The sky is dumping when I glide into the Jerry Garcia Shrine on Aspen Mountain—on Ruthie’s Run past the FIS lift. I’m greeted by two young dudes in a kaleidoscope of baggy gear and reclined on a built-in platform of snowpack, feet still strapped to their boards. One guy is a Florida native; the other, a surfer from sunny San Diego. Far from being fish out of water, however, these guys are seasoned shrine-seekers, GoPros and herbal offerings in tow.
“Wanna hit this?”
Wood notes later that marijuana leaves are sometimes found tacked to a tree, in tribute to the stoner-sublime stylings of the Grateful Dead. But the shrine began as a bench built in tribute to Bob Marley. When Garcia passed away in 1995, a Deadhead ski patroller installed the first items, including handfuls of fake scarlet begonias. The Floridian points to a branch-framed view down valley; on a clear day, you can spot the Aspen Airport four miles away.