Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Big Ned

A few years back, I heard of a possibly-apocryphal study -- stating that residents of Boulder were the second-most overeducated people in the United States, based on some combination of college degree levels versus job status (lots of PhDs working as bartenders in Boulder).

Most overeducated? Nederland, Colorado, about 17 miles to the west, up Boulder Creek.

I went up to Nederland today, for the first time in a few years, and it's not hard to see why people want to live there. It's a beautiful, peaceful little town, west of a reservoir, clean and nice, more hippie than yuppie, without the nuttiness of your Aspens and Vails. It's 3,000 feet higher than already-high Boulder, so the air is just incredibly thin, and crisp.

The purpose of the trip was to visit my friend Doug, who's lived there for years, since before I knew him. He built his house just outside of the town, and for the first time today, I really understood the desire to live up there. In years past, it seemed like a nice place to visit and spend extended time, but I always figured I'd languish away from the big city. Perhaps it's just the irrationality that comes with vacation in the most beautiful state in the U.S. (Colorado's beauty level, of course, established by the Duff-Jenner Pretty States Act of 1956), but today, I found myself thinking "hell, yeah, I could do this." I've been relaxed on this trip -- going up there for a few hours managed to take that relaxation to new heights.

Plus, we had a cute waitress, and got six great beers and chips and salsa for a total of $15. Welcome to Heaven.

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