Thursday, August 11, 2005

...and then the Mountains Were Back

When Kurt and I got to his new house we found it locked and no one around. In all fairness, we hadn't let anyone know when we'd be arriving. So we unloaded the truck off the trailer and went to buy a case of Fat Tire. We drank on the front steps, blowing off unpacking even after the keys arrived. After sunset, we went to Sherry and John's place for a BBQ of shrimp and sake and ice cream. As parties do, the whole thing migrated to the kitchen, where we laughed as the dog pounced at shadows on the floor.

Sunday morning, we walked to Vic's for coffee, then over to Masa for brunch. I finally got the blueberry pancakes I'd been craving since my last morning of yoga training. After breakfast, three out of the eight of us were planning to go to a Renaissance Fair. It got me going on about why there aren't any Dark Ages Fairs, where people walk around in rags with dirt on their faces, coughing on one another and living la vida squalid. You could drink lots of mead, then DaVinci would thank you on your way out.

Before our group parted ways, they all helped us unpack the truck, knocking the whole thing off in less than twenty minutes. We lounged most of the day, then headed up to Lyons to Ethan's place. He had a house on a cliff overlooking the site of the Rocky Mountain Bluegrass Festival. The sound up here was clear and clean, and we could see the stage from the patio. The cliff's edge was better seating than I've had at many stadium shows. As the evening progressed, we heard sets by Doc Watson, Tim O'Brien, and Sam Bush, the latter blowing me completely away. After dark, Alison Krause came on, crooning to me as I sat drinking red wine in the hot tub. An incredible night as two dogs flanked a one-ton weathered Buddha aglow by tiki torch; Mars rising in the sky beyond.

Monday was a day of errands, taking a couple hours longer than they should of, in part due to too much paperwork, and the difficulties in negotiating the truck and trailer thru the narrow rows of a storage unit. To decompress, we hiked the Flatirons with Ethan, climbing the steep rocky steps up to Royal Arch. These steps drove my knees into my stomach, full and churning from pesto tortellini and spicy chai eaten earlier at Whole Foods. As I sat fighting nausea on top, Ethan pointed out local geography, mountains and lakes and the skyline of Denver far off to the right. Back in town, I ran Kurt thru an abridged version of one of my yoga classes. What followed was a Boulder pasttime. Dollar taco night at Masa. The place was packed and was a meat market. (Actually, the whole town's a bit of a meat market.) We filled up and crashed early.

Tuesday was the first day in a week that we had no errands. It was full nonetheless. We drove up to Lyons and tubed the St. Vrain with Ethan and his dog, Riley. It was a great morning, flowing from sunshine to shady cliffs and bouncing thru three sets of rapids. We finished at a small waterfall, which we and Riley would jump from into the swimming hole churning below. Later, Kurt and I went back to town to meet my friend Bruce, who drove up from Denver where he teaches yoga. I met him at Tias' Level 1 training, and he's the guy who introduced me to the "Brain Machine"(details later). At three we took an Ashtanga class at Richard Freeman's Yoga Workshop. At dusk, we drove up to Magnolia, winding high above Boulder, along dirt roads to my friend's cabin which sits at 8000 ft. I met Clarke when he was my teacher for Naropa's study trip to Bhutan. It was great to see him after a two year absence, and his sense of humor was intact, as expected. There were also a couple of Naropa faculty present, though to my slight disappointment, Anne Waldman was unable to come. We passed a great night over red wine, Thai curry, and corn on the cob. (I forget, do Americans eat this every night in summer?) Conversation went everywhere, from Tibetan Buddhism to the expat experience to conspiracy theories. As I said, a great night.

Wednesday morning I got an Ayurvedic massage from yet another of Kurt's friends, Jane. It was a mix of deep-tissue manipulation, light yogic stretching, and lots of oil. It made me really feel all the activities of the previous few days. When it was over, I could barely communicate for about half an hour. Kurt and I wandered Pearl street mall for awhile, eating at a Falafel place I remembered from my first visit here 23 years ago. I bought some books at Boulder Book Store and Trinity, then we set off for Denver and my next flight. I had had a great time in Boulder and didn't really want to leave. As we pulled out, three deer walked gingerly up the street.

On the turntable: Keb' Mo', "Keb' Mo'"
On the nighttable: Nick Hornsby, et al., "Speaking With the Angel"

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