Greetings from Boulder! I love it here. The end.
For riz though – I really have enjoyed my time in Boulder. I feel like I have done so much and feel good that I had done everything I wanted to do while here. Something I am learning as I continue on this trip is to be flexible but organized. I had a lot of specific things planned for this trip and while I’m doing most of them, I’m also allowing for the unexpected and I’m open to changing my route at the last minute, taking a detour, or doing things spur of the moment. I’m excited to be in Boulder for a number of reasons. The two main ones being that I get to visit with my dear friend Chase from Hambidge and explore my boyfriend Dan’s old stomping grounds (he went to University of Colorado where Chase is currently going for his MFA in ceramics.)
I started my time in Boulder with a 7:30AM hike that kicked my butt at Gregory Canyon. The hike was only about 3.5 miles round trip but it was steep the whole way up. Also, the higher elevation really does make a difference – I found myself stopping to catch my breath more often than usual. It was worth it! I felt great afterwards and had beautiful views of the city and the canyon – inspiration for paintings for sure.
Afterwards I still had time before meeting my mom’s cousin for lunch so I hiked around the meadow to get a good view of the Flatirons. Aren’t they beautiful? I also drove halfway up Mt. Flagstaff where I encountered a buck deer and his two little ones. The fawns were grazing while Dad stood in the middle of the road keeping watch. Tonight I’ll be going to the top of Flagstaff to watch the sunset over the mountains.
After lunch I headed North to Estes Park and I am so glad I did. The town is absolutely beautiful. It is surrounded by lakes and snow capped mountains. More importantly it leads to the entrance of Rocky Mountain National Park. Before my trip I purchased the America The Beautiful Pass – an annual pass that gets you free entrance into all National Parks and Forests. If any of you are planning a cross-country trip and plan to camp in or visit these parks this is a must. Admission can get outrageous. Thanks to this pass I didn’t have to pay the $20 admission fee and in I went. I am so, so, so, glad I did. The views and the wildlife literally took my breath away more than once.
The mid-afternoon light was beautiful, and even as the sun went down the snow was glowing and the world had a purple undertone. I’m not exaggerating when I say I saw about one hundred Elk (male and female.) They are magnificent creatures and incredibly tame within the park (see how close that one is?). I also saw a number of deer, some beautiful birds, and two coyotes who were doing some kind of awkward dance with each other. This is an incredible spot and I highly recommend it to anyone in the area or passing through – make sure you go on Trail Ridge Road and keep your eyes peeled for wildlife.
Good day my friends – I’m off to Mt. Flagstaff for the sunset. Tonight Chase and I are planning on going to an opening reception in Denver and tomorrow I depart for Arches National Park. I doubt they have Wi-Fi so I’ll see you all in a few days!