough to decide which show to hit first but the freedom and flexibility to bounce around from place to place kept us going until the wee hours of the morning.

Sunday’s line up included appearances from Turkey Creek Ramblers, Mama’s Cookin’, A-Dub-Rock Band and several others but unfortunately I couldn’t tough it out beyond the Dubs. No dogs allowed at the festival and I missed my pup so we packed up the campsite in record times and headed south on 550.

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