Friday, July 25, 2008

Friday, 7-25


To start the day, mom, Dan and I went to Chautauqua for a hike. Dan planned out a great route up to Gregory Canyon and then almost to the base of a Flatiron. Part of the hike was really steep, but the views were great!

After having some breakfast, mom and I headed down 28th street for a little shopping. We stopped at the Great Harvest Bread Company for some fresh baked apple cinnamon bread for lunch. Delicious! Then, we went to the meadery (honey wine) for a tour and tasting.

Again, it was really hot out so we headed back to the house to cool off and wait for dad's flight to come in. When he did arrive, we did another driving tour of Boulder and then went to the Tandoori Grill for dinner. Even though it was late for eastern time, we convinced mom and dad to walk through the Pearl Street Mall with us before turning in for the night.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Thursday, 7-24

I planned a Boulder day for mom today. We started with a long bike ride. First we rode into the plains to see prairie dogs. They were out in full force to greet us. Then we headed west on the Boulder Creek trail into the mouth on Boulder Canyon. We stopped at Rock Island to take in the beautiful views before heading to NoBo for breakfast. We got coffee at Vic's, a Boulder institution, and got bagels at Moe's, another Boulder landmark.

After a quick stop home, we headed up to Celestial Seasonings for a tea tour, tastings, and a gift shop visit. Mom and I both got a lot of new teas to try. Then it was off to a yoga class at NoBo Rec Center--mom's first! We had a lot of fun and then decided it was time for lunch.

I took mom to the Tea House for a delicious lunch. I know we've written about this restaurant in past posts, so I won't do it here. After lunch, we drove around the university to check it out, and halfway up Flagstaff Mountain to check out the views of town. Then, we headed back to the Rec Center to cool off in the pool.

For dinner, Dan made shrimp and edamame. Then it was off to Neptune Mountaineering for the weekly slide show. This week Gary Neptune was talking about Wind River, another climbing area in Wyoming. Very impressive stuff! The talk was short, so we took mom to the Hill and stopped for a drink at The Sink (very cool CU hang out). Then it was off to Glacier for some ice cream!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Wed, 7-23

On Wednesday morning we went for a hike at Chautauqua Park. We spent some time on the Bluebell-Baird trail which winds through the woods--it's one of Dan's favorite. We tried to take some pictures of ourselves for Dan's grandparents, but we weren't terribly successful.

Then I went to pick my mom up at the airport. When she arrived I took her to the Farmer's Market, through Pearl Street, and off to the canyon to see Boulder Falls. When we got back to the house, we made stuffed squash.

After dinner there was a huge rainbow out our front door. Mom and I went for a short bike ride on the Goose Creek Trail towards to the plains.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Other Boulder Stuff

So, what else do we do in Boulder and why is it just so great? Both are excellent questions! You've read about the hiking and climbing we've done. You've even been privy to some of our runs, but there must be more, right? Well, there is!

There are a ton of great restaurants in Boulder. So far, we've only sampled a few, but what we have tried has been fantastic. There's an Ethiopian restaurant 3 blocks south of us. It's sits right on the creek and the food is awesome. Friday night we walked to a pizza place just down the street which was great. Across the street is a place that makes their own ice cream--each store has at least 40 flavors.

Boulder also has a lot of cultural and outdoor events. Chautauqua Park hosts the annual Colorado Music Festival. I've been to a couple of concerts and pre-concert lectures. The local mountaineering store also has weekly presentations. On Thursday we went and heard climbing legend Gary Neptune talk about the best climbs of the Tetons.

The downtown area of Boulder also has a lot going on. Twice a week they host an organic farmer's market and there are free concerts throughout the summer. I biked down to "Bands on the Bricks" one night last week. There was a band playing some fun 80s music. The whole Pearl Street area reminds me of Fanueil Hall and Quincy Market. It's an outdoor mall with lots live performers like jugglers, artists, and musicians. There's also a ton of restaurants and sculptures throughout the area.

Aside from all the outdoor excursions, I've also joined the North Boulder Recreation Center so I can swim and take yoga classes. There's also weights and other gym stuff, but the pool is much more fun! I've also enrolled in the Boulder Ballet School. They have a adult beginner ballet class once a week that people actually go to! I've been twice so far and haven't been the worst person there! I also joined the Boulder New Comers Club for couples and singles and have met a few people for coffee and hikes. Oh yeah, and I've started my job search. Nothing really to report yet, but I'll write when something exciting happens.

Colorado Springs and Mount Sanitas


On Saturday we drove down to Colorado Springs to climb with Matt and Ryan. We met Matt at his place just outside of Garden of the Gods. After getting permits at the GoG office, we went on to Red Rocks Canyon Open Space. This is a great park that's been bolted by local climbers. The only downside is that it's all sandstone. This type of rock is difficult to climb because it's like sandpaper.

