Now we can all recall that Colorado is one of the small yet growing list of states that has legalized pot. So as you can imagine it has been a growing tourist destination for other things than the Rocky Mountains and craft beer. Although to be fair it is a place that has been exploding with tourists and new transplants from across the country for plenty of other reasons before they legalized it. Having been to Denver once before, I had fallen in love with the mountains always in the back drop, the vibrant energy from the young city and the endless supply of craft beer. That Denver is rapidly changing into a town of wondering hipsters and abandoned electric scooters that has a cloud of vape and pure sweet stinky weed looming over the mountains where clouds used to be.
I was totally unprepared for it all as I drove my rental car down the main highway heading from the Denver airport to my hotel. In that half an hour drive I smelled nothing but the overwhelming and second hand high giving scent of weed. I would later come to find out that there now industrial sized processing plants with smoke stacks right next to the highway processing all of that devils lettuce. Christ almighty I thought for sure I’d have failed a drug test after that short drive. I never found out if that was the case but I had a hell of an appetite all weekend.
The restaurants throughout the mile high city are truly astounding. From taco trucks for someone who wants something quick and delicious on the go, to the gourmet white table cloth restaurants in the uptown district. I can find no fault with their culinary experience, except maybe the fact that they push vegetation, vegan and non GMO health food options a little too hard. After a long day of desert hiking and mountain climbing you can find anything you want to hit the spot.
When I’d finished my guided tour of the Colorado Music Hall of Fame, by the way Colorado has a music hall of fame, I found my way to the rooftop bar of the hotel for some much needed cold and carbonated adult beverage. While I’d heard stories about pot infused beers, I decided to stick to an old fashioned beer. If it was good enough for George Washington it’s good enough for me. With the sun setting on the mountain back drop the ever present smell of the ganja grew stronger and stronger. I watched a woman with green hair and a nose ring walk an iguana on a leash as two guys zipped buy on the electric scooters covered in plaid and denim vaping. All the while thinking to myself, this must be that utopia that everyone keeps talking about.
I drove back to the airport early the next morning with a hell of a headache. I couldn’t be sure if it was from the non-stop contact high I had or the fact that I closed down the bar the night before. Fun that I may have had, adventure that I might have carried on, Denver is not the place for a freak like me. I’ll take my clean cut hair do, freshly shaved face, collared shirt and preference for food, drink, cleanliness and higher ambitions somewhere else. After all, why would a utopia like Denver want a square like me? When I don’t even smoke pot.