Hello, dear travellers!
If you’re thinking “I’ve seen this post before, is this an old post?”, it’s not, I promise. The Boulders is about New Zealand, and I now realise how unfortunate it is to have doubling titles, but read on, and you’ll know I had no choice but to do this 🙂
You probably remember my last post was about Florida. There is also a slight chance that you remember a picture of me in that last post, and that it was taken on our way to the airport. Now the last detail I need you to recall is our next destination. That’s right, The Rockies!
I don’t know how good you are with North American geography, but if you’ve already got what I’m getting at, you’re better than I am. Because why would I anticipate a big temperature change if I’m going not only more than a thousand miles north but also a couple of thousand meters higher than I’ve just been for the past two or so weeks (Manhattan is not the highest of islands 😉 )?! So on a late afternoon, I board happily on our Denver-bound flight in my shorts and t-shirt, skin still hot from the radioactive Floridian sun, just to land not long before midnight at 1655m at America’s largest airport.
According to Wikipedia (and it must be true if it’s on there!), the “53 square miles (140 km2) of land occupied by the airport is nearly twice the size of Manhattan”. I’m mentioning the size of it because we had to take a bus from the terminal to the car rental. And I was wearing shorts. If there was ever a time to talk about “a chilly welcome”, this is it! Yes, that picture was just to throw you off. 🙂
Luckily, the nice rental car ladies (in thick jackets) who were waiting for us were quite efficient, and we were soon on our way in a very comfy Ford Fusion with – oh, sweet luxury – seat-heating! Well, any heating was a winner at that point, but still – Yay!
We gave our new best friend the affectionate nickname “Fuzzy” and set off to Boulder, Colorado.
What does one do in Boulder, then? It’s too obvious not to say it, isn’t it.
You boulder in Boulder, of course! 🙂 I would’ve loved the oportunity to do some proper bouldering at that moment, but it was all about the mountains that day, not just the rocks.
And the mountains in Colorado are just amazing! Whichever way you look you see a snowy peak or an austere cliff face looming in the distance. It took me fractions of a second to get why it’s the state when it comes to mountaineering and ski sports.
Our host in Boulder surprised me by not doing any of those actually, but instead he was into wind surfing, of all things. I’m not saying anything about the sport itself, it looks like lots of fun. I’d just never think of surfing in the middle of one of the larges mountain ranges in North America. Spat in the middle of the continent, too. That just goes to show what an amazing place Colorado is for sport enthusiasts of all shapes and sizes.
It’s the end of April, and the snow was starting to melt in most places. Not so much around 2000 m. Sure, there were rivulets from melted snow here and there, but imagine our surprise when we went looking for a waterfall along a trail starting at Lily Lake (pictured above).
This is my visit to Alberta Falls, as can be attested by the little wooden sign at the bottom right of the photo.
If you’re wondering where the falls are, use your imagination and focus on the smooth slope of snow at the far of the landscape 🙂
We weren’t the only ones wandering around looking for it either. There were a bunch of other tourists looking for the falls.
Well, it was a nice hike, regardless. On the way there and back there were so many beautiful views and curiousities that we could easily overlook the lack of falling water.
Like these guys above.
Or the fact that we were trudging through and over at least a metre of snow at all times.
This is a bridge, whose ends are completely covered by snow. I think that’s the least amount of snow that we came across along an extremely casual two-hour hike. Welcome the Rocky Mountain National Park!
There are so many things to do and see in this area – lakes, mountains, forests, wild life; you can go from hiking to ice climbing to, apparently, wind surfing. I
I was planning to make this post a double story, because our first day in Colorado is not over yet, but this next part would surely push it over the edge of appropriate posts. And it’s too good to rush through it.
So I’ll leave you browsing through Maps and the national park website, day-dreaming of your first (or next) trip to the “Switzerland of America”*.
*This nickname is not used anymore -or so I’ve read – but going there from Switzerland, I found it appropriate 🙂