The new falcon herald logo.
General Articles

A day in Boulder

We’d taken our old Dodge Cummins diesel pickup because we planned to stop by a ranch supply for fencing and posts on the way to a friend’s home in Boulder.The ranch stuff bought and loaded, we took off up Highway 36 toward Boulder and immediately began dodging slow moving Priuses…Prius’s…Pri-i? I think that the little cars get 48 mpg but apparently these drivers think that by driving 50 mph on a 65 mph freeway they’ll get what – 49 mpg? The Prius’ were everywhere and left or right lane, they all puttered along. Al Gore’s kid got a speeding ticket for going 100 mph in one, so I know they can go faster.On the road to Boulder in a big truck we felt like a couple of adults swamped in a mob of waist-high little kids waiting to get into the county fair! Finally in town and waiting at a red light, I noted that our large and growly exhaust was right at Prius window height. The big truck is fairly economical for what it is, but it’s one of those old and loud diesels with no social skills. Amongst all the little “green” cars I felt so, so – Republican!Our friends were trimming an apple tree when we arrived. Did they need a building permit? An environmental impact statement? This was Boulder and so you’ve got to wonder. Happy for a break, they took us on a walk down Pearl Street, the open-air walking mall downtown. If you’ve never been to Pearl Street, think Manitou, but much more expensive and with no vehicle traffic. Pearl Street, lined with shops, has been made into a brick path complete with street musicians, mimes, rich hippies and classy women shoppers. I made the mistake of getting hungry. Real food was very expensive and simply out of the question, so I went into a bakery and asked for a small roll followed by the question, “Will you take a check?”The Pearl Street Mall may not be a good place to get hungry but it’s a great place to actually sit in an electric Tesla Car. The car company is named after an inventor that lived and worked in Colorado Springs a hundred years ago. The Tesla Car, no hybrid, is pure electric. What a machine! I sat surrounded, nay enfolded in quality. A Ferrari couldn’t be better put together or much faster! The Tesla has a 250-mile range on one charge and goes zero to 60 in 3.2 seconds. People think of electric motors as wimpy, but they can be built large and they have all their torque available from zero rpm, the advantage of a well-built armature over pistons. I loved the car.I asked, “How long do the batteries last before they must be replaced?””Oh, eight years or so.””Hmmm. How much do the batteries cost?””About $15,000(Quick mental arithmetic) – “At eight years? That’s more than twice what I spend per year on gasoline!” I swallowed hard remembering that the car’s interior had a lot of finely stitched leather, and you know what that means … “How much does the car cost?””$120,000.” (Whoa! I carefully and surreptitiously peeled off the used wad of gum I’d stuck under the seat and popped it back into my mouth.)”Ahh, so it seems that all that’s left for me to do is choose a color.”So we left. I do have to tell you though, I’m not one to merely like the Tesla car or want one without taking action. And, well, I don’t mean to be smug or to brag, but I now actually own a brochure.Boulder bicycle shops are amazing places as well. Never have I seen so many varieties of transport that all involve the repetitive pressing of pedals. I was pleased to take a trip down memory lane by seeing beautiful reproductions of many of the old newspaper boy bikes that we all had as kids. The reproductions were in aluminum, of course. Modern kids would get hernias riding the bikes we had. But how can kids today be expected to build character if they can’t be forced to ride a bike that’s half their body weight? (Not including 100 Sunday papers.) There was a bike without a greasy chain, but a drive shaft. One bike even had a cogged belt drive “just like a Harley.” Well, I thought, not quite … from racing to retro, they sure had the bicycle scene covered.Breathing deeply, I smiled. This is what we wait all winter for. To walk outside with friends on a balmy day and feel the breeze on your skin, laughing and talking and people watching, well, it doesn’t get much better. My $27 bakery roll was beginning to wear off.We sidled into a high-end outdoor shop. By now we were becoming rather numb to the prices we were seeing. I found myself standing by the hiking shoes, trying to wrap my mind around the idea of a $95 pair of flip flops, yes flip flops, and thinking that yeah, they have real leather straps, but work boots have about 100 times more leather and cost less. Heck, the cows themselves have thousands times more leather, cost about the same and walk barefoot!Then the clearance rack caught my eye. There on the rack amongst normal footwear was a pair of sandals, not flip flops but sandals mind you, that were just my size. I say amongst the “normal footwear” because my feet are “why wear shoes, just wear the boxes” big. There lay one pair of sandals in size 14 men’s that looked plain but were very well made. I didn’t notice a brand.Trying them on, I enjoyed walking around the store looking at other unaffordable stuff. If you go to Boulder, try and imagine that everything is priced in Lire or Zimbabwe dollars or something and you can do this. I realized I was truly appreciating the comfort of the plain looking but solid sandals on my feet when a well-kept, some might say “high maintenance,” attractive Boulder lady commented in a deep throaty voice that she’d probably bought from a high-end mail order catalog, “Nice Chacos.”These shoes have no obvious brand, no markings. How did she know the brand? Other than quips about size, no one had ever commented on my feet before. It was then I realized something primal about women’s knowledge of shoes. It’s genetic. I looked down and wriggled my toes. My feet, though large, do not look bad. I don’t have yellow gnarly toenails like some of the guys my age that I see at the gym. Yup, I thought, I’m buying them. The price of $59.95 instead of $110.00 is great. Still too high, but hey, I already wear a “Bolivia” watch and “Hustler” jeans. Does everything have to be an off-brand? I’m not getting any younger and you never know – my toenails could go gnarly at any time.Happily I sauntered out of the store wearing the jumbo Chacos, with my “Kleen” off-brand (but almost as good as the name brand, really) bump toes in the bag.Now and then in life it’s good and proper to treat yourself to the real thing. You’re worth it. And so at last I now own high-end, quality transportation that uses no gasoline. Could the driver of a Tesla Car be any more proud?Tom

StratusIQ Fiber Internet Falcon Advertisement

Current Weather

Weather Cams by StratusIQ

Search Advertisers