The Wedding at Cerro Gordo, California
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Our wedding invitation belied the strange nature of the affair to follow. We didn't want our friends to suffer the extreme temperatures of the desert below, so we invited them to join in our celebration at an extreme 8,000 feet in the Inyo Mountains. (What is a 13 mile dirt road that winds a tortuous route up 5,000 vertical feet to friends such as ours?)
Cerro Gordo (Spanish for Fat Hill) is the site of a nineteenth century silver mine that fueled the development of Los Angeles as a major port city on the west coast of the United States. While the silver is largely gone, the spirit of the place is not, and we invited our friends to come ready to celebrate that spirit.
The American hotel is the oldest standing hotel in California, east of the Sierra Nevada mountains, (those big guys in the background), and it looked every bit its age. It has a commanding view of the Owens Valley and the dry lake bed below. We were the first people to be married here since Lt. Wopplehorst married Lulu Lewis in 1875. (Click here for a larger image.)
We had all we needed for a great weekend:
Our hosts, who prefer to be known as ghosts.
(Shawn, Jody and Mike: the owners of Cerro Gordo)
An irreverent Reverend
A best man
Good music. (Well, loud music anyway. We were lucky to lack an organ in the hotel. This was not to be a standard affair, and nothing resounds off the purple heather like the pipes!)
And lots of interesting friends:
(apologies to those who didn't make the page...and to those who did but wish they hadn't)
With the active ingredients the ceremony commenced:
Everyone in the hotel could hear the wedding procession approaching!
Now what's holding up those gals now?
Now that we're here, WHO has the ring?
OK, now we can get serious!
Sealing the deal with a kiss!
What are we gonna do for fun now?
Well, OK, but until then, let's eat cake!
And so the partying, and the rest of our lives began. This ceremony of marriage did indeed turn out to be one for the books! Many thanks to the many of our friends who made the harrowing trip, helped us rock the mountain all weekend long, actively participated in the staging of the show, and have been such a source of love and laughter through all the years!
Extra thanks also to Brother Bob and Gordon (Damn Foolishness Productions) for volunteering to photograph and video the affair, and Laverta (Cake Lady) for performing the miracle of not only building our cake, but getting it up the mountain in one piece.
Extra thanks to Ross and Candy, who travelled 1,000 miles and worked their tails off to dress up the digs, along with Mark and Christine, Rena, Paula, Russ (3,000 miles!), and countless other hands who pitched in to schlep chairs, tables, flowers, food, blow up balloons, and whatever else seemed to need doing.
Special thanks to our good friend, the Reverend Sweet Dick, who encouraged us to write our own vows. (For what we were paying him, I don't blame him for wanting us to shoulder the burden.) We showed him: we ended up writing most of the ceremony! It worked: there weren't many dry eyes in the house. (So what marriage ceremony ever did elicit a dry eye?) We invite you to visit one more page and share the vows that we shared on our special day.
The wedding vows
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