DNA-X #2 Colorful Colorado
Finally, as the sun emerged the snow capped peaks of the Rocky Mountains came into view. The Ocean of Corn (see DNA-X #17, 2010) disappeared in the rearview mirror. Into view came a small herd of Pronghorn Antelope wandering through the sagebrush high plains. We were homing in on Boulder, Colorado where we will meet up with our son and “LRB”. During the drive we lined up a glass doctor to repair G’s windshield. We checked in to the St. Julien Hotel where the efficient staff parked G in the garage to cool down for the operation. Apparently this windshield repair occurs frequently in the “Rocky Mountain” state. We noticed later that most vehicles had at least one crack if not many! The Dr. did his job and the next day we were off to explore the Front Range.
We drove up to scenic Nederland, once a mining town now profiting from throngs oftourists. Cute restaurants, shops and frequent concerts entertain the crowds. Then our son led us on an off road tour along Switzerland Trail once a narrow gauge rail line, now a twisting, rock imbedded track that snakes along cliffs and weaves through forests. The LR’s handled the maze with ease and a generous helping of dust!
We ended up in Gold Hill where the tourists are few and the charm is golden. The old mining town almost burned down last fall when intense forest fires torched thousands of acres and gobbled up some of the town’s vintage houses. Firefighters saved the bigger buildings including the historic Gold Hill Inn where you can enjoy a hearty dinner or rent the adjacent Bluebird Lodge for private events gone back in time. The town is still recovering from the blaze as many residents were uninsured and lost everything.
Back in Boulder, the city was bustling with returning CU students, disoriented, new students, shepherding parents, overflowing shopping carts, hotels and restaurants. We decided to get out of town and went up Boulder Creek to do some family fly-fishing. Apparently every year someone gets swept away in the swift current that is crowded with sizable boulders. There were a few wet encounters, as we had never used waders before. One wrong move could fill those rubber togs with water and you might as well tie a ball and chain around your feet and say your “Hail Mary’s”. Our son managed to catch a few trout before a deafening crack of thunder and lightning sent us running to the car, no need to get electrocuted for a fish! The fish had nothing to worry about with my technique, I came up empty handed but I did stay dry!