Thursday, August 20, 2009

Boondocking in Boulder-A New Urban Opportunity?

The night before we did our show at REI in Boulder, CO we had arrived in town a bit late and were having trouble finding a place to park for the night. As we were cruising around looking at a couple of potential campsites, I noticed what appeared to be an abandoned restaurant off to the side of the road. Hidden behind some trees, and sitting in a parking lot that had 3 or 4 inches of grass growing up through the cracks in the asphalt, it was obvious no one had used it in several years. I decided that no one was going to even see us there let alone tell us to move. We pulled in, snuggled up behind some trees and bedded down for the night. Other than a couple of lost cars that passed nearby, and a man walking his dogs in the morning, we spent a quiet and uneventful night.

The next morning we pulled into the REI, where we had made arrangements with the Outreach Director to do our show in the parking lot in front of the building. Being a Saturday in Boulder, the REI was busy from the moment it opened, and despite the lack of pre-event publicity, thankfully so were we! Boulderites on the whole are very eco-conscious and there was a steady stream lined up to see the Airstream. Perhaps because of their above average awareness, they asked a lot of great questions and we ended up staying an hour longer than we had originally planned. All in all, a splendid time for all!

That day, as we were leaving Boulder, I realized that the current economy had left literally dozens of empty buildings in and around the city. Surely this is being repeated across the nation. Had I found a new source for mobile urban living?

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