Boulder Creek tubingWell, the dog days of summer have arrived with temperatures starting to routinely hit 90 degrees down around Boulder.  Fortunately, up in Nederland it is usually a good 15 degrees cooler, making for pleasant summer weather.  But the residents of Boulder know how to combat all that hot weather by taking to the water donned in swimsuits and carrying inner tubes.  That may seem like a pretty odd thing given Colorado is at least a 1000 miles from the closest beach.  But take a drive down Canyon Boulevard in Boulder on one of these hot summer days and you’ll know what I’m talking about.

I drove down Canyon the other afternoon, and couldn’t help but laugh at the scene along South Boulder Creek.  It was packed with people, kids splashing around, young college girls wearing skimpy bikins, and guys dressed in surfer trunks showing off washboard habs.  It might as well have been a scene from the popular 80s  show, Baywatch.  There were at least a hundred people standing the water, lying on top of the rocks, or floating by in inner tubes.

Later on, I stopped by the local “hardware” store McGuckins, to pick up a couple of items for work.  If you ever come to Boulder, you must visit McGuckins.  I guess it’s listed in the yellow pages as a hardware store, but it’s so much more.  It’s a Boulder institution, literally and figuratively.  It has everything from clothes to pellet stoves, camping gear, hardware, plants, and household items.  Frequently, we have gone to McGuckins, even as the nearby Home Depot has let us down by not having something in stock, and sure enough McGuckins has it.  Well, on this day, there were several people at McGuckins in search of inner tubes.  It was comical listening to the conversation, the two teenagers wanting to buy a five dollar tube meant for floating around in a pool.  The clerk telling them repeatedly that it wouldn’t survive the current or rocks from the creek, and they needed to purchase the more expensive, $15 rubber variety.  They couldn’t be convinced and walked out with their rubber ducky tube walking back down the street towards the creek.

I have to confess, even though I’m not much of a beach person, it did look kind of fun.  Reminded me of the days I was a kid cavorting with the kids in the neighborhood on the Slip and Slide or running through the sprinklers.  And it reminded me that even in Colorado, on a hot summer day, you can find a beach (or rocks) to hang out on and cool down.