Friday, July 8, 2011

Road Trip: Boulder, Colorado

A craggy start to the hike.
We left the noisy, crowded parking lot of the Rock Springs, Wyoming Walmart for the active, healthy, energetic college town of Boulder, Colorado. Upon arrival we were greeted by a violent lightning storm, with loud cracks of thunder peeling slowly across the sky while we sat sweating in the van researching nearby camping locations for the night. Parker, of course, was frantically circling, panting, and leaving puddles of nervous drool in the back. With the oppressive heat, humidity and storms weighing on us, we abandoned all thoughts of frugal camping and decided to splurge on the luxuries of air conditioning, a real bed, and much needed showers at the local, dog-friendly Best Western.

After checking in the storms finally abated. When Parker found calming safety in the cramped space beneath the table in our room, Amanda and I left to explore the lively shops, pubs, and bistros of Boulder. We made a quick happy-hour stop at Mountain Sun Pub and Brewery where I downed a refreshing red ale and Amanda a tall glass of ice water. From there we visited Pearl Street Pub for a few tasty wings, lightly coated in their homemade BBQ sauce (and a couple more local CO brews for me). We finally ended the evening on the roof deck of the West End Tavern where we split a delicious burger sourced from a small, local, all-natural cattle farm along with a fresh salad and sweet potato fries. We've lived a mostly vegetarian existence on this trip, living out of the cooler on cereals, hummus, cheese, bread, veggies, fruit, pasta and PB&Js, so these occasional burgers and sushi platters have never tasted so good!

16-week bump on the Sanitas summit!
We slept late the next morning (until 8:30!) to fully take advantage of the cool comforts our room, picked at the hotel's free breakfast, and finally checked out around 10am. By 10:30 we'd reached the Flatirons on the outskirts of Boulder and the Mt. Sanitas trailhead. The 3.5 mile hike is a favorite of locals and their dogs, offering great views of the city and surrounding mountains from its rocky ridgeline and summit. This relatively short but invigorating trek was just what we needed before the start of what I imagine will be two terribly boring days across eastern Colorado and all of Kansas. But I'll try to keep an open mind. Maybe Kansas will surprise us.


  1. That Flagstaff Mountain your climbing at?

  2. That was along the Mount Sanitas trail. I saw the chalk and couldn't resist! Eldorado Canyon is just down the road. Now that would be a trip in itself, but I need you to get me climbing again first!

  3. I have enjoyed your blog. We are a family of 4 with an 87 Vanagon. We are about to depart on an extended trip so I really appreciated the auxiliary power post. Thanks! and look forward to reading more!