Cool Places in America: Nederland CO and the Dead Guy

It’s your favorite child travel adviser, Tyler,  once again bringing you the best in last minute vacations. Your road trip planner for the weekend getaway to the coolest and strangest places in America. How do I know about them all? My parents are contract workers in the software industry and keep moving the family every 6 months….

Today I am going to share with you this really dead town we lived in with this really dead guy. For one weekend at the beginning of March it becomes one of the coolest places in America.

During the Frozen Dead Guy Days coffin races, a slow-motion parade, and “Frozen Dead Guy” look alike contests are held. A documentary on “Grandpa Bredo”, called Grandpa’s in the Tuff Shed, is shown. Other events include a tour of the Tuff Shed where Grandpa is still frozen; a “polar plunge” for those brave enough to go swimming in Colorado in early March (which generally requires breaking through the ice); a dance, called “Grandpa’s Blue Ball”; pancake breakfasts; a market showcasing local artists; snowshoe races, and a snow sculpture contests. Glacier Ice Cream makes a flavor called “Frozen Dead Guy” which is fruit-flavored blue ice cream with Oreo cookies and sour gummy worms. Tours of the Tuff Shed where Grandpa is still frozen were suspended after 2005, after Grandpa’s family “became frustrated with Frozen Dead Guy Days”, but they resumed with the 2010 celebration. So who is the Frozen Dead Guy?

In 1989, a Norwegian citizen named Trygve Bauge brought the corpse of his recently deceased grandfather, Bredo Morstøl, to the US. The body was preserved on dry ice for the trip, and stored in liquid nitrogen at the Trans Time cryonics facility in San Leandro, California from 1990 to 1993. In 1993, Bredo was returned to dry ice and transported to Nederland, where Trygve and his mother Aud planned to create a cryonics facility of their own. When Trygve was deported from the United States for overstaying his visa, his mother, Aud, continued keeping her husband’s body cryogenically frozen in a shack behind her unfinished house. Aud was eventually evicted from her home for living in a house with no electricity or plumbing, in violation of local ordinances. At that time, she told a local reporter about her husband’s body,and those of two other individuals,and the reporter went to the local city hall in order to let them know about Aud’s fears that her eviction would cause her husband’s body to thaw out.

The story caused a sensation. In response, the city created a law outlawing the keeping of “the whole or any part of the person, body or carcass of a human being or animal or other biological species which is not alive upon any property”. But public support made the town create an exception for Bredo, a grandfather clause. Trygve secured the services of Delta Tech, a local environmental company, to keep the cryonic facility running. Bo Shaffer, CEO of Delta Tech, is known locally as “The Iceman” and caretaker responsible for transporting the dry ice necessary for cryopreservation to the IC Institute, something he has done since 1995. In that year, the local Tuff Shed supplier and a Denver radio station built a new shed to keep the body of Bredo in. In the fall of 2012, Jane Curtis Gazit (Owner, Keep Magnolia Clean, LLC) and Mike Wooten became the new caretakers of Bredo.

Well I am glad we did not stay another year, just to have a single weekend be amazing. But then again, if you are traveling through Colorado in March you definitely should join the festivities.

~Tyler

For more information about Tyler visit Salem House Press and buy his latest book “Tyler Moves to Gibsonton Florida” on Amazon.com. Keep checking back often for great cheap vacation ideas that might surprise you and end up becoming the best vacation you ever had!

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