Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Trip to Colorado brings insights new and strange

I took a trip to Colorado last week, where strolling into a pot dispensary does not garner you any funny looks, but publicly carrying an umbrella does. We get so little rain in California, when the forecast says there is an 80% chance, we carry umbrellas.

The same forecast in Colorado, accompanied by a sky as black as a Senator's soul, is ignored. An umbrella-carrier in Denver is marked instantly, and derisively, as a "Californian." They look at you like you are carrying a half-eaten marmot. And not in a good way.

It is jarring to see pot openly for sale. We have it in California, of course, but you have to pretend a doctor sent you. As long as you are carrying a Dr. Pepper can, I think that is considered medical enough.

Outside Denver I saw a big purple house, being used as a store, called "Granny's Hash." Another place advertised its "hand-trimmed bud." I guess that machine-trimmed bud is just not worth my time.

Fun fact: I am a geocacher, and I went to Denver for a big gathering of my kind. Geocaching is a game where people hide containers in public, post the GPS coordinates, and you try to find them. These "caches" are all around you, especially in the city, under bus benches, in bushes, on fences. A cache can look just like a rusty bolt on a fence, but it's hollow. The seeker must sign the log sheet inside.

Anyway, it was a hoot to see about 2,000 of these hobbyists in one spot, trading tips, buying sneaky caches from vendors who specialize in fake hollow rocks, fake snail shells and the like. My local L.A. geo group took a side trip up to Pike's Peak. Many of us did not have a word for what it is like up there at 14,000 feet. We had to ask somebody. "Cold" is the word they used, I think. I do not like this word.

Denver is a civilized city. It is full of those pedal taxis, which makes you feel good as a Californian, because you know that your vehicle is getting its exercise. The restaurant where I ate tacked a 1% "historic preservation" fee on my bill because it was in an old building.

And you thought L.A. was Scam Central. Don't turn your back on a Coloradan. He might machine-trim your bud.

. . .