After hanging out at the Rock Bottom Brewery for some beer and delicious food, we made the plan to head to Boulder for a quick hike. In all my times in Colorado, I've never been to Boulder. I've heard about Boulder. I read the Shut Up and Run Blog where she runs in Boulder, but never been there. So, this was a real treat for me to not only see my friend after many years, but also to visit a new town. We stopped off at her cute little Colorado home where she has her own garden and the biggest Zucchini that I've ever seen (wished I had gotten a picture of it). I was supposed to get one before I left, but didn't. Shoot. After a quick change, we headed out with Ingrid driving.
On the horizon, I could see the clouds and darkness forming in the direction that we were heading. This was not good. We got closer and it got windier. Then, it started to rain a little bit, but not too bad. We abandoned our plan to hike this location at the top mainly because there were no cars and the weather was getting nastier by the second. Instead, we went down to the bottom (Chautauqua) where we saw lots of people and less scariness coming from up above. It took awhile to find a place to park, but we did. I saw people doing yoga, class trips (mostly from Boulder University), etc.
|Ingrid taking a picture of the Chautaugua trails.|
|This is a close up of the Chautauqua trails.|
|Looking at where we have to go at the start of the trail. It doesn't look steep, but it is.|
|This is my view to the right...how beautiful.|
|The Flatirons of Boulder, Colorado.|
Ingrid was a great guide telling me about the Flatirons and these bugs (sorry that I can't remember the name) eating away at the roots basically suffocating the trees to death. You could see the change in color, which was very different than a tree that was dead. It was sad to see and why there is a big effort to clear out these trees before the bugs spread to other trees (and they do spread fast).
|Getting closer to the Flatirons.|
|We were smart not to eat them, but they are beautiful.|
|This is the Vanilla Tree that smells sooooo good!|
|We are getting closer with every break.|
|Our second big break for a beautiful photo op.|
|Little bits of rock are starting to show up more in the trails.|
|Picture / Break time for me.|
|They are just so majestic.|
|My best close up.|
|We had an opening in the trees to get this picture.|
|That's Boulder University to the left and I believe that's the lake next to a dropzone. Imagine getting this as your view from the sky.|
|Ingrid and I at the halfway point. Now, we have to figure out which trail to hit.|
|Did you say rocks?|
|I really loved this picture from the light hitting the rocks through the trees and Ingrid climbing up. I had to see what it looks like in black and white. Which one do you think is better?|
|I sat on a big flat boulder looking up to this view. Ingrid told me she used to climb things like this back in Alabama just like a monkey. I swear she was human when I met her.|
|Again, I thought this was such a pretty shot that may need grayscale. Which do you think is better?|
|I looked over to see where we came from on the path. Do you see a trail?|
|Ingrid is not only part monkey / part human, but she also has super strength.|
Finally, we were on our way down and I'm not going to lie, I was happy to not being in the incline position. Ingrid gave me one of her walking sticks since I started to lose control of my step.
|You can see Boulder below us.|
|There was this little shack in the middle of the trail. Naturally, I had to take a picture.|
|They have apple trees?|
Ingrid and I finished our great hike for the day and went home. I was so happy to get this in with her and well, to really see her for the first time in I think 7 years. At first, I was worried that when we finally got together, we wouldn't click as friends like before. We so clicked and I had so much fun with her. I just want to thank Ingrid for taking me out (and later on in the week, too) for a great hike. I wish that I could have gone on another hike Friday before my flight left.
I wanted to do some urban Denver downtown running, but didn't get a chance. However, I did get on the bike in the hotel gym where I biked for 12 miles. Ingrid also gave me advice on doing the MS 150 and taking breaks every 12 miles. So, if I could make it 12 miles, I think I can do this next year.