The Holistic Health Headband

3/18/17

Holistic Health
105 Edwards Village Blvd
Edwards, CO 81632

707 Headband

Grade A ganja

Edwards, Colorado is one of those mountain towns that looks like a photo of it belongs on a Christmas card. I visited a their recreational-only shop that is here last year, Roots Rx. I went there last year because it is hard to find medical shops in the area. Everyone out here is rec-only. It is great to see that there is a medical shop here in town.

It is apparent that Holistic Health has been around for a long time because it is so hard to find. (2006 or 2009?) Pot shops used to maintain low profiles because they did not want to shake up the status-quo. Like skid row, the canna shops used to really struggle to get a foothold in our cities and towns. The green cross was often the only cairn that showed you the way. This place seems to have been built with that caution in mind. Today, the pot shops are as bold and bright as a 7-eleven. They are as ubiquitous as the gas stations, to say the least.

Holistic Health is a reminder of how much things have changed.We can now ask google (or Siri) to find a place. In this case, maps gets you close, but not quite. Google maps puts Holistic Health in the middle of the street. Of course this isn’t true, and as I looked around, I spotted a green cross glowing on the second-floor hallway of the building to the right. There it is?

The cross is half the battle. Finding the front door is the other half. After parking and finding the entrance to the building, I had to go up some stairs, down a hallway to the end, where a poster guiding me the rest of the way. To the right, under a big vent, and then a door with a note. “back at 1:00” it said. I glanced at their hours, and they opened at 11 AM. OoooooKaaaaaay.

“Not today”, I thought, and went on my way.

So I went back the next day. Everything was golden, the sun was shining, spring was in the air, and I knew where I was going. After a quick rap on the door, I was greeted by a lovely young lady who was thrilled to help me with my purchase.

They had a wide assortment of flavors. They were a basic mixture of a few sativas, a few indicas, one CBD-rich strain, and a few hybrids. They all looked good. Their buds were nice and healthy, thick meaty morsels of cannabinoids and fiber. They are mountain grown too, so they grew up happy and stress-free.

The budtender is a nutritionist. She left a rec shop to come here because she cared more about the health of her customers than making a sale. I mentioned that I was going on a hike, and she had all sorts of ideas. 707 Headband is what I took home.

A good herb is like a good parmesan cheese or a nice glass of port after dinner. It only takes a little bit to accent the day fantastically. I don’t need to get stoned out of my mind. I dont want to get stoned out of my mind. I just want to enjoy a bit of a smoke and enjoy the day. This Headband certainly fits the category. It does not burn; rather it is smooth and light. It is like spring in the mountains, a breath of fresh air.

Indeed, this Headband fits in well with the crisp and thin mountain air and the rising elevation pushes the heart, which in turn pushes the legs, and a walk becomes a jog up the peaks of the earth. This weed is sublime, and a little bit goes a long way.

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South Park has a Dispensary!

Wise Cannabis CO
21950 Highway 285
Fairplay, CO 80440

Grade: A

It is Rec only. Is that still a dispensary?

A new dispensary in Alma inspired me to go on another mountaintop jaunt for herbs. Alma is a  short and beautiful drive from Breckinridge. It is just over the Hoosier (?) Pass and the road winds down the backside of the mountain.   As I approached the location, I recognized the logo to be one of the cleverly named strain wise dispensary logos. I was duped. I was this far, however and I wasn’t going back empty handed. There was a spot just south of FairPlay that I noticed recently; today was the day to see how it measured up.

I continued to South Park, hopeful and happy.

img_5394When I pulled up, I was mortified to see it was called Wise. I was instantly paranoid and ready to head back to Breckinridge empty handed. “Strainwise is down here too”, I thought “Damn”. Despite my hesitation, I went in and was pleasantly surprised by what I saw.

The inside space is quite large. The bud counter is against the back wall, and the main room had a couple of vertical display cases for their glassware. They had a lot of locally made things for sale. The walls all had locally printed t-shirts. They even had a coffee cup/pipe available for sale. The cup was quite hefty. You could prolly add dumbbell to its uses, especially with a full cup of coffee inside.

Wise is so new that they still don’t have their plants in dirt yet. But they are working on it. Fortunately, they do have friends all over these mountains. Their herbs came from local growers. These mountains are great places to grow indoor herbs.

The cooler temperatures and drier air make it easier to for the grower to maintain ideal conditions. I harvested in the Denver warehouses for a year and spent most of my time hanging nug branches in the dry room.  Every place I worked at had serious issues with heat. A room full of 1000 w lights in Denver in August is not a joke. In fact, Denver hit 60’s last month. The city growers can only expect increased hot months as this planet continues its warming trend.

Another thing that the sparse mountains have over Denver is the insect infestations. There is only so much industrial space in Denver. The bugs know that and these areas are now mega-cities for spider mites and russet mites. These grow rooms are also bombarded with cross-contamination. None of the grows in the city practice clean indoor gardening. There are owners showing off their set-ups to US Senators or potential investors.

If Attorney General Sessions (is still in power and) comes to Colorado to see our operations facilities, there is an excellent chance that he is not going to have to decontaminate himself (or his entourage) before entering the grow room. I’m pretty sure he is not growing herbs, and so there is virtually no chance that he will bring some pollen in on his shoulders. There is a good chance, however, that some little flying critters could hop on and come in.

