Archive for the ‘Colorado’ Category

When in Boulder

December 6, 2008


The Flatirons, by Boulder Artist Phil Lewis

Almost every inch of floor space was covered by yoga mats in the Om Time studio in Boulder, Colorado. As we class members moved from pose to pose, our heads mere inches from each other’s asses, we tried to ignore what might have been, under other circumstances, a very uncomfortable situation.

My sister and I adopted the “When in Boulder” mentality during our stay in Colorado last week. We ate organic vegetables, walked to breakfast, hiked every afternoon, and went to a yoga class that made us sweat so profusely onto our mats that our hands and feet slipped out from under us as we tried to hold the Downward Facing Dog.

The 100,000-person city of Boulder, Colorado sits 30 miles northwest of Denver, right up against the front range of the Rocky Mountains. A hundred and twenty miles of trails extend from the edges of the city, most of which you can reach by stepping off your doorstep and walking a couple blocks.

Boulder is all about green and healthy living, outdoor adventure — and Patagonia’s latest Retro-X Jacket (a cult classic with a feminine cut!) or whatever other trendy piece of outdoor gear is new to the market. It’s residents all seem outdoorsy, fit and well-dressed. The art and music scene is strong and the bookstores, clothing shops, art galleries and restaurants along the brick walk-only section of Pearl Street gives the downtown a quaint feel.

One drawback: For the privilege of the close proximity to the outdoors, residents end up paying $9 for run-of-the-mill deli sandwiches.


The Breadworks bakery on Broadway. Producers of tasty baked goods and so-so coffee.

Several afternoons, we ascended Ninth Street to Chautauqua Park, where we followed the trails at the base of the Flatirons, the five huge slabs of sedimentary stone that overlook the city (see the super-cool drawing by artist Phil Lewis above for an idea of how they look). The trails, which traverse forests of ponderosa and lodgepole pines, offer panoramic views of the city once you get high enough; especially striking are the red roofs on the buildings on the University of Colorado at Boulder campus. You can even make out Denver if you squint into the distance across the flatness to the south.


Me hiking, eyes closed, with my sister Laura (right). And yes, I am wearing a fanny pack.

One quick note: Be careful not to step on the prairie dogs that scamper around — and sometimes across — the trails north of town. Their camouflage works dangerously well.


Prairie dog territory

And, one more, pretty:


Magnolia Moonrise by Phil Lewis