Thursday, July 9, 2015

Colorado: Boulder and beyond

In June we went to Boulder, Colorado. Anne Marie had a conference, and Brian joined at the weekend for hiking!

The drive from Denver to Boulder showed the wide open space of Colorado.

It rained a lot - here are rain clouds covering the Flatirons as viewed from UC Boulder's campus.

Rain caused flooding, which forced the closure of some sections of Boulder's river trail.

Brian inspected some robot friends in downtown Boulder.

On Saturday, we headed out for a hike to Blue Lake. Since the trailhead didn't open for cars until June 26, we weren't able to park at the trailhead as expected, and so hiked in two miles along the road. Along the way we saw Brainard Lake.  

We remained unconcerned despite the snow in the middle of the road...

... and were surprised to find the trailhead completely covered by snow!

The trail was practically invisible - and walking on snowpack was an exciting experience.

The river was rushing  - fueled by melting snow!

 We made it to Mitchell Lake - about 1.5 miles from the trailhead.

If you look closely, you can see ski tracks on the mountains! People who knew more about the trail conditions than we did skied the trail. 

 Oh look! A crevasse!

We turned back after lunch at Mitchell Lake. As we walked off the snow onto the road, it started sleeting, hailing and raining, we were soaked by the time we got to the car!

We decided that a driving tour of the area was more appropriate given the weather.
The views were beautiful!

We saw several mule deer.

After a brief coffee break in Estes, Colorado we drove into Rocky Mountain National Park and enjoyed the drive along Trail Ridge Road.

The snowbanks were taller than our car.

The next day we drove to Lookout Mountain and enjoyed the views and a walk in the preserve.

We then drove to Red Rocks and enjoyed a brief hike along stunning rock formations.

A great trip!