The many employees can also contaminate these areas. Delivery drivers and growers from other locations come and go all the time. I was part of a harvest crew that went to at least 10 different grow houses in a month. I highly doubt that all the harvesters were wearing clean clothes. (I tried repeatedly to at least get a minimal source of protection: booties so that we would not track any plant matter outside after work. I am still not sure if they heard me.)

The mountains don’t have this problem though. They are sparsely populated. The air is cool and dry. The sun won’t bake the building and everything inside it. In fact, the herb that I got, Dank #5, was grown underground and is solar powered.

It was amazing. The buds were healthy and their meat filled out nicely. It smelled peppery as hell. Not much of a flavor. It was smooth and did not burn. The way good herb should be.

Centaur Hunting in the Collegiate Peaks

2/2/17

Buena Vista

centaur-crossingThe area:

The ghost towns are scattered throughout this part of the Rocky Mountain range. The Silver Rush turned the homesteading trickle into a flood. The dreamers and schemers dug out virgin alpine forests and used their woody flesh to construct sheds, mills, mines and main streets. Tent towns popped up all along the newly carved train lines. Many towns didn’t make it, and their rickety boardwalks were consumed by the landscape. Buena vista is one such town to survive the and thrive amidst the stampede west.

Like so many mountain towns, Buena (pronounced like the “beu” in beautiful because double meanings are always fun) Vista was a landing zone. The real action is out in those vistas. They are called The Collegiate Peaks in the Sawatch Range. Mountains Princeton, Yale, Columbia, and Harvard tower to the west of the town. You could see more of Colorado’s famous 14ers (mountains over 14,000 feet tall), but these mountains are so massive that they cover up the view.

Of course, there were people here who have also named these mountains. They are the Tabeguache Ute. The Moache and Capote Ute bands also would have been in the area at times.[i] For them, these mountains are embedded in their creation. There are two more 14’ers just to the south of Buena Vista, Mountains Ouray and Chipeta. Ouray was chief of the Umcompahgre Utes and Chipeta was his wife.[ii]

If you have been to Colorado, then you have seen many Uto-Aztecan words. They are everywhere. Pagosa (Water that smells like sulfur)[iii] Springs, Tabeguache (a Ute Tribe), and Sawatch are just a few examples of Ute names still alive in Colorado. In fact, the Spanish word saguach comes from Sawatch and they both mean “blue-green” place.[iv]

buena-vista-range

The Herbs:

Natural Mystic Wellness Center
204 E Main St, Buena Vista, CO 81211
719-395-6226

Cosmic Brain Buds 70% (I), 30%(S)
Grade: B+- should have been an A, but the buds were entirely too small.

There are not any recreational shops here in Buena Vista, but there is a lone medical dispensary. It sits right next to an old-timey mountain tavern and is called Natural Mystic Wellness Center. It is nice and pretty and clean from the outside. Yet, I could not really tell if it was a ganja shop or not. The façade looked like I was walking into a massage center or an acupuncture studio. It could have been a naturopathic Doctors office or an aromatherapy place too. I had to triple-check the green cross on the window before I walked in. (but that is not always going to lead you to the right place either).

It wasn’t much clearer when I got inside. In fact, I was even more confused. It really didn’t help. The aromas of a ganja shop were there. But smell alone was not enough to rule out a massage or acupuncture studio. It was not until I was able to verify with the receptionist that I found the right place.

After all the formalities were finished, we headed to the display room. They had a ton of herbs. 40-50 varieties maybe. There was at least ten of each of the Sativa, Indica, and Hybrid varietals. They kept them in glass jars and weighed each order out, which is a huge bonus in my book.

The Cosmic Brain Buds have one hell of a name and came budtender recommended. The few nugs that are fullly intact are dense as a baby pinecone. Their meat is a strong purple color that made me feel like I was taking a color blind test when I looked into the jar. There are all sorts of colors, but purple really stuck out.

The Cosmic Brain Buds burned clean. The growers really know what they are doing. The budtender said that they cure for up to 8 weeks. This cool, dry mountain air is the perfect environment for a nice long cure to take place. It is far superior to the cures that growers in the industrial district in Denver have to deal with: swamp coolers and humidifiers are often needed to fight the incredible heat that these dry rooms face. These Buena Vista buds are far from those big city worries, and it shows.

The most fantastic thing about this place, however, is the big playground in the sky right outside their doors. The snowcapped mountains can blur the separation of land and clouds. 8 of Colorado’s 14ers are in the area. Buena Vista sits in the valley that the mighty Arkansas river carved out. It is indeed a beautiful view.

There are wilderness areas all around here. A short drive north will take you to Twin Lakes and a segment of the Continental Divide Trail. Or, you can go south and head into the San Isabel forest for some natural hot springs action and a creek-side soak all year long.

If water is your thing, then the Arkansas river is raging and ready for the best you got. This area is brimming with river rafting companies. You could also bring your own raft. Be ready, though, because this river has some serious attitude. Parts of it are the most dangerous level, class V. People die rafting this river every year.

If you don’t want to go that extreme, you could just wade into one of the tamer parts of the river and do some fly fishing. Get some of that River trout and let the shower of praises from your family for your killer instincts. Get wild in these hills.

___________________________________________

[i] Email correspondence with Liz Cook, Environmental Educator of the History Colorado Center.

[ii] http://www.ouraycolorado.com/about-ouray/history

[iii] http://cozine.com/1995-august/translating-ute-place-names/

[iv] http://cozine.com/1995-august/translating-ute-place-names/