Ella and I both fell in love with Boulder. She's already decided that she wants to go to The University of Colorado, but I'm not sure I'm OK with that. I told her I was too afraid that she'd be distracted by all the hiking, climbing, biking, kayaking in the area to actually study. She just giggled.
Here are lots of pictures, in no particular order because Blogger always seems to scramble them.
Throughout the whole trip, Ella wanted to take a ski lift to the top of a mountain. We never found a lift, but when we went to Estes Park, we rode the tramway, which Ella said was just as good.
When we turned the corner into Estes Park, and I caught my first glimpse of the "real" Rockies, not the foothills of Boulder, I gasped out loud. The mountains are just breathtaking, and very forbidding looking with the low clouds. I can't imagine being one of the first settlers coming through and being adventurous enough to see what was on the other side.
"Redrum, redrum." The Stanley Hotel was Stephen King's inspiration for the Overlook Hotel in The Shining. It's not the hotel that was used in the Jack Nicholson movie, but it was used in the mini-series version a few years ago. These days it has a housing development in its back yard, and a view out the front of a strip mall. Not quite as grand a location as in its earlier days.
These are the Flatirons, which loom over Boulder. For most of our trip, it was raining, so we couldn't actually see the mountains. But on our last day, the sun came out, and the view was spectacular. The grey area on the bottom left of the picture is the talus field Ella climbed.
When we reached this talus field, Ella begged and pleaded with me to let her climb it. "This is what I dreamed hiking would be," she said. "Everything else we've done was just walking in mud." I finally gave in and let her go up. If you click to embiggen, she's the little green dot towards the top. I decided to take the path up instead of the rocks.
I found my dream house. It overlooks the Chautauqua meadow and the Flatirons in the front and Boulder in the back. It probably only costs a few million.
We drove up Fulsom Mountain on our last morning. Ella loved that we were above the clouds.
We wanted to go hiking along Boulder Creek, but it was roaring, and the trails by Boulder Falls were closed.
When we left Estes Park on our last day, Ella started crying because she was sure she'd never get to visit Colorado again. I had to promise her that if the gym in Boulder ever hosted another competition, we'd go to it. That satisfied her long enough for me to pack her in to the car and head to Denver. I really do hope the gym gets to host another comp. I'd love to go back. Next time I want to actually venture into Rocky Mountain National Park. We didn't have enough time on this trip to do it.