In the early 1970's, a former choir boy and aspiring engineer by the name of Henry John Deutschendorf Jr moved to Colorado. He was so awed by it's serene beauty that he wrote and sang about it. Since his name didn't exactly roll off the tongue, he changed it to honor a mile high city there. And when John Denver released his love song to the state called Rocky Mountain High, it caused a cultural shift - and in some cases, it changed history itself.
I was part of the cultural shift. I grew up dreaming of moving to California to lift weights, drive dune buggies, date surfer chicks and hang out at the beach. But when John Denver sang these lyrics, "He was born in the summer of his 27th year. Coming home to a place he'd never been before.", something resonated in me. So I - like countless others in my generation - decided to pack a bag and see what this place called Colorado was all about.
I came out on camping trip with two best friends from Roosevelt High School, Wyandotte, MI, Butch Cox and Bruce Boardman. I was so moved by what I saw, I ended up staying for the whole summer in Colorado Springs with my cousin, Gary Mitchell. My buddies had to drive back, so I got a job in a small health club in the Springs, and then hitchhiked back just in time for the new semester at Eastern Michigan University.
After that trip, I was never quite the same. I kept dreaming about Colorado and telling all my friends how I would go back one day. And over the years have I fulfilled that promise and kept coming back.
This Story From The Road Les Traveled is about my past and present journeys through this magnificent state. I hope I am able to adequately share some of the things that make it truly worthy of a love song - one that is now an official state song.
On that note, I'll leave you with this link to the song that changed so many lives - Rocky Mountain High - and some of the lyrics below that still resonate today.
And the Colorado rocky mountain high.
I've seen it raining fire in the sky.
You can talk to God and listen to the casual reply.
Rocky mountain high.
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