As we’ve now past the half-way mark in August and summer really feels as though it is coming to a close (I actually have WORK obligations next week!), it’s time, I suppose, to reflect on summer here in Colorado. It’s funny – in some ways, being in Colorado during the summer months felt pretty normal for us, since we’d usually spend 2 weeks or so visiting family here. What doesn’t seem normal now is that we aren’t returning to California!
Lest anyone entertain the notion that my entire summer focused on IM training, we have enjoyed being in Colorado and we’ve tried to take advantage of a more flexible summer schedule to visit friends and family in different places around the state while also exploring a bit more of Boulder and all that it offers. Some of the local fun has entailed hiking and, of course, lots of riding! The biking was, of course, for training purposes, but I got out with a good group quite a few times (Michael, his brother and some friends). Plus, Michael upgraded his bike which was exciting for both of us – he can now beat me on the climbs (damn it!) and I now want new wheels (his are super nice). We both have Trek road bikes, which makes me feel a little silly – like we planned it, but I guess we’ll get over the fact that we are all matchy.
We’ve also enjoyed some good local walks/hikes – with and without Gus (he’s lacking stamina these days).
Back in June, we spent an afternoon at Brainard Lake, an easy drive from Boulder. There was still plenty of snow in the area!
We also spent time in Breckenridge, visiting my aunt and uncle and their dog, Dolly, and enjoying the bike paths around Breckenridge/Frisco/Lake Dillon.
And we visited two new-to-us locales: Telluride and Steamboat, and we’d love to return to both! I was injured during the Telluride visit, so it was extremely low-key: hanging out with friends who were there from CA, watching fireworks (4th of July weekend), and eating and drinking plenty!
Mid-July, we went to Steamboat with Michael’s brothers and also another couple. I was excited about Steamboat which is trademarked as “Bike Town USA”, so I had hopes for some great cycling. Everyone arrived Friday, which was a low-key evening. On Saturday morning, I ended up logging in my first long run in weeks (and the last one before IM Boulder). Steamboat is a GREAT place to run – there is a wonderful trail/path that meanders along the river and into town. Midday, a few of us set out on a ride. I wondered about the timing (afternoon showers), and as soon as we set out, it started to spit on us. We regrouped, decided that we’d continue, even after we saw lightening. So, onward we rode, until there were a few more cracks of thunder and lightening and the rain started to come down harder. At that point, we decided to turn around (after going about 6 miles). The return ride was even worse – it was crazy windy (we were all leaning into the wind so that it didn’t blow us over), hailing on us, and just a miserable experience. Plus, the lightening was terrifying. We headed to a barn that we had passed and took shelter there:
So much for a nice long ride in Steamboat! The following day, Michael and I decided to go for a hike, and we encountered… more rain! It seemed that the rain thwarted all of our efforts to go out and enjoy all that Steamboat offered.
So we contented ourselves with a walk in a town and we stopped by the rodeo grounds to say hello to the bulls:
We are definitely looking forward to returning to both Telluride and Steamboat at some point in the future to really explore these two towns!
While we had quite a few weekends away (and were exhausted!), we also enjoyed many an evening at our summer abode – taking in the mountain vistas, some peace and quiet, and appreciating the change of pace that the summer has afforded us.
The rest of August is PACKED, but I can’t complain – we’ve thoroughly enjoyed our summer. As much as I’m sad that it’s almost over, there is plenty to look forward to these next few months!