Go for a Ride where the Green and Silver Collide. Historic Leadville has the Goods.

8/9/16

Nature’s Spirit

113 E 7th St,
Leadville, Colorado 80461

 Wapiti

Main Street Leadville is lined with historic buildings like the Tabor Opera House and The Sliver Dollar Saloon. Indeed, its name is born from another rush, the Sliver Rush; the surrounding hills in the sky bear the marks of that past. They are carved and etched like it is a giant sandbox. In that sandbox are the remnants of another time. The old mining equipment blends excavated piles of excavated rust among patches of golding aspen leaves and the stodgy evergreens.

These hills are famous for Doc Holliday’s last days and whiskey stills in the woods during alcohol prohibition. They have seen our hunger for money reach rabid proportions before busting the entire economy. Dreams have died in a pool of piss and alcohol on these streets. They have also grown to dominate Main Streets everywhere. Indeed, the James May Stores evolved to captivate the imagination of millions as massive helium balloons take over Manhattan, Americas Busiest Main Street, every Thanksgiving morning.

The Green Rush has not dominated this photogenic town yet. Leadville is not situated off of the interstate and thus barely on the radar of most travelers. Indeed, Leadville seems stuck in time. They only have two shops, and that seems about right.

But then again, that is the mystique of this area. The stills never shut down during prohibition and the local saloons now champion that past. The ganja farms almost certainly dotted this part of the country pre-cannabis prohibition. There are probably many more places to get your herbs here; I’m just not local enough to know. These hills are old and Leadville is at the center of it all.

Nature’s Spirit is just off of the main road in a little shed. It’s nothing special, and it takes up all the space that it needs. They have a good variety and often run specials, according to the budtender. Their sale strain was called Pb, but I went with “Wapiti” because it is the Shawnee word for Elk.

Wapiti literally means “White Rump”, but an Elk has a white rump, so there’s your connection. I ended up with Wapiti because I love it when American culture embraces the influences of our first nations ancestors. The owners took a conscious step to exhume the cultural layer just below Pbville and reintroduced a local word back into the local lexicon when they named this strain. The only way to really make change in your world is with your pocketbook. So my pocketbook threw down on the Wapiti. Give me some o dat white rump!

It was at the bottom of the bag (surprise!), but there were still some nice nugs stashed in there. These nugs were a nice, light, lime green color that absolutely glimmered in crystals. Sure, the red hairs stuck out like the hair on the world’s ugliest dog, but sparkly things are nice. It is hard to get over the sparkle.

a97635_sam2

The Wapiti smelled milder than mild. Massively mild. To be clear, it did not lack smell. It has a great aroma. She smelled more like fresh cut grass. Her aroma filled my nostrils but did not dominate them.

The smoke is nice and white. It is smooth and does not burn. They have been in business for 8 years now, and it really shows in the smoke that my mouth blows. It is a tasty treat too.

The owner said that they are always tinkering with their genetics. They pollinate and harvest seeds roughly every nine months. He was bummed when his genetics became limited to Colorado in 2013.

He picked the right town to plant these roots in. At two miles up, Nature’s Spirit is located in the highest city in the world. It is second only to Alma in vertical atmospheric proficiency. Leadville has a ton of things to do too. From ghost towns to old time mining bars, there is plenty to explore. They even have a hostel to rest your haunches and Chinese food for that pit in your stomach.

leadville-pano

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The Roots Run Deep at Ascend.

9/30/16

Ascendhigh-plains-road

10712 W Alameda Ave
Lakewood, CO 80226

Fire Alien

Welcome to Suburbia!

I cannot stress how nice it is to have access to cannabis like there is for coffee. If you run out, there is always somewhere close. You don’t have to worry about linking up with someone. No more waiting for your friend to finish Thanksgiving Dinner to meet you in the empty corner of the King Soopers parking lot. Not anymore. If you need weed, look it up; they even advertise! Ascend is medical only, however, so you have to bring your card for access.

Ascend is right at the edge of the high plains. Soccer moms could use some shrubs to unwind at the end of the day, too… Speaking of family, the same family has been in business on this plot for for 50 years. They sold tractors before they decided to get in the ganja game.

The first thing I noticed was how comfortable it is here. The bud tender that helped me has already been there 7 years! The rest of the staff also felt really comfortable together too. The room was large and had displays against the longest wall. It was full of employees. There was a lot of traffic too. They just flew through the customers, who they knew by name. If I didn’t know any better, I was witnessing the 7 AM crowd at my favorite local coffeeshop.

