Thursday, June 17, 2010

Colorado state of mind

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.


Unknown said...

That girl needs to come to Alaska!!!

Also, I found this funny, but you might not. I told my boss about Ella's win and his comment was: Good luck getting that girl through college, she'll be hanging out in Yosemite instead.

anymommy said...

Gorgeous, I love Boulder!

A huge congratulations to Ella, what an amazing accomplishment.

Agent P or MamaJan said...

Beautiful photos, she looks so happy! And I embiggened that field of rocks and saw the green dot -- wow!

Tina said...

Colorado and specifically Estes Park is my happy place! my family has rented a house in Estes since 1981 starting with my grandparents. I too cry when I leave. And I too told my mom when I was young that I was going to go to college in Boulder. Your post reminded me so much of myself when I was her age.

When it came time to choose colleges I decided I couldn't be that far from home but a small part of me always regretted that decision! :)

I don't get there ever year any more but cherish my times when I do get there so much and LOVE sharing the mountains with my daughter and husband.

It is beautiful country and while I don't see me moving there anytime soon, I could maybe see retiring there or at least extended vacation time!