Bikes! Bikes! Bikes! The cars and people of Boulder yield to bikes. Bike lanes a plenty and so many people utilizing them. Right away you got the sense that there was something different about this city. One in which people were active, aware and in tune – overall a higher sense of self and community than in most places you go. We biked around the city our first afternoon and grabbed some mexican food downtown at a cool little restaurant called Juanita’s. Afterwards we hit up the Boulder Bookstore where we looked around for a bit until we were going to meet up with my Aunt Julie. Julie called and we planned to meet at the Boulder Farmer’s Market in the middle of town. I hadn’t seen my Aunt Julie in quite some time – perhaps the last was when I was just graduating high school. In any case I was really excited to see her and get to know this new place in which she was living. Instantly when meeting with her there was a connection – an openness and a willingness on her behalf to share with us everything she knew about Boulder and an excited and carefree attitude on our part that someone was happy to share with us this information and to take it all in.
Within a half hour of meeting up with her she brought us up to a very cool and quaint old mining town called Nederland – home of the Frozen Dead Guy Days Festival – where a mining man was asked to be cryogenically frozen years and years ago when he died- and so they keep him in an ice box on dry ice and bring him out in March to celebrate life and all of that good stuff. I like that cool mountain air and the nostalgia for long days of work and a hard life.. I like thinking about the people who once inhabited a place and what they must have endured in their lifetime. It was the kind of town that you see in old photographs – weathered and hand built – a hard but honorable life these miner’s lived – it was cool that the old feeling was still there – no Walmarts or big chains ruled this area. It felt good to see a small community still thriving in the same fashion as it once did. We grabbed some Nepalese food at Shangrila’s headed back to Julie’s house for one of the most delicious meals of our lives.
Over the next few days we really took in the city – going on an all day bike ride, partaking in the local cuisine at the farmer’s market, going on a hike at Chautauqua Park, checking out the local art at the Rembrandt Gallery and Leanin’ Tree Gallery, enjoying a cup of coffee and the atmosphere in The Hill’s, visiting the nearby mining town Golden and one of the highlights of the trip for me was going to the Bookworm’s Book Shop. It might be the best used bookstore I’ve ever been to. For the past 6 months or more I have been looking for Mollie Katzen’s Moosewood Cookbook (an original used copy) and I’ve been searching bookstores across the country and up until the point where I walked into Bookworm’s I had yet to find it. Apparently they had just got a copy in that morning and I found it right in Boulder, Colorado… I told myself that when I found it the place would sure be something special and it was. Another cool thing about the bookstore was that they do a credit – if you bring in books they keep a credit for you so that you can buy other used books which I totally dig because it promotes healthy reading habits! Such a cool experience.
Boulder is a place where it’s culturally in tune with both individual and environmental health and sustainability. You can feel the good energy in town. People are active and conscious and leading positive lives. You can tell by the way they approach you – some even want to know a little bit about you. It feels good to be asked how you are doing and even better to be asked who you are… In a place like Boulder those connections become a little bit easier to attain with such an open mind.
Julie was so helpful and made it really easy to want to stay in Boulder for a while. She was radiating such positive energy – sharing with us things to do and awesome everyday lifestyle routines that she does for herself – all of it was just so enriching. We were so glad to have Julie as our guide on this part of our journey because she directed us in many new and exciting directions – mentally, physically and spiritually. It makes all the difference when someone is exactly where they want to be and it makes it that much easier to have other people gravitate towards that and want to be there too. She gave us so much on this part of the trip – perhaps more than she will ever know. Her and Fred were so accommodating and they really opened up to us which made it that much easier to connect. Julie and Fred are as genuine as they come and we left Boulder feeling connected, enlightened, richer in knowledge and happy having them in our lives.