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Ode to East County

Published on: June 14th, 2011

Summer has exploded across Boulder County, like a water balloon on a cement slab.

The other day, driving from Boulder back to our office in downtown Erie, I was bowled over by the pure exhibition of sun-kissed beauty. It was infectious. And I was suddenly laughing at the scenes around me, which seemed like caricatures of a real East County: A herd of baby goats waddled in unison. Mares nuzzled their wobbly-legged ponies in big, green fields while young cows picked at hay. And the birds sang pretty little tunes.

It was like Disney had hijacked the landscape.

I was driving back to the office from an interview in downtown Boulder with Teresa Robbins of Venus de Miles (see pg. 14), thinking about the interview and the lede, my to-do list, deadlines, website beta testing and photo shoots for future issues, about how time and space did not seem to have my productivity in their favor. I was stressing about this and that, everything that makes me lose sleep at night and causes my shoulders to hunch.

And then I drove by Cure Organic Farm, where women in covered hats knelt on the ground, looking like a picture of a different time and place. The rainy spring had made everything green and luscious. And all of a sudden, I was…yes, I think I was… I was smiling.

There’s nothing like pure, earthly beauty to knock you out of your rut.

This is what I love about east Boulder County, the communities that are often hidden in the shadow of Boulder’s glory. It’s definitely what I love about driving through the small towns, past the cyclists and the bare fields: the farms and farm animals, the McMansions that perch on hillsides with acres of pasture land, galloping horses, panoramic views of the Rockies, golden wheat fields and roads that go miles without a stop sign or traffic signal. Summer and East County go together like springtime and Paris or winter and Aspen. It blossoms in the heat, afternoon thunderstorms and sunshine of summer—from the CSAs and farm stands to the cyclists who come out in packs to tool around our roads.

This isn’t one of those why-East-County-deserves-some-respect arguments that Boulderites will ignore and East County residents will find annoying. This is just a reminder: As a region, Boulder County is a phenomenal place to call home. We are lucky to have such balance, such completeness.

Teresa Robbins and I discussed the merits of Longmont and Erie as communities. Her women-only bike ride starts in Prospect and weaves through the region, and it’s grown exponentially, attracting thousands of ladies to the East County über-mod neighborhood. It’s not just a fun ride for female bonding; it’s cool, unique and vibrant. It’s a perfect event for Boulder County, because it reflects the momentum of this area.

And it’s like what we try to do at Yellow Scene—and especially within the Hot Issue. One of my personal goals as editor of this magazine and one motivation behind a lot of our content is to validate your way of life and your address. Whether you live on Mapleton, in Prospect or on Briggs Street, we want you to feel—forgive me for sounding cheesy—cool and connected.

While Boulder has its perks, Pearl Street and tremendous scenery, East County is an extension of the shopping, academia, foodism and culture of Boulder proper. Their offerings are supplementary to one another, and if residents play their cards right, they could have the best of both worlds.

Just start by taking a drive.

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