Saturday, March 08, 2008

I Am A Passenger

Yesterday I had a major dose of the fed ups so Jonny took me out for a trip to the coffee shop and a little drive through the plains just east of Boulder.

The lattes at Amante in North Boulder are a work of art:

This area of North Boulder used to be considered the shady, wild, disreputable part of town. The homeless shelter and Boulder's only strip club (well, one just opened downtown but now that the city officials have found out they've either shut it down or are in the process of finding a way) are just a few blocks down the street. But the area is being yuppified which means ugly boxy brightly colored condos but also means I get a coffee shop to hang out in with a nice view of the foothills:

Yeah, I know the sign says 'Boulder Ho'. I'm so childish. Though if you did want a Boulder ho I imagine this
neighborhood would be a reasonable place to start looking.

This coffee shop is a popular meeting place for cyclists (as is the strip club) because it’s on the edge of town. Go one way down the road and in a mile or so you’re out on the plains with endless miles of road riding and no traffic lights. Go the other way and you’re at Lee Hill/Olde Stage road which will take you up a steep 17% grade vomit inducing climb that eventually leads to Left Hand Canyon which you can climb for hours until you reach the mountain town of Ward and Peak to Peak Highway which goes all the way to Rocky Mountain National Park/Estes Park if you’re game. As an aside, if you’re looking for a house just a wee bit up in the foothills but still within easy reach of town Olde Stage road is particularly tempting. However make sure you don’t buy on the east side of the road on the south side of the summit or likewise on the west side of the road north of the summit because you are guaranteed to have cyclists puking in your driveway from the steepness of the hill. You know it’s spring when you see the first cyclist of the season puking on Olde Stage Road. This is also the most challenging section of the bike course of the Boulder Peak Triathlon and yes I’ve seen racers stopping to puke as well.

After lunch we took Strummer out to the Boulder Rez so he could run around a bit. Jonny played with him while I hung out on the tailgate enjoying the sun and watching him run. Man can that dog move. My masters swimming group has workouts here twice a week in the early mornings during the summer. Those workouts were one of the highlights of last summer, what a relaxing way to start the day.

Next we went for a little drive on the dirt backroads of eastern Boulder County. These are the roads I often ride when it’s too cold or snowy to go on trails. First we went to check out the buffalo field. Today I finally had a lesson in the limitations of my camera lens. It sure would have been nice to have a telephoto lens for these shots.

This is not a wild herd and in fact here’s the farmer’s warning to anybody who might decide to enter his field.

We continued on our way through more backroads looking for bald eagle nests in a place they frequent but today there were none. Here’s some nice scenery anyway:

And a picture of Long’s Peak, the one 14er (peak over 14,000 feet) in the area:

Finally we reached our final destination, the cowboy:

And if you’re into roadside architecture you might want to check out the ‘Agility Nut’ link in my sidebar. Once at the website click on ‘roadside architecture’ to check out her library of roadside oddities, all carefully cataloged. And/or you can click on ‘blog’ where she posts photos and a travel diary. She’s on the road right now heading from the east coast to California via Tennessee, Arkansas and Texas so far. Also, if you’re interested in the origins of the cowboy statue and his brethren check out this site: muffler men . I want one of the Uniroyal Girls so SO badly for my front yard but at $15-20,000 for a muffler man and the Uniroyal Girls being even rarer and probably pricier if you can even find someone willing to sell, well, dream on.

Thus ended our journey and we took the paved roads home. Still very scenic but we didn’t stop to snap any more photos.


  1. Roxanne8:49 AM

    I'm glad you got out of the house. It was such a nice weekend down in town.

  2. What a nifty variety of photos! And I didn't take a single snapshot all weekend.


  3. That latte *is* a work of art!

    Thanks for the great post. Made me feel like I was there!