A real salty soul in the high planes of Eastern Colorado.
As a beer guy, Colorado is like living in Mecca! We have a world-class locally brewed beer scene and access to the best beers in the world. As a born and bred beach bum… Not So Much! It’s either hot and dry, or cold and snowing. There is not a sandy beach for hundreds of miles, and when you do find one, it’s usually at the edge of muddy water. Not exactly a nurturing environment for developing a salty soul!
When Shawn, AKA @_Coastlines asked me how I became a sun soaked soul while growing up so far from the sea, I actually had to do a bit of thinking. It wasn’t a question I’d actually ever thought about before.
Growing up, we watched two kinds of movies. Johnny Cash Specials and Elvis movies. I suppose that Elvis shaking his groove thing on Waikiki Beach had my interest peaked, but when I was eight years old, my family took our first vacation to Hawaii! I remember walking down the stairs from the plane and thinking, “I’m never going to leave!”
When we arrived at the hotel, I immediately ran across the road to the ocean. Like some sort of wonderful metamorphosis, when the salt water first touched my toes, It was in my veins for good. I still like a little Johnny Cash, but when I walk the line, I like it to be the coast line!
As you might expect, I always planned to move to the ocean. But somehow, “Life” happened and my roots and ties to my home in Colorado became stronger and stronger. I just sorta… Never left.
Keeping your gills from drying out with an average humidity of 8 is a little tough some days, but I manage.
Keeping the island state of mind is most easily accomplished with an I-pod. The likes of Jimmy Buffett, the Pirate Sessions, Kenny Chesney and all the lesser-known “TropRock” bands really help me to start the day with a smile!
If there is a band that you have seen live, near the sea, that is your heavy artillery to combat the dusty blues of the high planes of Eastern Colorado. A little Barefoot Davis takes me right back to St. Thomas. No matter what kind of grit I’ve got stuck in my teeth!
You’ve got to have paraphernalia around you! Right now, I’m drinking from a cup with parrots and margaritas on it, there is a surf board hanging above my desk at work, and I’ve got a chunk of coral that I found on the beach that I carry in my pocket. Even if you didn’t know me, you’d be pretty hard pressed to ignore my love of the ocean after seeing my work area.
When I was growing up, people told me, “The cloths make the man,” and I couldn’t agree more. I’m lucky enough to be able to wear sandals or flip flops to work about 90% of the time and I wear shorts almost every day. It’s funny, when I wear pants, everyone that sees me makes a comment. It’s just that unusual. The brighter, louder and more obnoxious my Hawaiian Shirt is… The better I like it! And I wear those crazy shirts about three or four days a week.
Having friends that live near the sea is also a big help. Seeing pictures and hearing stories occasionally sparks a glimpse of jealousy, it’s mostly therapeutic. I like knowing that the tide still rises and falls… Even if I’m not there to watch!
But no matter how much “Therapy” I take, the end result, and only actual medicine for this dilemma is travel! You just have to get to the ocean! I could get away with less, but I like to get salty between three and four times per year.
We do the “Family Vacation” thing once or twice per year, but the wife and I like to get away by ourselves a couple of times too.
Part of what I love about this style, is we don’t have to choose a place to be. Pick one, and next time, pick another. Travel is what makes life worth living. And living and working in Colorado is what makes travel possible for us.
Jimmy Buffett, asked “Wonder why we ever go home” To which, several years later, Zac Brown answered “The Senoritas don’t care-o when there’s no dinero, and I got no money to stay.”
So, head home and work toward the next trip!
Attitude is everything, and for me, the reality of life is noting more than the road to the beach. Just enjoy it!
Be sure to follow along with Charles on his blog, Ramblings of a Beer Guy:
And be sure to stop in next week as we find out how another of our salty friends from the north keep their toes in the water and their butt in the sand.