High Country Healing
191 Blue River Parkway, #202, Silverthorne, CO 80498
Why you should go: ski lodge party atmosphere; options for creating intoxicating bubbly cocktails; you own a hot tub or could see yourself in one; you are used to the finest of the finer things
It’s been strictly business for us since we touched down in Denver. That’s not bad, certainly not bad when your business is cannabis. But we’ve had our heads buried since we got here; we’ve mostly taken in the Denver sidewalks. I’ve never seen the Rocky Mountains from outside a plane, never inhaled Rocky Mountain air from the ground. They’ve been looming in the distance during our entire trip. I want in.
We are lucky enough to have a tour-guide/designated driver, who offers to chauffeur us to a place he likes, but when the road off of I-70 is too snow-covered we head back to the highway, farther west, with no real destination in mind. The eastbound lanes are backed up to the Eisenhower Tunnel, so we figure we’ll stop someplace for dinner and then turn around. Any trip into the Rockies is impressive. They don’t really make mountains like this where I come from. We exit at a place called Silverthorne, for no other reason than that it probably doesn’t make sense to venture further when everyone has to work in the morning.
Growing up on the east coast, most of our “resort” towns are beach-centered; in Silverthorne, I can feel that unique mix of the relaxed and the confused, specific to a crowd who knows they are here to unwind and shop but are unsure of where to eat or where to park.
We stop at a gas station, next to a fast food place, surrounded by mountains, sun light diminishing. Across the street I notice the kind of non-descript two-story building that, in Delaware, might have an arcade up top and a saltwater taffy dealer below. In Silverthorne, though, it displays glowing green and neon the sign of a cross, the word “recreational.” It’s High Country Healing.
We’ve been in Denver for a few days now, and we’ve picked our spots carefully. Weekend Review Kit is a review site, true, but it’s always been our intention to focus on the shops doing it right, so we’ve relied on research and recommendations in an effort to find places we think we’ll like and think you’ll like too. Besides, we don’t want no schnicklefritz. A good policy, it’s led us to some of the very best shops Denver has to offer. All of our interactions have been exceedingly professional:
“Hello and thank you for coming. May I please see your ID? Thank you. Please allow me to return your ID. Please allow yourself to find a seat. Your budtender will be right with you. Please enjoy your shopping experience. You’d like some cannabis that pairs well with cleaning a mechanical pencil and then watching New Jack City? Please enjoy this strain, cultivated for exactly that purpose. Please have a wonderful day.”
This is random, we didn’t really expect to be here, but a quick Internet check reveals a plethora of 4-star and above reviews, so it can’t be that bad. It must be fate – we’ll check it out.
The sun, setting when we first arrived, is gone now, and the stairwell leading to the second level isn’t particularly well lit. It would all seem a little sketchy, except looming in the background is a sign for JCrew.
Whatever doubts we harbored from a distance are alleviated once we make it through the first door. All of a sudden, we are on vacation too. Inside High Country Healing are seated three people, earth-tone hoodied, ecstatic and excited, like athletes waiting for their next run at the X Games. They are listening to Phish. One person checks our ID; he’s very happy to see us, the way we used to be greeted at college parties by the dude collecting five dollars at the door. As we move past the front desk, one of the other men says: “Get ready for the best weed in Colorado.” There’s a cheerful informality at High Country Healing you won’t find at some of the more established Denver shops.
The happy-to-see-you atmosphere keeps going once you get inside the bright and welcoming showroom. Our budtender is super psyched we came by today and can’t wait to show us every single jar they have, taking each one out before we even ask. When we inquire as to what she thinks is best, she has a hard time choosing, because they’re all so good. Really, it depends on what we plan on doing.
Bubba Kush might be suitable: this one gives you a mellow head buzz and a really strong body high. It’s perfect for hot tubbing, for just kicking back at the end the day. What’s better than being couch locked in a hot tub, amiright? Or we could try the Cannapunch, which comes in 16.5-ounce (100 mg THC) bottles and mixes really well with champagne, though she’s not sure she should condone the combination of cannabis and alcohol. She casually points out the “caviar,” which I haven’t seen yet on this trip and looks like somebody soaked a piece of weed in the dregs from a just finished espresso, but is actually flower rolled in hash and kief. It’s obvious that High Country Healing deals with a clientele accustomed to the highest of lives.
They also sell CDB lollipops, another item we didn’t encounter too often in the city. Heavy CBD products aren’t always readily available on the recreational side, and if you’re just visiting it’s nice to be able to try some to compare the difference and get an idea of how you might treat yourself if you lived in a place where you had access to the best medicine.
We settle on the Bubba Kush and Cannapunch and later regret not trying the “caviar.” On the way back to Denver, CBD pop keeping my sensitive stomach stable on the down, up, down again I-70, I forget for a second that I have people to meet, flights to catch, things to write. For one beautiful moment, thanks to the friendliness of High Country Healing, I am on holiday.