Dan led a 5.6 with a really tricky first bolt. He then led a 5.7+ (mad scientist) and we TRed for a while. Then we went over the the quarry section/end of the whale's tale. I led a 5.4 to a large ledge. Then Matt and Dan joined me on the ledge and Dan led the second pitch. We were able to rappel before the thunder clouds got really close. Oh, did I mention we were at a hanging belay and this was Matt's second time climbing? He was a really good sport and did his first rappel--a two rope one at that. Needless to say, I was thrilled to hear that Matt still wants to climb with us again even after this day!

On Sunday I ran for 93 minutes (7.6 miles--more than halfway of the 13.1 mile marathon!). Then Dan and I rode our bikes to the Mount Sanitas trailhead. We hied the Sanitas Valley Trail and then the Mount Sanitas trail. It's a 3-mile loop that gains over 1,200 feet elevation. The hike was really fun except for the fact that it was 99 degrees out. Thankfully, humidity was probably only 15%. Towards the end of the hike we broke out our climbing shoes and bouldered for a while on more sandstone. Afterwards we biked back home.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


I went running with Laurel this morning, thought it was going to kill me. She seemed to do OK though. Our route.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Bike Rides and Such

Last night when Dan was working, I went for a little exploratory bike ride. There's a reservoir a couple miles northeast of here that is really popular for swimming, boating, and fishing so I thought I would check it out (plus admission was free for me because I joined the North Boulder Rec Center yesterday -- and went swimming :) Compared to the beaches back east, it was really nothing to speak of, but there were some pretty landscapes with the clouds, plains, and mountains in the background.

The grand adventure yesterday, though, was getting new plates and licenses. After a couple of hours of running around, we got both done. Now it's really official!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

There and Back Again, A Hobbit's Tale


On Saturday we went climbing with Frodo (a.k.a. Matt of Angstrom fame) in Boulder Canyon. This was his first time climbing so we brought him to Castle Rock, where we brought Violin Jim last summer to try his first climb. Frodo used his characteristically strong hobbit feet and massive arms to get him to the top of the rock and back again--several times.

Dan led the crack to the right of the main route, but to the left of the chimney. There was already another party who had a rope at the anchor, so Dan set his own with a cam, tricam, and a nut. The three of us climbed three different routes off of this anchor. The first was probably a 5.6 which I would characterize as a practically a gully climb. The second was the chimney. Matt had some wicked stemming and manteling going on as he climbed it. The third was the face in between the two major crack systems. When we tired of these three, I climbed up, broke down the anchor and rapped off.

We then moved down the road a bit back to Nip and Tuck--where we were last weekend. This time we set up a top rope on an easy climb on Nip. The bottom offered a nice problem--it was a bit overhanging and there was a mantel over a ledge to get you to the slab at the top. I think we all hopped on this climb twice before we called it quits for the day.

I think Matt's first day was a success. He walked away unharmed except for a few blisters and a bloody finger or two. It sounds as though we might make a climber out of him yet, as he wants to go out again with us next weekend. Works for me :-)

After we cleaned up, we all walked down to Ras Kassas' Ethiopian Restaurant for dinner. I swear, all food tastes better after a day of climbing (not that this food doesn't normally taste good--this place is one or our favorites!). To stretch our legs a bit more, we walked to the 29th Street Mall and listened to some live jazz.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Bike Ride

This is the bike ride I did with my friend Steve.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Our Apartment

Enjoy the pics!






(Dan's office not included because he was working)

Week Two in Boulder

So, what have we been doing in Boulder and how is it different from what we'd be doing in Massachusetts. Dan is now working from the second bedroom, so sometimes we run in the morning together and often we hike or climb in the evening. While Dan is working I have been unpacking the last of the boxes, doing errands, and taking advantage of all that Boulder has to offer. For instance, Monday morning I biked around town opening a bank account and taking paperwork to the property management company. I went for a swim at the YMCA just down the street and also then biked to do some groceries. Biking is incredibly accessible around here. There are multi-use paths that keep you out of traffic's way completely, on-road bike lanes and wide sidewalks where none of these options exist. Monday night we hiked in northern Boulder and that's where we saw the rattle snake.

Tuesday evening I went to ballet class. There is a professional company here, the Boulder Ballet, and they have a very busy ballet school. In my beginner class there were 11 of us (all adults, too!). While I was trying to keep up with the rest of the class, Dan went to Boulder Community Bicycles a non-profit that recycles old bikes, sells parts, and allows volunteers to build their own bikes. After ten hours of volunteer time Dan can start to build his own bike. They have lots of people there to help and tons of tools and bike parts. I rode my bike to ballet class that night and it was so beautiful out I decided to do a little riding in the bike paths in our neighborhood. On the way back to the townhouse, I saw a fox crossing the road. It was very cool!

