Ron has gotten word that there was talk afoot of a disco ball
appearing at Tioga Pass Resort. He passed along word that this was
Not Okay. Which we took to mean that it had better be an undercover
So this is what you need to pull off a successful backcountry disco ball caper.
You need the disco ball, of course. You need a motor to spin it, and a spotlight. Also, extension cords to power it up. Maybe some cable ties, a little wire, and nylon cord to help hang the thing. What else..?
How about a ninety-three year old backcountry lodge in the heart of the Eastern Sierra... (Photo credit: Jim Wintermyre, 2006)
...and perhaps a daring and elusive partner in crime...
...with the stealth of a ninja and the cojones to walk around on polished furniture in stocking feet.
On the evening of April 20th all the pieces came together. By some stroke of good fortune, everyone at the Tioga Pass Resort was in bed early and the Disco Ball Caper was on!
The disco ball motor has three little holes around the edge for screwing into a ceiling. To avoid any wrath from Ron, we decided not to go with screws. Instead we looped a piece of cord through the three holes and tied it off with a square knot backed by overhand loops.
Then we tied a bowline through our impromptu harness.
And we used a wire to feed the cord's standing end through the wagon-wheel light fixture above the couch.
The fit was so perfect I could only conclude that our pioneering forefathers envisioned that day when wagonwheel would meet disco ball motor.
Jim tied the cord off with a tautline hitch so we could pull everything snug.
And finally we are ready for the disco ball!
But which to choose? I am the proud owner of two disco balls! The larger, clear ball, when mounted on the fast motor provides a frenetic, dance party vibe. But Jim and I both felt that the stately grandeur of the Tioga Pass Lodge, and indeed our awesome natural surroundings, were better paired with the slow groovin' vibe that only the rainbow ball mounted on the slowest motor could provide.
Then we just had to run the wires...
...and position the spotlight!
Sadly (for you) it is impossible for me to describe the full beauty, and yes, comfort that this little slice o' slow-groovin' brought to our wilderness outpost. Jimw put together a sweet playlist on his mac and when we left that night, the lights were down and the room was bathed in glorious disco.
Throughout the night, as each over-hydrated, high-altitude guest got up to visit the communal loo, they would see the slow groovin' of disco lights spinning across the snowbank outside the lodge's window. And their hearts would warm with the knowledge that they had been visited by the disco ball fairy.
My little camera is too crappy to pick up the disco ball in low light conditions, so I took this video in the morning:
The next night was both our last night at TPR and the last night of the winter season. Bob the cook was retiring to the poker table, having cooked his last TPR meal. And a new storm was bringing the prospect of powder as we drank beer in the disco ball's glow.
Thanks Ron, Julia, and the whole TPR crew for putting up with our splitboard invasion. It was the best!