The chatter grows as the players assemble. Excitement fills the dinning hall of St. Mary’s Catholic Church as stories of their first night in host homes are shared. A chorus of tales of beautiful homes, delicious food and friendly hosts grows until the room is silenced by one voice, Tom Baldridge, delivering instructions for the day. As soon as the group is dismissed for the buses the hum of the chorus resumes.
Act 4 Scene 1:
As the buses depart just after 9 am for Loma, CO, morning greetings are shared. Kurt Allen and Angela Mansfield lead the Gold bus; Derek Klahre and Kerry Taylor lead the Silver bus.
Mouths begin to water as Bryce Taylor, Shane Johnson and Christian Murray commenced the breakfast report with a description of the banquet of pastries, pancakes and accoutrements they enjoyed with Walt and Peggy at their host home. Ralph, a retired professional baker, started baking at 4:30 in the morning to create this breakfast fit for kings from scratch. Nancy Nickerson, Kae Johnson, Helen Horton and Patty Bass boasted they were served breakfast in bed.
The breakfast report soon transitioned into many sharing their experiences from the night before. Robert Williams, Graham Taylor, Dylan Howe and Preston Henry rode in Porsche Style from the church to their host home. (Did you know that Porsche made an SUV?) Michaela Bass, Kim Horton, Becca Baube, Kerry Taylor, Annabelle Bonnett, Laura Keegan, Lola Renauer, Wendy Keegan, Beth Taylor and Suzy Renauer enjoyed Colorado hospitality at the Wild Bunch River Ranch. This ranch bragged a guest house (sleeping 10), a pond stocked with fish and Alpacas. Yes Alpacas, 18 Alpacas to be exact. As the buses neared Highline Lake Park, a chorus of birthday wishes rang out for Matt DeHoff (18) and Preston Henry (22).
Act 4 Scene 2:
Arriving at the park in Loma, CO, shortly after 10:30 am, all enjoyed a welcomed couple hours of playing Frisbee, swimming and relaxing. As always, everyone was reminded to wear sunscreen and to drink plenty of water. (Do you recall the saying you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink?... save that thought for later.)
Riddle of the day: What do you get when you add Tyler Motter, pickle juice and a $5 bet? You get a Tommy Colborn with $5 more in his pocket. To explain, the pickle juice came from the picnic lunch all enjoyed. Tyler bet Tommy $5 that he could not drink an entire jar of pickle juice. Tommy proved him wrong while simultaneously entertaining the onlookers. This scene ends as the buses depart for white water rafting in Fruita, CO. Where is Fruita, CO? Well, Fruita is about 15 miles from the Utah State line (save that thought too. It will become relevant shortly).
Act 4 Scene 3:
This scene opens at RimRock Adventures in Fruita, CO. The majority of our cast prepares to enjoy a level 1 white water trip down the Colorado River. The few remaining visit the gift shop, enjoy some ice cream, take pictures or nap on the bus. Down on the river the cast is again split between those that chose a guide to take them down the river in a raft (you guessed it, the chaperones) and those brave ones that used oars to steer themselves down the river (almost everyone else). The current is mild. The water is cold but refreshing. It is not long before water battles with squirt guns and buckets erupt. It must be noted that the chaperone raft was a target of attack. Katherine Williams proclaimed “Stop splashing us! The Diva has spoken!” Once wet, many take to swimming in the Colorado River and pulling others in with them. Fun was had by all. Noteworthy: observed by the rafting troop are a Blue Heron and two bald eagles (more God moments).
Recall the statement at the park regarding leading a horse to water? Well Graham Taylor was the horse. Upon arriving at Rimrock Adventures it was discovered that Graham was severely dehydrated due to 1 Red Bull and a vigorous game of football at the park. With much coaxing Graham finally agreed to be taken to a nearby Urgent Care facility by Jane Webb and Beth Taylor. Hours later, after 4 bags of IV fluids, the trio hastily headed out of Fruita to join the rest of the group back in Montrose. Now recall the statement of where is Fruita, CO located? Due to Jane Webb’s incredible sense of direction, they made an unexpected visit to Utah before turning around and heading in the correct direction towards Montrose, CO. All ended well in this scene as they arrived just in time to meet with their hosts for a second nights stay.
Act 4 Scene 4
Meanwhile, on stage the buses arrive back in Montrose for another delicious cookout at St. Mary’s. (As you may have gathered, no one is starving on this tour.) The choir and orchestra then dazzled an even larger audience. The Methodist Pastor that hosted Rose Hulcher and Julia Bratburd stood up and commented on how impressed he was with the manners of our youth. He commended them for making eye contact, engaging in conversation and never once looked at their cell phones. Deacon Scott then spoke about the message of the Magnificat as Mary saying “yes” to God and that the congregation can, as well, say “yes” to God by supporting the tour group. The congregation responded through generous donations (the largest amount collect to date on a tour). Deacon Scott went on to proclaim that this concert was one of the largest Ecumenical events in Montrose as many faiths were represented in the audience. A tired group then congregated in the dining hall for brief fellowship and refreshments before departing with their hosts for a well deserved nights sleep.