Blind guy guides Boulder ghost tour

Chris Guide 2

Boulder, August 25, 2016

Chris Johnson is a blind man.  But that does not prevent him from describing in incredible detail all the main landmarks in Boulder, and the legends – both true and not-so-true – that go along with them. The tour started as usual in front of the Hotel Boulderado with it’s particular ghost story that got everybody’s attention. Chris is a great storyteller and a funny guy full of facts and silly details.

It is surprising what you can learn in a couple of hours on a sunny afternoon driving alone drinking, snacking and laughing. After living in Boulder for the last 13 years this Ecuadorian never knew that the Hotel Boulderado got its name by combining the name of the city, Boulder, and the state, Colorado, to set it apart from other hotels in other cities in the United States that are also called Boulder. It was a crazy thing to do and people at that time were really mad, but it doesn’t matter because as it is this particular hotel is the only hotel called Boulderado in the whole United States. Yeah, Boulder is weird for sure and you need to embrace those little particularities if you want to survive the cold and windy winters that will come soon.

On this particular Thursday afternoon the weather was just perfect and on The Hill were the noise and the crowds of students back in town setting a particular atmosphere. Of course, Robert Redford was mentioned as we went passed the Sink but we learned that he did use to play ball for real. Another fact that got me thinking and will stay in my mind is that the first used book store started here because people in Boulder are cheap more than green. As Chris also told us, it seems that Boulderites love bicycles, as the number almost equals the total population…nuts! As an outsider, one of those that managed to stay thanks to Chief Niwot’s curse, I was amazed by the bloody stories but much more by the particularities of how the city decided to host a University instead of a jail, why the bus doesn’t stop anymore in front of Scott Carpenter’s home to stop people from going there en-masse after the tour ends.

It is just refreshing to know that besides the typical historic details around the old buildings that are so remarkable you get pieces of trivia that help you keep the facts alive. So if you want to learn more and get a scary taste of Boulder get the $27 tour that leaves from the Boulderado every afternoon at 2:30 and at 4:40 and takes you around.

Banjo Billy Bus 2

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2 thoughts on “Blind guy guides Boulder ghost tour”

  1. Hi Rossanna! I found your subject, Chris, to be a very compelling individual. Pretty impressive, given that he’s blind! (Also, the tour seems like a lot of fun). I like that you photographed him doing his thing–he doesn’t appear to be vision impaired in any way, and given that he does not let this get in the way of living his life, I feel like you captured a hallmark of his personality. However, I did find background for the photo be a little distracting. There is a lot happening above his head, and on the left, there is another individual in the photo that is not mentioned. The way the photo is overexposed sort of leads your eye to focus on the other individual, which I presumed not to be the subject. There were also some details missing from your caption (which I took to be your first paragraph of the post) that I was left to wonder about. For instance, where was the photo taken? On the bus? What is he explaining in the photo, and what is he gesturing about? Does he actually formally lead the tours? Despite these missing pieces, I felt interested and thought your photo was compelling!

  2. You’ve found a great subject, Rossana. He would be deserving of a story and photo package. I think your portrait of him is ok, but could be much better. Could you pose him in or outside the bus in a way that gives us more of a sense of his personality and how he uses it to overcome the challenge of being a blind tour guide? As we discussed in class, this could be a case where you move him forward so that the crazy background, which is telling and entertaining, but also distracting, falls away and lets the viewer know to focus on your subject’s face? I’d like to see his face take up a larger portion of the frame, so that someone seeing him on a small screen will be able to recognize him and understand the point of your photo easily. I’d also like to see a bit more focus on the lighting of his face. With the bright face in the mirror, and the rest of the scene, including your subject, exposed with rather flat lighting, the light doesn’t really bring the viewer’s eye to the part of the photo that you want to emphasize. Check D2L for your grade.

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