Sometimes the best part of traveling is when something unexpected occurs. Even getting stuck on Vail Pass in a snowstorm can result in a nice long soak at Glenwood Hot Springs, which is what happened to us in 2014.
It wasn’t a snowstorm that brought us unexpectedly to Minturn last month – it was Record Store Day. If you are an avid collector of vinyl, like my husband, Ryan, you know that this is an important day. It only happens once a year and vinyl nerds do not miss it.
However, having been laid out flat with the flu for the week leading up to our Vail trip, Ryan had forgotten that Record Store Day was the Saturday we’d be 150 miles away from his hometown record store.
Thankfully, while browsing the Vail Daily over a beer at Vail Brewing on a Friday afternoon, Ryan realized the Record Store Day was the following day. Where in the world could he participate in Record Store in the Vail Valley?
Thanks to the Vail Daily, he discovered that Eagle Valley Music & Comics in Minturn would be participating in Record Store Day. That’s how I ended up in the quiet little town of Minturn on a sunny, albeit cold morning in April.
If you’ve never heard of Minturn, Colorado, you’re not alone. It’s two miles off of I70 on US-24 (exit 171, just past the Vail exits). We’d actually been through Minturn a couple times after closures on I70 forced us to reroute HeidiTown travel. Once we even stopped at Magustos for some yummy pizza.
We pulled into town on Saturday morning at 8 a.m. Ryan wanted to make sure he was one of the first in line when the record store opened at 10.
Our first stop was Sticky Fingers Cafe & Bakery. It turns out that this was a really good choice. The cozy, eclectic cafew serves breakfast and lunch and they do it well.
I had Lou’s Scramble which was eggs on a bed of hash browns with mushrooms and smothered in pork green chili or feta cheese. Of course, I went with the green chile which was write-home-about delicious. My meal also came topped with a bunch of avocado slices.
Whereas I am a green chile snob, Ryan’s a French toast snob, and this one passed his test with flying colors.
After breakfast, we walked the short block and a half to Eagle Valley Music & Comics where the hardcore collectors were already in line. I heard that one guy had been there since 6 a.m. They’d set up tunes and were throwing back beers.
There were only about ten people in line, so we decided to walk the sleepy town, which doesn’t take too long. We were soon back in line with the locals.
I can see why Ryan enjoys Record Store Day. This is the first time I’d experienced it first-hand and there seems to be a lot of comradery among vinyl collectors. Even if they don’t listen to the same music, vinyl collectors have vinyl in common and that certainly seems to bring them together, even in tiny towns like Minturn where the population is about 1,000.
We waited until 10 and then waited another hour to get into the store. You see, Eagle Valley Music & Comics isn’t very big. Only a few people can fit inside and so on Record Store Day you must wait your turn to flip through the store’s Record Store Day haul. It’s quite a bit different than Record Store Day at Ryan’s normal store where it’s a big free-for-all.
We didn’t mind the wait. We talked to people, enjoyed the sunshine and took in the view that included a red-tail hawk that circled the mountain side in front of us.
Many of the guys, and yes, they were mostly guys, in front of us left the store with stacks and stacks of vinyl. Once inside, Ryan was conservative in his purchases and only walked away with THE CARS Live at the Agora 1978 and the Fawlty Towers Limited Edition Picture Disc. If you know and love Fawlty Towers, we would probably get along grandly.
I’m sure some of the people who frequent Eagle Valley Music & Comics don’t like me giving the secret of this place away. After all, this hidden gem has a huge selection of vinyl, despite its small size. They also have new CDs, not something readily available anymore, and things like guitar strings and straps.
This place is now on Ryan’s list of must-stop-if-I-am-within-10-miles-of-it record stores. So, Minturn, we’ll be back anytime we’re passing on I70.