22 Days of Solo Traveling: The magnetic pull of Boulder, Colorado is strong!
After only 6 days on the road, my life in Seattle feels like a distant memory. I feel comfortable driving for hours at a time, watching the lines of the road shoot by me. My car has devoured 1500 miles of pavement, with every passing mile my inner calm has grown. Life on the road is something I throughly enjoy. One of my goals for this trip was to figure out what makes me happy and what I need in life. I have realized that travel needs to become a regular part of my life. Boulder Colorado was calling me. I was and still am drawn to it. Leaving Salt Lake City felt great, the excitement I had for going to Colorado was sky high.
For my stay in Colorado I would be sleeping at the A-Lodge Hostel.
The A-Lodge is located about 3.5 miles from the heart of downtown Boulder. Pulling up to A-Lodge I knew that this place was going to treat me well. AL is located high above Boulder, surrounded by trees the height of skyscrapers, air almost too crisp to be real and a creek that fascinated me beyond belief. This creek was magical, it cut through the earth like a hot knife to butter. The creek flowed with such calm, I couldn’t help myself, I had to put my hands into the crisp cold water and feel the water slide through my fingers. It made me smile, seeing a creek didn’t make me cry and there was no screaming this time, just a silent smile. In front of the office where I had to check in was a giant handmade steel fire pit surrounded by white Christmas lights. The vibe of this place fit me perfectly. I walked into the office and was greeted by a very nice girl named Lindsay. She was very attractive with curly brown hair, kind eyes, a small nose ring and an aura that matched my own. She introduced herself in a way that made me feel like Colorado was the place for me. We chatted for about 20 minutes before she showed me to my room.
My room had a very rustic and simple feel to it. The room was setup to sleep 8 people, there was four wooden bunk beds that looked like they were carved by an old man with a pocket knife. They were simple, sturdy and classic. There was one other person staying in the room with me, a 50 year old man named Reggie. Reggie traveled by motorcycle from Florida to Colorado for work. He was an extremely friendly person, with a beaming smile. We chatted briefly about his travels and just life in general. Hearing him speak about his life on the road was inspiring to me. He told me about some of the things he had seen and done along the way. We talked about the joy and solitude of traveling alone. Traveling alone seems to attract some of the most interesting people. We did not talk much after that first 20 minute chat, I regret not talking to him more. Honestly I wanted to talk more to Lindsay, I had a feeling that we were kindred spirits. I unpacked a few things, gave myself the once over in the mirror and went out to talk to her.
She was someone who I got good feelings from right away, the feelings were mutual between us. I am always amazed at meeting someone new and after a few minutes it seems like you have known each other for years. Lindsay was 30 years old, and has spent the majority of her life working to save money to travel all around the world. Envy rushed over my body, I wanted to live my life that way. As we chatted she told me that she also had a little bit on envy for my life. The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence I guess. If I chose a life of travel, then I wouldn’t be living this life that i so enjoy, my life would be completely different. That is not something that is good or bad, you can only have one story line at a time in life. My story has become a life of preaching the benefits of health, wellness, plant based living and exercise to whomever will pay me or just listen to me. We continued to chat and share drinks and joints with each other late into the night. Being in Colorado with this person felt amazing, it was almost unbelievable. Lindsay and I spent many hours enjoying each others company.
The next morning I arose to the smell of rain. The rain drops were like water balloons smashing against the earth. I took this as a sign to rest and stay in Colorado a little bit longer. Being in my car has become very comfortable and enjoyable, but this place had a magnetic pull. Today was a rest day, I enjoyed sipping tea and reading. My rest day was short lived. Me being me laying around didn’t last too long, I had an itch to get moving, so I hoped into my car and headed to Downtown Boulder. Downtown Boulder had a relaxed feel to it, no one seemed to have any rush to get anywhere. The slow steady pace fit my meandering style of walking perfectly. Wearing my organic denim jeans, hiking boots, REI raincoat and my usual short beard made me blend in with all the locals. Boulder could someday be my home! Wanderlust aside my stomach was screaming for food. I headed to Walnut Cafe! WC is a cool little dinner that offers a few vegan options. The waiters and waitresses all had a laid back attitude, none of them were in a rush to do anything. Usually slow service would have driven me insane, but I wasn’t wearing a watch and all I had was free time. I ordered the black bean and tofu burrito with a slice of pumpkin pie. To keep the travel tradition intact I had my pie before the main course. The pie was pretty good but they served it hot, so it was more like pumpkin mash on top of a crust… i devoured it. My burrito was about the size of a regulation NFL football. It was swimming in delicious red chili, served with a mound of refried bean goodness and fresh pico de gallo. I never expected Boulder Colorado’s burrito game to be so damn good. The burrito seemed to be filled with everything a hungry plant based man could want. Tons of fresh tofu, spicy black beans, crisp broccoli, and about 4 million other ingredients and flavors. If I don’t go back to Boulder for the women, I may come back for this burrito.
Following my exquisite breakfast, I browsed Pearl Street Mall, this is Boulders most well known shopping center, it was comprised of a long strip of stores, with people flowing every which way to buy whatever their hearts desired. This wasn’t a traditional indoor mall, it was outdoors, which fit the outdoorsy nature of Boulder to a T! The rain had lessened to a light mist, so people were out and about in full force. I really enjoyed people watching here, I had no plans of actually shopping, I was there to people watch. Watching the families wrangle their young children, the older couples slowly strolling the street holding the same hand that they have been holding since before I was born, and just taking in the sounds of this new place was fantastic. I sat in silence on a bench sipping on a Matcha Tea, just enjoying the sites and sounds of this new place. The Pearl Street Mall is a must!
My time in Boulder was short lived, my hast to get back on the road was something I regret. I only stayed in the hostel for one night, my other night in Boulder was spent at my new friends house. Staying up for the majority of the night sharing stories, wine and oddly enough home made mashed potatoes was something that I needed and wont forget anytime soon. Following a great night I left Boulder with a feeling of excitement that quickly turned into regret. Boulder had a profound effect on me, it felt like home from the moment I arrived. Meeting a cool girl had nothing to do with it, know all my clients are thinking that! The vibe of the entire city tried to trap me the same way the beautiful nymph Calypso trapped Odysseus on her island in the “The Odyssey” by Homer. I know I will return to Boulder in the very near future.