June 1, 2011

Take a Summer Drive to Telluride ~ By Charles Hurd

It’s day two of my beautiful time in sunny Telluride.  I recommend getting out here for a trip, the people are beautiful, the weather is beautiful, and the scenery is . . . let’s just say it will take your breath away (literally, at an elevation of 8750 feet).

The town, even at capacity, is about 1/4 the size of a normal ski town, locked in on two sides by hundreds of feet of cliffs, a third side by ski slopes, one feels safe in this prayer flag fortified land cove .

The wind in the town blows at a constant lull, as the door opens to my make-shift street-front office, thank you La Cocina de Luz (Mexican lunch), I’m blasted with mellow rays and gentle breeze. The stay in Telluride has felt more like an ocean getaway then a mining town retreat.   Last night falling asleep to the sounds of rolling waves blowing through aspen trees, this warned us of the howling whipping our tent endured, sometimes being blown flat down on top of us.

la cocina de luz

My film itinerary was set off with two educational pieces called “Revenge of the Electric Car”, and the “Grid.”  But my flow was quickly interrupted thanks to full capacity.  The flow never stops though, just follows the path of least resistance.  I ended up viewing “Spoil” and “A Perfect Soldier”.  “Spoil” is remembered for it’s epic soundtrack and footage shot by the crew of 100 of the best filmer/photographers in the world.  “A Perfect Soldier” educated and empathized with Cambodia, it was almost on the level of “Invisible Children” in terms of heart-felt sentiment.

Next we viewed “My Toxic Life” and “On Coal River”.  This was our second dose of activism after warming up with “Spoil”.  “My Toxic Life” is a short three minute expose on a Texas town’s power plant.


“On Coal River” changed how I think about activism.  Persistence, energy, and focus pay off for these West Virginian Appalachian activists.  The film traces their request from a strip mining corp. called Massey is a new Elementary School because of the proximity of a toxic coal sludge lake too their existing school.  One man walks some 400 odd miles from the capital of West Virginia to the senators office in Washington D.C.  In the end this man’s life purpose is accomplished when Massey devotes 1.5 million dollars to a new school.

“Happy” was the turning point of our day, after a morning of fighting for good, we got to chill out by watching happy people talk about the science of happiness.  Basically it boiled down to cooperation/relationships, and random acts of kindness.  Okinawa, Japan; home of the largest number of over 100 year old s is also home of some of the happiest people due to their cultural involvement.  It seems everyday there is a different social get-together from the dance troupe, to the smiling old ladies club, to the 4 year old’s 10 yard dash.  Denmark was happy due to its communal family housing, which resulted in each adult only having to cook dinner twice a month.  Bhutan was happy due to it’s governmental promotion of GDH (Gross Domestic Happiness) over GDP (Gross Domestic Product).  Bhutan did this through preserving culture and environment in lieu of capitalist gains; they believed in the acquisition of contentment over capital.

Our happiness was finally capped off with Timmy O’neil doing a hilarious stand-up bit of a day in the life of Boulder,

Timmy O'Neill

complete with one-liners like “it’s just a Boulder hippie on his bike probably on his way to whole foods”, “Namaste, are you present?”, “It seems the closer you are to death the more you truly feel alive”.  This funny piece finished off with a heartwarming Timmy entreating us to take someone out to the wild who truly needs it.

Back in Boulder after Telluride, all psyched from a weekend of mountain film, first day out rock climbing, crushing it, until . . . fall and roll my ankle between two rocks.  At least I know I went for it Mountain film style.  Won’t be in the mountains for a few days, but if I learned anything from the mountain Film Festival it is Mountain Films are about cooperation, teams, relationships, and the happiness this brings.  It’s time to heal and rest with the company of my community, some good Boulder beer, and a warm summer night.


Charles Hurd is a transitioning student to start-up visualizer. He is interested in unconventional lifestyles which result in minimal eco-foot prints, technology, and sustainability. You can find him partaking in zen activities from motorcycling to Bouldering.

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