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Boulder, CO … revisited 29 years hence

When I was 19 I was on the tail end of a several-month odyssey that took me 300 miles down the Pacific Crest Trail from Cascade Locks to the California border by foot, followed by some easy time spent with high school friends who had escaped Orange County, NY for Marin County, CA, followed by a long, slow trip to Mexico, and then hitchhiking/meandering up through Arizona all the way to Wyoming and finally down to Boulder, CO, where I visited for an entire month with a guy that grew up next door to me, but which had managed to leave and head west a year or two earlier.  I worked day labor picking tomatoes until  I could afford to buy a car, which turned out to be a black ’59 Volkswagen purchased for $400 which I drove East with a Danish college student to get back home.

Looking back, and writing this 29 years later here again in Boulder, CO , if I had known what I know now, I don’t think I would have ever left what has to be one of the very best towns in America.

I could go on and on about Boulder, but the crux of it is a combination of things, such as perfect climate, progressive politics, low crime, intelligent planning, spectacular scenery … I mean, what else is there?

Getting off the job at 5:30 PM today left plenty of time for me to head up Pearl Street to the Pearl Street Mall where I had a great dinner overlooking tulips against brick punctuated by happy people walking by.  It’s spring here, and everyone seems very content and at peace.  After dinner I found a cool Nepalese shop and bought a singing bowl, which is a remarkable Tibetan invention about 1500 years old that fills the room with a tone said to heal your troubled Chakras.  Following that I was absolutely struck by a guy playing a combination of a digeradoo, steel drums, bells, and I don’t know what else, all simultaneously in a lyrical, story-telling fashion.  He had forty people transfixed for ten minutes while he used his entire body to make some incredible music.  His name is Christopher and I think his music would be perfect for film soundtracks.

A typical evening in paradise, I suppose.

Sometimes you visit a place and you have a sense that your name, or perhaps you destiny is written all over it.  For me, this is such a place.