At the call of "Pyramid assemble," Dave Jackson, Matt Aspros, Jeff Ervin and Kevin Kwiatkowski gathered in line and the three-dimensional oversized cardboard trapezoids they each were wearing formed a large pyramid on Main Avenue with the words "Imahotep was here" scrawled on the back.The four are co-workers at Fore-runner Corp. in Durango, and each was carrying putters for the Outlaw Josie Pete's Golf Tournament, occurring at various bars and restaurants around town. The group peered through round face-holes and strained to make eye contact with each other as they spoke, often over each other. Voices from passing cars called out in approval.
The golf tournament often coincides with the consumption of alcohol at each of the 12 participating taverns. The group wasn't sure if the costumes would fit through doorways, and the large outfits later could be seen pitched outside Tequila's Mexican Restaurant near a bike rack.
Durango's commercial center was buzzing throughout the fourth day of Snowdown 2009. Men were dressed in pith helmets and cargo shorts. Some were space aliens, bedecked in Mardi Gras beads and crocodile masks. Others didn't bother updating last year's costumes and strode around in medieval fashions. Many carried putters; some had waited all year for this.
At Lady Falconburgh's Barley Exchange, Liana Smith, co-owner with her son Garrett Smith, was manning the restaurant's golf tournament hole. A PVC pipe connected a green in the breezeway above the restaurant down to a numbered wooden board in the restaurant lobby. Day manager Travis Clance was downstairs, calling up scores to Smith, who would record them.
"If they just give it a solid hit, it should make it down there every time," Smith said, shaking her head.
Several recent linksmen had experienced trouble clearing the fairway. That might be because golf strokes weren't the only shots the golfers were taking. Falconburgh's was one of several bars taking two strokes off of each scorecard for the purchase of a select drink at the bar.
Up walked Kevin Culhane, David Simcik, John Feistner, Dakin Morrison, Tyler Wheelock and Adam Bergal in six life-size, homemade "Beeramid Pale Ale" costumes. By their third hole, the team still hadn't gotten the hang of putting out of their barrel-shaped, soft-foam beer cans. Simcik, wearing a foam beer-tab bonnet on his head, tucked one arm in and tried it one-handed.
With most other bars offering drink promotions for Snowdown, the men's short games weren't likely to improve during the day.
"We golf once a year, and this is it," said Durango resident Joyce Watt, dressed in full ancient Egyptian regalia plus putter.
Her friend Janet Wallace, nearby and equally attired, was more blunt.
"I just do it so I can dress up," she said.
The weather was unseasonably warm, and so were the fashions at the Canine and Feline Fashion Show at McDonald's a little later in the day. Princess Puff looked ravishing as an Egyptian queen and drew coos from the audience. Nipples, aka "Lexus," stunned in his Cat-O-Dile costume.
Lovins the cat, showed by her owner Juniper Kerr, 6, daughter of Valerie and Michael Kerr, was dressed in a homemade police officer's costume, complete with badge, to go with her intended profession.
Things were a little more serious for other entrants. Erin Umbaugh of Durango's Finest Foods, had her cat Mello - performing as "Papyrus" - dressed in a gold, beaded headdress.
"I just told her if she doesn't win, we're getting a dog," she said, laughing.
At the Snowdown Cat-a-Pult competition, seven teams show-ed off their homemade catapults and trebuchets, trying to be the closest team to the target garbage can 50 yards away.
Medieval war buff Travis Measels, sporting a kilt in honor of the armored kilts the Roman's wore in battle, and teammate, Danette Dillon, were getting their weapon serviceable.
"We're definitely going to be using this in our personal time," said Dillon.
Walking around the streets of Durango was Matt and Melissa Roach, who have made the drive to Snowdown from Golden for 19 consecutive years. A financial services worker and 1990 Fort Lewis College accounting graduate, Matt Roach always brings his and another family, the Schultzes.
Daughter Delaney Roach, 10, enjoyed watching the milkshake chugging at Friday's Waiter/ Waitress Races. Son Sam Roach, 12, said he liked watching the contestants get struck by thrown peanuts.
The adults in the Roach/ Schultze party take turns hitting the town at night. Friday night, the women went out, so Saturday was the guys' turn to leave the kids behind for a few hours. Melissa Roach wanted to be sure she got to see Ralph Dinosaur and planned the schedule accordingly.
They'll leave early today and race back home, hopefully in time for Super Bowl kickoff. It's tradition.
"Everything is scheduled around Snowdown," said Melissa Roach.
"It's on our calendar every year," said Matt Roach.