Friday, February 10, 2006

Boulder, Land of Spandex & Fleece

Friday, February 10, 2006
2 comments
Snow made the mountains outside Boulder even more majestic this morning.

This red-tailed hawk was just waiting for a slow prairie dog.
Douglas and Caroline and their beloved dog Lola.
I spent Thursday night visiting friends Caroline & Douglas in Boulder, CO. Caroline is my fellow Western College alum, a gifted singer/musician, and a very talented graphic designer. Boulder is a very lovely place tucked between the foothills of the Rockies and the edge of the Great Plains. Very dramatic landscape, lots of birds and wildlife, perhaps the city with the most greenspace of any other here in the US. And the population of Boulder avidly takes advantage of the easy access to the great outdoors. I have never seen more spandex, lycra, or polar fleece in my life.

I visited these same friends back in the early 1990s and one morning I hiked up the mountainside on the edge of town, near their house. I got to a natural place to stop and, looking back down into Boulder below me, I was struck by the amount of physical activity I could see. people were jogging, speed walking, doing Tai Chi, bicycling, skateboarding, rollerblading, playing tennis, playing soccer...it was incredible.

When Julie and I travel we often play a game called Could You Live Here?
Nearly always, Julie's answer to that oft-posed question is: "Too dry to grow good tomatoes!" or "I'd spend all my time watering." But Boulder is one place I know I could easily live. Julie is going to have to bring her watering can, though.

Caroline and Douglas and I took a short hike this morning on an old cattle ranch now owned as green space by the city of Boulder. The cold morning air crackled as we walked along the snow-covered footpath. In the distance, the Rockies occasionally peeked out from behind the clouds. All around us black-billed magpies whistled, warning each other about us and about the large number of raptors around--red-tailed, bald eagle, American kestrel northern harrier. Prairie dogs whistled warnings, too. Other notable sightings included red-shafted flicker, common raven, and horned lark. The walk was too short, but nonetheless I breathed a bit hard. The air was thinner than I was used to, since we were hiking at 5,600 feet.

It was a lovely way to end our too-short visit. But we've got plans to get together next fall at the Festival of the Cranes in New Mexico.
CQ and I pose in front of the mist-enshrouded foothills of the Rockies. That's Lola, world's second-best dog.

2 comments:

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