Ah summer! The sun is high in the sky and the air is thick with trapped moisture. The hippie trains are loaded up and chugging full steam throughout the summer festival season. Just last weekend, Widespread Panic just blasted through town for their annual Red Rocks retreat. For many who were here last weekend, “…the lights from the town are fading with radio. There’s another song playing, and we can hear it in the wind outside”[i]. For others, this could be the end of a six-week slog, and the comforts of home are welcome departures from the bumps and turns of the open road.
This part of the world is all about the road. The stewards of this great land chased the herds across the vast stretches of the grassland prairies. People from the East pushed west in search of promises like gold and fertile farmland. People from the West sailed across the Pacific and drove in the last stakes that finally concluded the route that connected the East to the West.
The minutes tick away. But does it really matter how time is measured? On the road, time takes many forms. It is counting the miles before the next rest stop because Timmy is getting restless or counting the days until you are back on your Beautyrest. It is looking for the next campground exit, where the crew will link up again and drum until the woodpile burned its last log. It is one more encore before exiting the door.
The days never seem to end; yet they are gone too fast. Summer is a block party with a constant shower of balloons, music, food, and organized chaos that embraces the celebration that the community shares. But then the magic hour hits, and it is gone in an instant. The streets are left empty and hollow; yet the buildings and trees still resonate with the energy of the event like ears ringing after a really loud fireworks celebration.
This is just my take on summer, however. Many other versions exist out there that may not be so musical. Music is the tapestry of my memories. Songs remind me of people and points in time that are usually good. Even when I don’t have music in my ears, I hear the drone of the nearby cars or the wail of a foghorn or the symphony of cicadas.
I hope the roads you take this summer are filled with sounds. Here’s to all you Pilgrims of Turtle Island! I hope the world will show you something that makes you stop for a second and take it all in! Will it be first time eating fry bread, or experiencing the crazy winds blow in Death Valley? The road takes many angles and turns, and every one you take is for the right reason, even if you end up in a ditch in South Dakota in the middle of the night.
[i] lyrics from Widespread Panic – Pilgrims Lyrics | MetroLyrics
The Herbal Cure
985 S. Logan St. 80209
White Super Skunk
The Herbal Cure gets the award for best location. It pops from the interstate, because it is the only part of the retaining wall that has any color to it. The wall on their property is covered in graffiti. It is bright, colorful, and joyful. The graffiti art is everywhere in the farm. I call it a farm because the buildings are made of old wood in an old west style. There are two main buildings; the (literal) barn and the store. A streetcar sits toward the front of the property and it is just begging for an espresso machine and some bistro tables.
As for the herbs, well, their aroma didn’t impress. It smells like pot. The buds were nice and big. They are solid, tightly packed, and decked with crystals and red hairs. The smoke is nice and smoothe. It does not burn the throat. It has a nice, sweet taste to it that leads to a comfortable experience. It was more energetic than relaxed. Good stuff.
2106 E Boulder St,
Colorado Springs, CO 80909
Getting herbs in Colorado Springs is a refreshing departure from the herb shops in Denver, at least the spot that I went to. It was quiet and there was not much going on inside. In fact, a hand-scribbled note on the door welcomed me to their shop and informed me that a bathroom break was on.
I waited for a few minutes before a customer walked out, bag in hand. So I thought I should try the door. It was open. Facepalm. The receptionist was also the budtender, so he was pulling double time. He was also incredibly friendly. He seemed to know everyone by name, and the customers really respected his knowledge of the product.
They had great choices and nice nugs. Jack Flash and Midnite were particularly nuggy (An 1/8 of Midnite was only two buds!). The Jack Flash nugs were a mix of light and dark green buds, with their red hairs in stark contrast to the green. The Jack Flash smelled and tasted pretty mild. There was a peppery taste to it.
This herb is like drinking cucumber water: refreshing with a subtle aftertaste. It just keeps on rolling like a smooth bassline on a liquid track. It is perfect for a sunny day strollin on a beach cruiser.
1537 Pearl St
Music is my photo album. Every time i drive by the Chief Hosa exit, I think about the first time I saw Widespread Panic at Red Rocks in 2001 and all of the craziness associated with that weekend. I often have to explain myself because I hear something I really like and will comment on it like it is a flavor of food or some alluring scent. I attach words to beats and use lyrics to figure out riddles. I really, really listen to music. When I saw Magic Johnson on the shelf, I was taken back to the 80’s. I did not have any real attachment to California at that time and really loathed basketball. I could care less about the Showtime Lakers.
In 1989, I was in the 8th grade and at the first secular milestone of my life. High school was coming up and my little group of friends/terrorists was soon to diverge. One day that year, I went over to a friends’ house to do what 13-year-old boys do. I got a bowl cut for the first time. It was a big deal for me because I never let anyone not named “mom” cut my hair before. Trust was a big deal for me. First of all, I was sure that my mom was going to be pissed at me for not asking permission. It is kind of like getting a tattoo of the word “mom” inside a red heart: it sounded good at the time, but mom definitely did NOT approve. The other big issue was that I didn’t trust people much, and I was sure my friend was going to shave a penis in my head or something stupid like that.
But he didn’t. Instead, he gave me the same haircut as his cool, older brother who was the captain of the high school soccer team. It was also the first time I heard “Mother’s Milk” by the Red Hot Chili Peppers. These skate-punk guys who ran around on stage wearing nothing but sausage-warming socks were a vast departure from the glam-rock that gave us more frills than a medieval French court. And their music was electric.
For me, this herb was more a tribute to their song Magic Johnson than the player that the song immortalized. I could barely pay attention to the budtender because Anthony Keidis was screaming in my head so crazy loud and crazy fast. I just wanted to get a mosh pit going. It didn’t matter what she said, I was buying the Magic Johnson.
Like the Bubba Kush, it was a smooth-hitting smoke. It was also complimentary to the Bubba Kush in many ways. The buds were nice and big and intact. It was a sativa to the Bubba Kush’s indica. The Magic Johnson tasted sweet and flowery. There was a noticeable alertness that I felt with this herb. This Magic Johnson was both stoney and speedy. All-in-all, it is a great way to enjoy a day.