Colorado. When I was younger, it almost mythical. The very first time I ever played in a bar, it was at a place called Gasoline Alley - not far from my hometown in New Jersey. I was one half of a duo with my friend Ali. She played banjo, I played guitar, and we both sang. She had the most wonderful, gritty voice.
I remember playing “Rocky Mountain High”, but really might as well have been singing about Mars because the concept of Colorado was just fiction to me.
A few years later, it was Dan Fogelberg’s songs that captured my imagination. Songs like “Nether Lands”, and later, “Go Down Easy”. I knew I wanted to go there someday.
Years passed and I visited Denver a couple times, but never got far outside the city, but this past September, my fall tour took me through Colorado twice. I got to play 6 dates in venues all through the state. I got to really “see” Colorado.
And now I get it.
The beauty of the place speaks for itself. I saw my first bald eagle and drove over mountain passes that felt like the top of the world. We dug some fossils (Legally!) out of a wash overlooking a pristine lake that was about 30 miles from nowhere.
The people too. There was a couple we met in Pagosa Springs. Right around our age and both retired police officers from Wisconsin. They were in town looking for land so she could pursue her dream of fostering abused horses.
And the young couple who came to our show in Windsor. They had three kids under the age of 6, and upon learning we did not yet have a hotel reserved for the night, insisted we come stay with them.
Just outside of Denver, we spent the night at the home of an old high school friend. He and I played in a band together when we were 13. He had worked in the tech word, but what he really wanted to do was become a Sommelier….so he did it. We enjoyed many fine wines, and I learned that there are several whiskey distillers in Colorado who make fine products. We had those too.
In Glenwood Springs, the owner of the venue where we played was musician himself. He had played piano in theatrical productions all over the country, but what he really wanted was to fulfill his dream of owning a music club where he could play and entertain his guests. He had been performing at a private event outside of town, but came down to catch the end of our show. He invited Carol and I for drinks and dessert at the restaurant next to his. His competitor, of sorts, but apparently all the restauranteurs on that street saw themselves more as family than competitors.
I can’t wait to go back