The Hip Educated Hub of Boulder CO

Lost and found keys at Mt. Sanitas

Two weeks ago, I was in Boulder, Colorado, for the first time in 14 years. Boulder, of course, is a hip, educated, happening hub of nature, spirit and athletics, at the foot of The Rockies. But I’d forgotten much about the place, having come to associate the town with a bad/sad ending to a chapter of my life as much as place where I was introduced to many of the themes of my life. However, I re-remembered, driving down Arapahoe Blvd, ogling, at once, the beautiful Flatirons hinting at the mighty Rocky Mountains to the west and the new construction that’s reshaped some of the city since I lived in it, how much I’d been privilege to in Boulder.


When I first moved there, I was newly married, avid about bike racing and my new job with a sports publication, enthralled to be living somewhere where it snowed during the winter…and generally clueless in that young, naive, hopeful and ambitious way that tries everything and doesn’t yet understand consequences. And so Boulder was perfect for me at that time.


The place is lively: the natural beauty conspiring to get you moving, whether by two feet, two wheels, snowshoes or skis. It houses Colorado University, The Naropa Institute and The Rolf Institute, Etown and Chautauqua. Everyone looked and evidently is fit and beautiful. There are trail-heads and bike lanes and open space at almost every turn. Pearl Street was packed with shoppers and diners enjoyed the expanding shopping district (we ate at a really great new-to-me restaurant The Kitchen). I ran into people I knew 15 years ago, and people I’d met in India. I practiced yoga at the first place I was introduced to Ashtanga (the venerable and great Yoga Workshop) and sang in a place five blocks from where I used to live (and where I only sang in my living room). Change.


A lot of life happened for me in Boulder. A couple more lifetimes seem to have elapsed since. We went for a walk through Mt. Sanitas park and I was breathing hard, not really out of shape but far from hyper-Boulder-fit, and had to laugh when a crew of triathletes went whizzing by (oh how easy it was for me back then to get on my bike and ride 50 miles or more most days… once you get over the 5430 ft elevation). Somehow, seeing a loose set of lost keys at the trail head was apt: how many doors you try and open at different times in your life, how many keys work for a while or a lifetime, how many you lose or simply turn in. Thanks Boulder!

Deborah Crooks
Deborah Crooks ( is a writer, performing songwriter and recording artist based in San Francisco whose lyric driven and soul-wise music has drawn comparison to Lucinda Williams, Chrissie Hynde and Natalie Merchant.

Singing about faith, love and loss, her lyrics are honed by a lifetime of writing and world travel while her music draws on folk, rock, Americana and the blues. She released her first EP "5 Acres" in 2003 produced by Roberta Donnay, which caught the attention of Rocker Girl Magazine, selecting it for the RockerGirl Discoveries Cd. In 2007, she teamed up with local producer Ben Bernstein to complete "Turn It All Red" Ep, followed by 2008's "Adding Water to the Ashes" CD, and a second full-length CD "2010. She's currently working on a third CD to be released in 2013.

Deborah's many performance credits include an appearance at the 2006 Millennium Music Conference, the RockerGirl Magazine Music Convention, IndieGrrl, at several of the Annual Invasion of the GoGirls at SXSW in Austin, TX, the Harmony Festival and 2009's California Music Fest, MacWorld 2010, Far West Fest and many other venues and events. She toured the Northwest as part "Indie Abundance Music, Money & Mindfulness" (2009) with two other Bay Area artists, and followed up with "The Great Idea Tour of the Southwest in March 2010 with Jean Mazzei.
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