The vibe that I got showed me that this place is operated with their community in mind. This is why herb needs to be legalized. It is a shift in thinking. It is a shift from drinking. The owners are clearly doing what they love. These guys would just be tractor salesmen otherwise (I shudder to think of that other universe).

Ascend should be lauded for their recycling program. They pay a nominal amount to recycle for your little plastic bottles and even the big transport bags that are always included in your purchases.

The roots run deep in Ascend. They have grown and shifted with the times. The dirt is in their fingernails, as some would say. Their flowers were trimmed small; but they were rocks. Little key-lime green cannarocks. They had a ton of variety as well, about ten indicas and ten sativas.

The herbs are priced so that the biggest harvest is cheapest and the smallest is the most expensive. Simple. I ended up with the Fire Alien because it was cheap. Small buds don’t impress me. These buds were not popcorn exactly. Give it a couple of weeks, however, and they will be popcorn.

The Fire Alien is a serious looking herb. These buds are dense. They don’t give a single .mm when pinched. They are absolutely coated in crystals. It looks like they were rolled in sugar. The poor brown hairs try to fight for space and prove that they are a part of the mix too, but the buds are just so dense and crystallized that the hairs are strangled by the entire mass.

The Fire Alien smells like oregano that sat on the shelf too long. Even after crushing a bud, there was no odor. The smoke is smooth and it tastes sweet, like a lychee fruit. It has a nice, mild effect to it. It is just okay, and the low price matches the quality. There is more to the product in the service industry, however. The foundations of the business “trickle down” from the owners, and the mark of quality service makes the product much, much better. Ascend smashes that out of the park.

 

A Quick Stop for a Satchel from the Worlds Highest Pot Shop.

9/4/16

High Country Healing

40 S Main St,
Alma, CO 80420

alma-town-signGrape Ape

Grade: A+++

I have driven by High Country Healing many, many times. Situated between Breckenridge and Fairplay, the city of Alma is roughly six blocks long, so it is easy to pass right through. But Alma has enough interesting things to do there to warrant a quick stop. The main street is bookended by a cool little café and High Country Healing. I finally stopped there last weekend. It was nice.

The budtender was friendly and the small town vibe kept the place quiet inside. The City of Alma also makes the most amazing old-timey looking business certificates. No pink triplicates here; it is on brown paper and has nice little calligraphy flourishes instead of the bold black border that is so common on city and state compliance certificates.

Unfortunately the med selection looked pretty worked through. They only had a couple of indica flavors. The sativa and indica options were too close to popcorn. Things opened up on the Recreational section, however. But that means expensive. Fuckers. (My ego does not like to be a ganja consumer).

The Rec side was much, much better. They had an assortment of both indica and sativa. All of the buds were good sized too. They looked decent and the price didn’t make me walk out, so I got a little bit of this Grape Ape.

The buds are nice and chunky little nuggets of shrubberiness. They are a light lime green color and well coated in crystals. They smell peppery and woodsy.

The smoke is a little strong, but not excessively harsh. These are definitely top shelf shrubs. Their medical selection is probably just as good; I will have to see a selection that is not all bag bottoms on the shelf first.

This shake thing is a trend. I can go on a Monday afternoon or a Friday night and things are kind of low. They still can’t keep the herbs on the shelves. Maybe indoor growing is not the answer. It is time to get outdoor farms online. The sun is an amazing tool for growing plants. Sure, the prices will plummet, but at least we can feed everyone in Omaha and Chicago and Tulsa much easier.

It is behind a head shop as well. It makes sense, especially with all the tourists who come through these places. Why not be a one-stop shop? Besides, at 10,578 ft., Alma is the highest incorporated municipality in the country. It is all about technicalities in the superlative game. Is it really Alma’s fault that they are better served as a sleepy incorporated area than a full-on town? Besides, it is more about the mountains that surround them than the town. There are also three 14ers surrounding Alma and campgrounds galore. The South Platte is close by and so is the mountain sky. Go out and get some this June or July!

breck-mountains

 

http://www.summitpost.org/mount-democrat/150204
http://www.summitpost.org/mount-lincoln/150205
http://www.summitpost.org/mount-bross/150206
http://www.townofalma.com/content/about_alma.html