Today was a really good day.  I’m proud of myself for following through with my plans, even though I started getting pretty anxious a few hours before it was time to go.  I used an app on my phone to hire an Uber to deliver me to the restaurant where we all met up for the tour.  I arrived early, but the majority of the group did as well.  I wasn’t hungry for lunch, so I got a chocolate Rice Krispie treat that was the size of a coconut, and a lemonade.  It was less than $4 for both.  We had to get nametags and show our ID before we could board the buses.  There were 2 full buses of us for this tour.  I sat down with a couple from Indiana until it was time to board at 12:30-ish.

First, we went to a grow warehouse.  It was large, but not more so than I had imagined.  It was a very tight ship in ways that surprised me.  I had no idea so much went into the process of growing multiple strains.  Even the air quality and pressure are micro managed.  We saw plants in various stages of growth as we looped through.  Afterward, we visited the same dispensary I went to yesterday after arriving.  I even had the same person help me, and she remembered me.  I got cartridges of a specific strain and a rechargeable vape stick.  No odor, no smoke, no taste.  I tried it yesterday, and learned that it doesn’t take much.  But today was a whole other level.

Before we even left the restaurant, 2 people in my bus lit up some pre-rolls and started the puff, puff, pass.  Then they turned on the music and light effects.  Unlike school buses, the seating was all along the perimeter, and walkway in the middle.  There were drink holders behind our seat in front of the windows.  They gave us bottled water and pop for those who wanted that instead.  I tuned out halfway through the safety speech just from the second hand effects.  The music was old stoner classics, including reggae.  I recognized bits of songs here and there, and enjoyed listening.  Normally, the loud music would have had me so tense I would have gotten a migraine.  But for some reason, this music strongly urged me to play percussion on my seat.  I do like playing drums, but I’ve never felt such a strong urge to play along with the music before.  So I did that while watching out the window for most of the ride.

The first people I talked to were the couple from Indiana in the restaurant.  After them, I sat next to a couple from Arkansas.  I think I might have seated myself too closely to them, but they didn’t seem to mind, and by the time we were all aboard, there wasn’t much space left.  It’s something I’m working on in OT.  The extra effort to be present in the moment when I’m moving.  It’s a lot harder than it sounds.  But the benefits of mastering it will be far less bruises, scrapes, and bumps.  And less instances where I sit or stand too closely to someone else, because I miscalculated the distance due to not paying attention closely enough.  I can’t remember a time when I didn’t have at least 2 bruises.  So it’ll probably be worth the effort.

Across from me was a couple from Atlanta and a couple from Chicago.  We talked about politics, weed laws in our states, and startups.  The younger couples sat in the back of the bus.  I sat in the front with the Gen-X’ers.  The ones in back got things started, and kept them going the entire time.  At no point from the time we pulled out to the time we returned, was there not at least 2 joints making the rounds.  They passed out joints to whoever wanted them, and went over the itinerary.  After the first stop, they brought out the bong.  I had never used one, so one of the tour guides showed me how.  It was easy, and then I coughed so hard I had tears in my eyes.  A short time after that, it hit me.  It was noticeable, but in a gentle way.  It was similar to the feeling you get when you step out of a loud, chaotic environment, and into a new space that is utterly silent.  You marvel for a second, and then smile.

I’ve been back for a while now, but I still feel quite stoned.  I don’t know if it’s because I had so much, or what, but I’m not complaining.  More like apologizing for any typos or misspellings due to my present state.  I don’t know what strains we were given on the tour, but it was probably a hybrid.  I didn’t feel like I melted into a sofa, but I felt very relaxed both mentally and physically.  When we arrived at our next stop, we got more educational information, and another dispensary visit.  The last tour was glass blowing, but I stayed on the bus for that.  I have a high sensitivity to bright light.  While I waited, one of the tour guides took my phone in with her and photographed the process for me.  She did a good job.  At least some of my pics won’t have mostly my fingers in them.  I’ll go through them when I get home and run them through Photoshop if they’re as bad as I suspect.

I’m very surprised by how much I had, and breathed, but still feel fine.  They did warn us about dehydration, and being mindful of the elevation.  Apparently, alcohol has an increased potency effect at this elevation.  That explains Coors.  Fortunately, nobody in my group had been drinking, or at the most had very little before the trip.  Nobody pulled out early.  Nobody got overwhelmed or anything.  Everyone was kind, and the atmosphere was joyful the entire time.  There were probably about 20 of us on each bus.  I didn’t count, which is amazing.  I usually count as many things as possible.  I didn’t count anything today.  This is a good thing because sometimes it feels more like a compulsion than a desire.  I don’t like it when I waste a lot of time on automatic pilot.

There was one guy on the tour whom I’ve met before at a conference.  He’s also a former googler.  We spent the first half of the tour taking turns staring at eachother, trying to place where we crossed paths before.  It was a nice mix of Caucasian, African-American, Hispanic, and Asian.  About half Millennials, and half Gen-X.  It was an amazing amount of information, too.  That was awesome.  I didn’t expect them to go into such detail, but I’m so glad they did.  That’s one thing I like about Denver.  There is an undertone of excitement among the people here.  It’s contagious, and everyone I pass has a smile or a head nod.  This kind of blows my mind, as it’s so much larger than Sioux Falls.  I never realized this before, but there’s a different type of relationship between big city dwellers, and small towners.  But it’s not less, or more.  Just different.

I expected a big city to have a lot of distrust and disconnect between strangers.  I don’t see that here.  People are calmer.  This is a big deal to me.  It’s so much easier to be around calm people than chaotic.  It’s like the difference between cashmere, and a hair shirt to me.  It helped a lot today.  I had such a good time.  My face hurts from smiling and laughing so much.  I was fine up until the final 30 minutes.  I needed to pee badly, but didn’t want to use one of the public facilities during the tour.  I made it in time, but it was a close call.  I tried to picture in my head what would happen if I lost the battle.  I didn’t manage to do so, which is probably a good thing.  I’m proud of myself for managing this challenge.