A backdrop for the unexpected, Boulder Creek offers an eclectic collection of natural and unnatural scenery, ranging from white-crested rapids and rock formations to men making a living snorkeling for sunglasses. Created by snow melt cascading down from the Continental Divide, Mother Nature’s not so lazy river thrills those brave enough to ride, perhaps rivaled only by a childhood trip to Disney World.
Put yourself at the beginning of a race in Mario Kart 64 waiting calmly for the start while anxiously scanning the upcoming course. But, instead of idling in eighth place behind Bowser, swap your controller for a death grip on a tube and wait anxiously for the current to pick you up. As soon as it grabs you, you’re off to a faster start than One Direction’s career. Careening over boulders while paddling to avoid treacherous whirlpools, you will quickly find yourself yelling like a major league baseball umpire while gathering looks from fellow adrenaline junkies.
You are the sailor who takes leisure activities entirely too seriously. Sure, your attitude might be appropriate if you were shooting a North Face commercial while whitewater rafting the Grand Canyon, but keep in mind, most fellow tubers are hungover from a bottomless mimosa brunch. It’s fine. Overwhelming enthusiasm can have only two outcomes on this adventure. First, beer fairies wearing lunch box wayfarers, obscure MLB flatbrims, and board shorts have been known to dole out lukewarm trunk beers. Carpe Diem if you can stomach it. Second, you might be heckled by onlookers and fellow tubers alike ultimately ending in a round of applause when you topple off your tube.
Word of advice: do not go barefoot. Plenty of rocks and submerged objects in the creek lie ominously beneath, not to mention it can be quite slippery.
Find a summer afternoon and get after it.
Be careful out there, Colorado.
Connor Grant is the sports and outdoor columnist at 303 Magazine. He enjoys Mad Men, polarized Ray Bans, big mountain skiing, a good Old Fashioned, anything outside, and reading. When he isn’t rubber necking gear at REI, you can find him frequenting shows at Red Rocks, uncovering new electronic music, or discovering new tapas bars around town. Let go or be dragged. Try and keep up by following him on Twitter.