So once upon a time a Norwegian expat died, his body was frozen in a cryonics facility, and then send to reside in his grandson’s backyard in Nederland, Colorado. When Trygve Bauge (that would be the grandson) was forced back to Norway, his mother informed that community that there was dead body on ice in the yard. This provoked a few responses:

  • A law was passed prohibiting the storage of dead bodies within the town of Nederland. However, Trygve’s grandfather was grandfathered in, since he was already dead and stored before the law was written.
  • Dozens of TV trucks and tourists flocked to Nederland to check out grandpa. Employees of the local newspaper was getting sick of giving direction, so they put up a sign (complete with map) in the window entitled “Directions to the Frozen Dead Guy’s house.”
  • In 2001 Teresa Warren, Nederland’s Chamber of Commerce president a the time, suggested that the town capitalize on the frozen situation and the first “Frozen Dead Guy Days” took place in 2002.
  • After heading about FDGD’s a few years ago, and moving to Denver a few months ago, I have been anxiously awaiting to attend the festivities.

When you show up for an international event in a tiny mountain town, it’s a bad sign when you easily find a parking spot. Yes, I was there on the right day. Unfortunately. The reason for the amble parking was the weather. I parked the car and took a look around me. People were miserable shuffling around, hands deep in their parkas and heads bent to the ground to avoid getting a face-full of wind. Those standing still were making a conscious effort to remain upright. I surveyed this scene from the comfort of my car as I buttoned up my coat and held a fruitless search of the front seat for my gloves.

My glove-less hands I and I got out of the car. My mouth immediately filled with the sand and snow that was furiously blowing around. The hood of my coat was incapable of staying on my head. I watched a porta-pottie tip lose a battle with the wind and tip over. I hope nobody was occupying it.

Fighting the urge to get back in my car and head back home, I made my way to the nearest indoor space and entered. Much to my happiness it was a thrift store wherein a purchased a woolen hat with ear flaps and gloves. The thrift store, full of clothes, shoes, and baby gear is right above “Off Her Rocker Mercantile.” This furniture/art/novelty shop was really cute. I especially liked all paintings of local scenes and funky furniture. This was also one of many places to buy Frozen Dead Guy Days ornaments and chocolate bars.

I ventured outside and kept heading down First street, poking my head inside packed deli shops, coffee houses, and stores as I made my way towards where some activities were scheduled to be. Frozen Dead Guy days activities for the weekend included a hears parade, frozen turkey bowling (once thawed and no longer useful, the turkey meat was scheduled to go to Ed’s dog), a frozen salmon toss (Ed’s dog apparently has some competition, because retired salmon goes to Hillary’s cat), a frozen T-shirt contest, a brain freeze contest, coffin races, and a scheduled plunge into the icy Chipeta Park pond.

By the time I got the Wild Mountain Smokehouse and Brewery, the activity tent across the street was being hastily disassembled, and freezing-looking guys were packing gear into a van. Activities were cancelled for the day due to wind.


I suppose I should have been annoyed that I’d driven all the way to Nederland for nothing, but I the news of the cancellation was a huge relief. Now I could go home.

On the way out of town, I stopped at Backcountry Pizza (avoiding the $20 event fee that was being charged for parking in the Caribou Shopping Center parking lot by simply parking for free up by the Black Forest Restaurant and taking the quick walk down and around the shopping complex) in hopes of warming up a bit. Naturally, everyone else in town had the same idea and the place was a crowded disaster. Camera-men were huddled with their gear and beer on stools by the bathrooms, discussing other occasions wherein they had nearly froze to death (“…yeah, man, once I was out with this guy from National Geographic and we were camped up above the tree line when a snow storm came in and ripped our tent off the ground…”) Families sat tucked under the soda fountain machines. I surveyed the scene and (feeling like a complete wimp) got the hell out of Nederland.