A few years ago my brother decided he liked rock climbing so much, that he would take a solo road trip out west to try his hand at scaling some of the more famed areas for climbing in this country. He takes after me, except I got alittle more serious about life and didnt end up moving out west yet, while he did.
Anyway I told my brother to check out Boulder, Colorado- one of my most favorite cities coming in a close second to Missoula, Montana. Boulder, a college town smack dab on the foothills of the rockies- features plenty of bike shops, record stores, used book stores, and organic shops to please even the most crazed tree huggin music junky like myself. Throw in two chabbad houses, and a frum albeit wacky shul and you have almost heaven. The Flatirons rise up to 7,000 feet up from the valley floor at the base of Boulder supplying the 100,000 anti-capitalist, hippy residents of the city with endless hiking trails, superb singletrack, sheer granite walls of 5.9 climbs and whitewater that runs right through the city during runoff season.
My brother heeding to my advice ventured this way as he made his way to the Utah area to explore some of the greatest landscapes known to man. In Boulder he was looking for climbers and was told to drive up a road a few miles and begin to look for them. 40 miles later in dense backcountry he came across a car, he could hear the slow rythmic beat of someone playing a bongo drum in the woods.
Wondering if the occupants of this vehicle were in the woods getting ready for a climb, he ventured into the woods to find the most unexpected thing in the Colorado backcountry. A man with a talis and tefilin was davening and playing his drum simultaniously.
My brother completely shocked asked the man if he was disturbing his davening. This man taken aback freaked out literally, and started trying to think the whole purpose of this chance meeting with a fellow frum yid.
I of course dont know the whole plan that the L-rd has but this was quite amazing when he told me over the phone. My brother ended up staying with the man for 1 week in Boulder. During the phone call with my brother he puts me on the phone with his and I say “dude are you Berels friend?”, this blows him away even more and me may I say.
Turns out 2 years ago on the way back from a couple weeks spent Hiking around Montana, my friend and I had visited this same guy in Boulder. Craziness man.
Oh and thank G-d for this guy, because my bro now lives there- choosing the voluntary impovershed lifestyle temporarily in order to climb, ski, hike and hang out with some of the coolest Jews on earth.