Frozen in Nederland

9d. EM:BLOG:Blue Faces photo

Day trips in Colorado can be pretty chilly. Sometimes they’re just plain quirky.

Last March, my husband and I drove to the nearby mountain town of Nederland to check out the Frozen Dead Guy Days festival. We got there on Sunday, which was the last day of the three-day event. It was easy to see there was a lot going on—themed coffin races, brain freeze contests, a frozen salmon toss, a frozen dead poet slam, a costumed polar plunge and a viewing of the documentary, “Grandpa’s in the Tuff Shed.”

The event was packed with folks dressed up in costumes, dancing, drinking beer and gnawing on huge turkey legs. It was interesting to watch themed contestants scramble through mud and rocky terrain to win the coffin race.

9e. EM:BLOG:Polar Plunge photo

But why all the frozen fuss?

As the true story goes, about 1989 relatives brought newly deceased Norwegian, Bredo Morstol, to the Trans Time cryonics facility in Oakland, California, from Norway. In California, Bredo was placed in liquid nitrogen for some four years. Next, relatives moved him to Nederland, Colorado in 1993 where he remains frozen to this day via dry ice in a storage shed. The task of keeping Bredo, now affectionately known as “Grandpa,” frozen has been passed on to different individuals over decades.

Grandpa’s life and deep-freeze death are celebrated with the annual Frozen Dead Guy festival that started in 2002. In addition to some eclectic excitement in the Rockies, the event gives everyone a chance to think about death in a whole new frozen and fun way. I’d be curious as to what Grandpa might say. My guess, “Let it go.”

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9f. EM:BLOG:White Wig photo