Boulder, Colorado—ranked the fittest, smartest, most bikeable city in the US—is lookin’ pretty good for 150.

Via Waylon Lewis
on Jul 12, 2009
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welcome to Boulder, Colorado history

Boulder, Colorado, turns 150 years old.

1859 ~ 2009…

…And we’re just getting started.

I was born and raised in Boulder…and then, like so many hometown yahoos, never thought I’d come back once I left for the Big City (in my case, Boston). I came back in ’98 to help lead a Summer Camp that I’d attended, or staffed, just about every year of my life..and in ’99 I came back again, this time to help lead a Buddhist seminary up at Shambhala Mountain. There, I fell in love with an English rose, we moved to Boulder when the summer was over, I got a job and an apartment…and when my girlfriend and I broke up (we were off and on for four long years) I found myself once again firmly entrenched in my little hometown.

Only it wasn’t all so very little, anymore. Now that I was 21 (25, in fact) the town seemed twice as big. There was so much to do in and around Boulder. I could go to Mountain Sun, or later The Kitchen, or Rhumba (now Centro) or the West End, etcetera etcetera. And I discovered how healthy Boulder was—I soon lost my East Coast paleness, weakness and baby fat and started biking more and more (I now am able to bike commute every day throughout the year, thanks to our sunny weath—300 days of sunshine a year—and extensive, if never quite extensive enough bike paths). Now, 10 years since moving back, I find I’ve spent 23 of my 34 (nearly 35, life rolls faster and faster) years in Boulder, Colorado.

This year, we’re turning 150. Of course, we go a ways back before that, before the White Man kicked out Chief Niwot and the other natives. In any case, we’ve a mostly proud history—with the exception of the aforementioned anti-Native American crusades, and some KKK presence back in the early 1900s, we’ve been a center of science, outdoor sports, Buddhism, yoga and forward-looking, business-savvy environmentalism and “ecopreneurism” ever my parents—Linda and David, from LA and NYC—first came here back in 1972.

boulder, colorado anniversary video

Sesquicentennial Videos:

Boulder makes the Best Places to Retire list, via US News:

Cheesy, but gives a good glimpse:

An excerpt of my talk with environmental hero, great writer Bill McKibben at the historic, Buddhist/locally-owned Boulder Bookstore:


About Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of elephant magazine, now & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat." Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword's Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by "Greatist", Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: "the mindful life" beyond the choir & to all those who didn't know they gave a care. | His first book, Things I would like to do with You, is now available.


7 Responses to “Boulder, Colorado—ranked the fittest, smartest, most bikeable city in the US—is lookin’ pretty good for 150.”

  1. Rick Gilbert says:

    Seminary 10 years ago, Waylon–holy crap! Still lots of vivid memories, though–Makkyi's epic talks, life force pole installed at the Stupa, skirmish fun and invasion of encampment, Ring of Fire and your attempt to trade Mr. Spanbauer for…something.

    you've certainly made Boulder your own during this time–jolly good!

  2. Scott Spanbauer says:

    Why is it that I can't remember being traded? Long-term memory loss strikes again.

  3. Rick Gilbert says:

    pretty sure it was a hostage trade–or a total figment of my imagination!

  4. […] Boulder is, as a City, young: we just turned 150. But our mountains and the air and the trees are ancient; they are our gods, our Empire State Building, our history. […]

  5. Boulder was recently listed as one of "America's Best Healthy Places to Retire" by U.S. News & World Report, and #6 on AARP Magazines "Top 10 Healthiest Cities to Live and Retire" so is it any wonder that Boulder is one of the most popular retirement destinations in Colorado?

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