Monday, June 05, 2017

Hiking near Boulder

Chatauqua West Auditorium

Here are a few photos from a great hike TQ and I took on Monday, May 22nd, at Chatauqua, not the one in New York, turns out there's also Chatauqua on the western edge of Boulder (and yes, they are related). The Hawaiian directional term "mauka", meaning "towards the mountains" would actually work well in this part of Colorado, the city is nestled up agains the Rocky Mountains and it's really easy to tell which way you're going.

I always wonder how students ever graduate from NYU with all the distractions NYC has to offer; well, the University of Colorado at Boulder might be even worse! So much outdoor recreation. Our first walk was actually on Sunday when we got to Denver, my relatives there live in an area outside of Denver that's building up pretty fast, but there are still walking and biking trails that go all over the place, those are amenities that everyone wants. My cousin took us for a great short walk along a wooded section of Coal Creek on the first day, and then recommended Chatauqua for a good hike the next day.

It was very close by and has all kinds of trails; we stopped by the ranger station for advice, and upon learning that we were fresh from sea level, and city slickers to boot (he didn't say that but when you walk into a ranger station in Colorado and announce that you're from Brooklyn, you just know that however outdoorsy you fancy yourself to be, you're still a city slicker compared to the folks you're talking to! 😁), he gave us some good advice (twice as much water as we would think, plus 3 levels of difficulty we might experience hiking at a much higher altitude: headache with dizziness and nausea was very bad and meant get back to the ranger station for help immediately; breathing really hard and fast without seeming to get any benefit from the air meant possible C02 buildup in the blood and slower, deeper breathing would help; and then there was just huffing and puffing, and "that's just being in Colorado").

He also told us what to do in the extremely unlikely event we should run into any large critters, and then he took one of the trail maps and marked out a really nice 4 mile loop trail with spots where we could cut across to make it 3 miles or 2 miles if we found we were having a hard time. It was an absolutely beautiful hike, I was definitely doing some huffing and puffing on the uphills, but never beyond "just being in Colorado" level, and we ended up doing the full four-mile loop plus a little sidetrack, unintentional but very very scenic (and up on the shoulder of the mountains we pretty much always knew where we were, so once we figured out we'd gone off the loop it was easy enough to get back to it). Here are the photos - and yes that's snow in a couple of the pictures, they'd had a snowstorm the week before! And the picture that looks like a creek bed - that's actually a little section of the trail, there was so much water seeking lower elevations that it was actually running along the trail for that bit. Click for slide-show view, that's all the writing.


Unknown said...

Gorgeous photos. Looks like a wonderful place to hike.

bookworm said...

Many years since I've been to Boulder. I wanted to return, and now I have, through your photos. Maybe, if my life had taken a different direction...Alana

bonnie said...

It was gorgeous!

I don't know if I could live that far from the sea, but I'm so glad I finally got a chance to visit. Hope to get back there sometime!