Day 5 – Sundance -> Boulder -> Caribou CO

On Saturday morning we woke up at the Sundance Lodge, about eight miles up the mountain from Nederland. We opened the door, and for the first time we had a close-up view of snow-covered peaks bathed in sunlight.

We shared orders of excellent omelettes from the cafe attached to the lodge, which got us fortified and caffeinated for the day ahead.

Unfortunately, we weren’t ready for our mountain adventures yet. There were a few things we still needed from Boulder, so off we went on a daytime drive down Boulder Canyon.

Obbie takes notes on our Palm Pilot at a cafe in Boulder.

Boulder has put a lot of thought and action into designing and building routes for bicycles, and we took advantage of that. We parked the Big Red Dog in the parking lot of a strip mall, and used our bikes to explore Boulder.

We found the camera mount we were looking for: a clamp on one end, an adjustable camera mount on the other. Carry it in your pocket. Clamp your camera to a post, a rail, the dashboard….

Obbie didn’t have decent hiking boots. Rozie didn’t have decent mountain sandals. Now we do.

And we found the “right” rain ponchos at a “surplus” store… something that will fit over our packs, and also work as tarps, ground cover, etc. Light weight, quick drying, and tight packing.

With our errands out of the way, it was time to explore the bike trail along Boulder Creek. We’d heard a legend that one could follow the bike trail all the way to Nederland, but we found it to terminate not far outside of Boulder. But it did go far enough that we could train ourselves for the increasing elevation ahead.

Another popular activity on Boulder Creek is tubing. People were riding inner tubes down the creek while we watched from our bikes. The water was a bit cold for our tastes, but it looked like a lot of fun.

Our last stop before leaving Boulder was the Crystal Market, a thriving health food store close to downtown. We stocked up for time in the mountains and desert, since we had no idea when our next chance would come.

Rozie “pets” a “kitty” on the Pearl Street mall in Boulder.

We had both been to Boulder before and remembered it as a funky college town. But its colorful reputation made it a magnet for upscale developers and gentrifiers, who then priced out the people that made the town desirable in the first place. It’s a tale that repeats itself in too many places. This was most evident when we visited the Pearl Street Mall. It’s a nice place, but it no longer had the magic it once did.

Our plan for Saturday night was to camp in Caribou, a kind of a ghost town up a mountain (a *different* mountain) from Nederland. Being in a national forest, we can pitch our tent without dealing with loud neighbors or exorbitant fees.

Once again, we arrived in darkness. We’ll explore in the morning.

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