$600 Bongs, Pot Butter, and a Frozen Corpse


Just came back from a 1.5 hour local hike. I love how the mountains and trails are so close that I can climb up to summits that overlook the entire town and come back in less than two hours. The weather is surprisingly mild during the day. Even though today’s cloudy, the temperature is around mid-forties. Of course, if you’re running up steep ridges in heavy hiking boots with a fleece on, it feels much warmer.

I’ve stayed in Boulder for almost a week now, enough time to get a sense of the town’s unique traits. Although Boulder is situated at 5,430 feet (1,655 m), the change in altitude from New York City’s sea level wasn’t drastic enough to make me feel anything. Here’s some more fast-facts about Boulder according to Wikipedia:

  • Population in 2008: 94,268
  • one of the most liberal cities in Colorado
  • “a choice destination for hippies in the late 1960s” a 2007 estimate stated “median household income in Boulder is $50,209, and the median family income is $85,807” although this might be skewed by the student population of UC Boulder

Boulder’s pretty liberal. In downtown Boulder, there’s a bong shop that sells elaborate glass bongs as pricey as $600. I saw students sitting on lawns with lit incense sticks shouting, “I love marijuana!” Somebody’s already offered me a stick of their pot butter.

According to my landlady, Boulder has no slums and has one of the highest Ph.Ds per capita in America. (I haven’t verified either of these.)

Boulderites like to jog and bike and own dogs. I see people running or biking by the house at least once every half-an-hour. And the organic food movement is all the rage here. You cannot shop for groceries anywhere without being forced to buy Whole Foods’ 360 brand. I’m not sure whether Boulder is just the industrialized organic food movement, aka the faux organic food as represented by Whole Foods, or whether there’s a true organic/local food movement.

Yesterday Boulderites had a choice of either attending a music festival in the nearby town of Vail or partying with a frozen corpse in Nederland, CO.

Frozen Dead Guy Days celebrates the cryogenically frozen body of Bredo Morstoel, a Norwegian man who died more than 20 years ago. Following his death, his son settled in Nederland and brought the body with him, storing it in a shed behind his house.

In other news: My landlady invited me out to hang with her and her friends at a local coffee shop/bar called the Laughing Goat. When I met her, she’d already had several glasses of wine and was intoxicated. When it was time to go home, her guy friend asked if I could drive her home in her car. I said sure. Problem was, I don’t know how to drive a manual transmission car. So I got in, immediately buckled my seatbelt, and tried not to distract her as she drove. Except for the turn where she almost ran up on a road median’s curb, we got home safe.