I arrived in Boulder Thursday morning to visit my best friend from grad school. For years, we shared an office, for a while at Vanderbilt, for a while at Stanford.
We hung out for a while after my arrival and biked to the Boulder Brewing Company where her husband joined us. I missed the tour, but we sampled quite a few beers, which were all pretty tasty. One can also fare well with the pub fare. I probably should have gone back for the tour, which apparently includes Free Beer, but it hasn’t happened yet.
The next day we went for a bike ride up the canyon. It was a nice ride, almost all up hill. The nice thing was that I hadn’t noticed just how steep the hill was going up and I was able to coast almost all the way down without peddling. It was a blast and I planned then to do it again, but go up higher. When we got back into town, we stopped at Walnut Street Brewery, where we split a really good burger and sampled nearly all of their beers.
I got my chance at another canyon ride the next day. I rode to the point that we had turned around, but crossed the street and headed on up a two-lane rode. Up and up I went. According to an app on my phone, after an hour I’d gone nine miles and climbed just over twelve hundred feet. I’d stopped a couple of times, and yes, I did take water. I called that the end of that workout and started another. This one I did six miles in twenty minutes and ended up at Walnut Street Brewery again as I had the day before. Why fuss with perfection?
I sat at the bar and struck up a conversation with a couple of guys who’d just done an attempt at a “fourteener.” This is a term that people who like to walk in the woods use to refer to mountains that are taller than fourteen thousand feet. I’d shared with them my near death experience. They’d had one too. One of the guys is a long distance runner, the kind for whom a marathon is a nice little warm up. They’d headed on up this mountain, thinking it was no big deal, but it turned out that the whole lack-of-oxygen thing was more of an impediment than they’d imagined. I think he did take water, though.
Then I met up with my friends and we saw that Harry Potter movie. I hadn’t really seen the rest of them, and had read none of the books. Nevertheless, I was able to figure out that the snake was really bad. (Spoiler alert: Someone killed the snake.) It was in 3D too.
You know, I can’t really remember everything else I did in Boulder. I just remember that the town felt nice. I liked the way the people looked. I liked the people that I met and the way that the town feels laid back. That said, it’s not an ideal town for someone who lives in a van, as it seems that lots of people in Colorado would be happy to live in vans and consequently, towns like Boulder rather discourage it. I suppose I could have tried stealth street camping, but that seemed like a hassle. As you’ll hear soon, I had to drive eighteen miles to Nederland before I could find a place to park.