Wednesday morning I ran and then when to a yoga class. As you might imagine, yoga is very big here in Boulder. There are countless yoga studios and classes pretty much any time day or night, inside or outside. Wednesday evening we decided to explore Mount Sanitas as we had heard there was some good rock for bouldering on the ridge of the mountain. We drove 2.5 miles to the edge of town, parked the car, and started hiking up on the Mount Sanitas trail. After 5-10 minutes of hiking we ran into some climbers and great boulders with chalk marks all over them (always good signs!). We bouldered for a while (poorly, I might add) on some sand stone that had lots of texture and was amazingly sharp. We explored a number of areas until our fingers were too sore to keep going. Then we hiked further up the trail as we were trying to get to the summit and loop back around. The ridge seemed to keep going and going and the sun kept getting lower and lower, so we opted to turn around. The views, though, were just incredible. On one side we could see the faint outlines of the rockies with the sun setting behind them. On the other, we could see all of Boulder sprawled before us. The trail book said that the hike gained 1200 feet in elevation, so with nothing else blocking our view, it was like we were flying above town.

On Thursdays there is usually a presentation at the local mountaineering store about someone's great adventures around the world. We were planning to go, but unfortunately never made it there. At about 4:00 in the afternoon we both walked over to community cycles to volunteer (I want to build my own road bike so I can be fast! Right now I have a hybrid which is great for around town and on the trails, but I want to be able to ride the whole canyon up to Nederland--18 miles, 3,000ft elevation gain. I figure I really need a light weight bike to do so. Plus, I think it will be really cool to build my own bike!). At first we were given bookkeeping tasks to do but then the owner, Gary, gave us an old mountain bike that was donated and said that the brakes needed adjustment. Two hours later Dan and I had taken every brake pad apart, filed most of them, adjust the tension on all of them, and tightened the brake line. At that point we tested the bike, learned the brakes actually worked, and found that they were squeaking like mad. I went home because I was starving (it was 7:30/7:40 at this point) and started dinner. Dan stayed another half an hour and fixed the pads again.

So today, I have a big bike ride planned. A friend of mine from Lincoln is out here this week taking a class and he is a big biker. So we're going to do 25-35 miles this afternoon. Then he's coming over for dinner (our first guest!). I have some other errands and house stuff to do during the day while Dan's working. I think we're going to get licenses and stuff today as well. The insurance cards finally came in, so I think we have what we need.

Tomorrow Matt Baranowski (drummer from Angstrom) is driving up from Colorado Springs and we're going rock climbing with him. This is his first time, so we're hoping to get him hooked!

Well, I apologize for all the rambling on, but this is what we've been doing. I'll take some pictures of the apartment today and post them so you can all see where we're living. Keep those comments coming!

Oh, I nearly forgot....I need to tell the tale of the aggressive bird. The what?! you may ask. Yes, the aggressive bird. So, last week I'm going on my morning run. Two blocks south of here is the Goose Creek Trail, a multi-use path that runs east/west along a small creek. So I went west for a ways, and the trail ended, so I turned around and went the other way figuring I'd go for a couple of miles and turn around again. I'm running long, taking in the scenery and I feel something on my head--something sharp. It's a freakin' bird dive bombing me. I'm trying to shoo the thing away (it was bigger than a finch, but not as big as a robin) but I'm worried it's going to claw me or bite me or something. Needless to say, it startled me, but I continued to run on. I eventually turned around, and this time, since I'm running west the run isn't blaring into my eyes. I see a little cardboard sign near the bird's tree that says "Caution, Aggressive Bird." I see the bird attaching the person in front of me, just as it had gotten me earlier. I tried to run off the path away from the tree, but the bird still dive bombed me. I couldn't believe it. This bird was spending it's day just attacking anyone who got within 15 feet of his tree. When I told Dan, he wanted to go down there and set up lawn chairs. That hasn't happened yet, but needless to say I haven't run on that segment of the path again!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Monday, July 7, 2008

Ahh, Wilderness

We saw a rattle snake today. It was actually quite uneventful, it was just chilling out on the side of the trail. Dan stumbled across him, backed up, and walked around. The snake didn't even move. The hike was really cool, though. It was north of Boulder by the reservoir in the prairie. I really wished we had the camera because the sun was setting and lighting up the mesas and valleys.

Amazingly we went climbing Saturday and didn't see any dangerous wildlife. We climbing at a rock called Nip and Tuck. We were on Tuck which was a bunch of slab climbs-- 5.6-5.8 we figured. It was a lot of fun. Thursday night we went for a really long walk from our place to the Sunshine Canyon/Mount Sanitas Trail, through downtown and back again. It was 7 miles in all (map).

I've been running and biking a lot, too. On my run yesterday morning I say probably a dozen rabbits, and handful of prairie dogs and three deer were on the path with me.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

We're In!

The cashier's check worked and we actually got in an apartment. Our stuff was delivered yesterday and we've been spending lots of time moving stuff around and getting Dan's office/guest room set up.

Our new address is 2947 Eagle Way, Boulder, CO 80301. I'll post pics once we get a bit more settled.