Thursday, June 13, 2013


My jaw dropped the other day when I was telling Hannah about the FREEBOX in Crestone. She says, "What's a freebox?" I'm like, "What, have you not read my blog?" Then I got to thinking, the traveling freebox makes so few appearances in the blog as of the last two years, that it's high time to have a refresher course. Today you'll see it and a world famous one as well.

This is my new pal, Rachel. We kept bumping into each other in the Oak House at Valley View. She was bunking it there, while I was cooking there and hanging on the back porch. We talked and talked, played a game of Farkel, had a ball chatting with Brook {one of the camp interns}, and finally during our last couple hours on the premises, we had a soak together. Turns out we both like the same new cooler APPLE pool.

{Earlier in the afternoon I'd chatted up a gal named Cynthia who was really interested in my story with the traveling freebox. She was so jazzed that we went to it and she made a video of me explaining about it. She told me about the world famous free box in Crestone. So the seed was planted that I should go check it out despite the fact that it was in the opposite direction of where I wanted to go next.

Brook - the comical camp host - had just come back from a grocery run in Crestone and there's where the conversation between Rachel, Brook, & I went. He had also checked out the free box when he was there and found a glittery women's belt. He modeled it for us as he was undecided if it would work best as a choker or as a headband. He's a DJ afterall. Definitely best as a headband, we decided together.
Crestone.... an artist community about 30 miles south of Valley View nestled right up against the mountains. It's really small but apparently has a world famous free box. Brook also mentioned a place called the Bliss Cafe and Bar that stays open fairly late. That caught Rachel's ear as she was sick of eating the food she brought from home to Valley View. I told her of my intent to go to Crestone at 10pm when we had to be off Valley View property. I was just gonna sleep there and get up early and investigate the FREE BOX and move on to Gunnison.

I leave the hot pool first and say my goodbye. I go grab my food in the fridge at Oak House. I'm walking back to the van and see Rachel walking toward Oak House. "You still thinking about going into Crestone?", I ask. She is, so I say, How many minutes do you need before you're ready to go? Wanna take the dirt road?" 15 minutes later, I'm following her down a dirt road that we believe will take us into Crestone. I'm eating her dust until she makes a wrong turn.... Then I take the lead and she eats my dust all the way into Crestone.

We find Bliss Cafe and have a ball. The kitchen closed an hour ago, but they brought us tea and some chips & pineapple salsa for Rachel. We play a game of Farkel, overhear some hilarious conversations, and then crowd starts to thin out. I casually walk over to the bar owners and ask them how they feel about my HEAVY METAL band playing a quick 10 minute show. THEY RESPOND, When? Now? I'm like yes, NOW. THEY RESPOND, well how loud is it going to be?  not too loud...I can turn it down if you need me to do so.......      so I grabbed the equipment and set up and 10 minutes later rocked the Bliss Cafe with JUKE BOX HERO and PANAMA. From what I could tell the bar goers and owners were thrilled but a little uncertain as to what had just unfolded.

Rachel helped me out with the equipment then we went in search of the WORLD FAMOUS CRESTONE FREE BOX> We found it and Rachel was able to leave some winterwear there that she'd been carting around in the trunk of her auto. We poked around, took the photo up above, and said our goodbyes... She drove off to Denver, while I went off to slumber right across the street from the Bliss Cafe. One hell of an evening.

So I wake up early and start looking around in the daylight.

hypnotic sign at Bliss
I took some items from the traveling free box to swap
This is it, the world famous Crestone free box. more of a free garage, it's BIG

some of the signs needed updating, but this one didn't
the clothes get sorted in big bins - every community should have one

the library was the most well stocked out of all the categories
half a block away is the Elephant Cloud natural food shop.
I was an hour and a half early, but I caught the owner going in early and she let me in to shop. I walked out with 2 watermelons, a zuc, and a chia kombucha. She told me that I should check out the creek running through town.

the creek was beautiful and calming...look toward the flowers
rushing right through the town park. loved it.

took books in the swap..hopefully they'll get passed on soon
met this overly friendly cat on my walk around town
he followed me back to the BLISS cafe where we said farewell

back out to the Valley to head N then W to Gunnison

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