Part 1 of our Colorado Adventure here!
We were in Boulder, settled, bright eyed and bushy tailed on the first full day of our long awaited vacation! Ryan needed to get a workout in first thing that morning, so we went to Boulder High's track; I held the timer while Ryan did intervals. We both noticed the difference in altitude pretty quickly-you breathe harder than you do at sea level, and the air hitting the back of your throat is DRY! The whole time he's doing his workout, there's an incredible view of the mountains. I ran on the Boulder Creek path, a nice, wide paved trail that winds through Boulder along the Boulder Creek while Ryan cooled down. We showered up and went out to check out downtown Boulder's Pearl St., packed with fun shops and restaurants. A big section of Pearl St. is a pedestrian mall, which was really nice. We found a fantastic used book store we spent some time in, and Ryan finally got to check out the specialty meat/cheese shop he'd seen online (Cured, he had a sandwich from there which was really good).
After lunch, we headed out to Chautauqua National Landmark, only 5 minutes from downtown Boulder where we were staying. We loved Chautauqua SO MUCH that we went back almost every single day we were there, to run or hike.
Views of the mountains from Mesa Trail:
Another shot of those incredible Flatirons:
One of the trails, this one taken on a morning run:
Another shot from a run:
I had some of the very best runs I have ever had in my life at Chautauqua that week. The weather could not have been any prettier, it was so quiet, the scenery was unbelievable. It was just incredible. Turns out that Of Monsters and Men is a killer soundtrack to the mountains!
We hiked at Chautauqua all day and scoped it out for upcoming runs that first day. There are over 151 miles of trail and we barely scratched the surface that week we were there....guess we'll have to go back to get some more trail under our belts, haha! The trail system was top notch, and all connected for the most part. The maps were easy to read, signage was good and it was just awesome all around.
After hiking at Chautauqua, Ryan was itching to drive up the neighboring mountain. I let him do the driving (HOLY COW YOU GUYS) and we headed up the mountain to see where we'd end up. We pulled over at a sign that said Realization Point, and we had no idea we'd find this.....
Mountains and mountains and mountains, going on for days.
I can't even say anything about them really, nothing fitting or appropriate. They're enormous, and endless.
Also on the mountain, we found the Sunrise Circle Amphitheater! Any The Stand fans out there? This is where Harold and Nadine blow up the Ad Hoc Committee's meeting. AHHH! It was super cool to be right where something happened in one of my favorite books...which I re-read right before our trip to be super ready.
A very sweet family from Norway took this picture of us at the amphitheater (you would not believe me if I told you that literally a dozen people came up to Ryan that day and complimented him on his Ninja Turtles shirt):
After hiking all day, we high-tailed it on the bikes that were a part of the apartment rental to the Boulder Farmer's Market for dinner! I was SO EXCITED about this market, but I was really surprised to realize that I like our farmer's market at home a lot better. The produce we have is better and the community feel is totally different than Boulder's....but Boulder DID have food trucks, and bicycles that powered blenders for smoothies!
We had a great first day of vacation, and got a good idea of the lay of the land. Part 3 of our Colorado adventure coming up next!