Monday, September 26, 2011

A Day in Boulder

Originally published in My Trip Journal on June 10, 2011

We exercised restraint as long as we could, but I have to confess that this morning started with a 6 a.m. run to The DoNut Haus! You know it must be good when Bill will get out of bed at 5:50 a.m. to go buy doughnuts. The DoNut Haus is (unfortunately) about a two minute walk from our cabin and is an Estes Park icon. They open at 6 a.m. usually with a line standing around the building. When the last doughnut is sold, they close. Just out of curiosity, we have been watching and notice they are usually closed by 11. The only other place I've ever had doughnuts to compare with these is at Spaulding's in Lexington, KY. I'll not be specific about the damage done by Bill's 6 a.m. run to the DoNut Haus, but it was considerable!

Boulder is 30 miles from Estes Park, but it's not an easy drive, so it takes close to an hour. We wanted to be at the farmer's market soon after it opened and we had a couple of miles to bike from where we parked, so we were on the road shortly after 7.
The Boulder Country Farmer's Market is huge and we couldn't wait to revisit it. Parking is at a premium and the Boulder Creek Bike Path runs along side the market, so we have found it much easier to just park a couple of miles away and ride. Once at the market, we spent a couple of hours wandering around amongst the more than 150 merchants.

Eventually, we meandered a couple of blocks over to the
Pearl Street Mall. This is probably the most fascinating revitalization of a downtown I have ever visited and we spent another couple of hours looking in some of the most unusual stores, watching street performers and then enjoying brunch (sugar high's don't last till lunch time!!) at Paradise Bakery, a very Panera-like place with a much more extensive menu. We sat outside where we could watch all the activity and had a great time.

We made our way back to our bicycles and rode back towards our car, but decided to bike on to the end of the Boulder Creek Path. We remembered that it passed through the Sawmill Ponds area and a HUGE open field FULL of prairie dogs. Their underground tunnel system must be incredible and they pop up from their burrows and put on a show better than anything you could pay money to see. I could watch them play for hours. We hoped they'd still be there and they were! What fun! We laughed till we cried at some of their antics.

The sky was getting dark and we'd actually felt a couple of raindrops, so we left a field full of prairie dogs who must have been exhausted from their performance and headed back to our car. We made a quick decision to drive back to Estes Park via a section of the
Peak to Peak Scenic Byway. It would be further, but much less traffic and beautiful views of Long's Peak, the highest peak in RMNP. It was an easy drive and great ending to our day in Boulder. My first visit to Boulder was in 1991 for a two week business conference at Colorado University. I fell in love with the city then and that has not changed!

Bill is continuing to work on selecting music for his choirs this fall and I've enjoyed some surfing time this evening. It's time to get some concrete plans made for our trip back home, so I've done some preliminary work on that. But we are both tired - it's been a long day. I suspect it will be an early night.

As always, thank you for reading my ramblings. I really enjoy writing them.

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