Colorado & Utah 2019:
Day 7 - Boulder


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Colorado and Utah 2019: [Day 1 - Steamboat Springs] [Day 2 - Grand Junction] [Day 3 - Moab] [Day 4 - Moab] [Day 5 - Cataract Canyon] [Day 6 - Cataract Canyon] [Day 7 - Boulder] [Day 8 - Denver] [Day 9 - Denver] [Day 10 - Denver]

Friday, May 24, 2019: We awoke to a beautiful day.
We returned to Winchell's Donut House for breakfast.
They didn't have plain French crullers, so we got the chocolate covered ones, plus apple fritters and twists. Oh, Winchell's, how we love you so.
We were headed to Boulder for the day.
The drive north from Golden is just beautiful.
There's Boulder in the distance.
Our first stop was National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR).
It's housed in a distinctive set of buildings on the hill overlooking Boulder.
There's a nice museum here for visitors.
Let's go in and learn about weather!
This display showed the effect of wind on sand dunes.
This one created a tornado in a wind tube.
Tom channeled electricity with his bare hand in this tube.
Turning the crank of this display demonstrated the effect of chaos on weather patterns.
We visited the completely empty library. There are definitely benefits of being early-morning weekday visitors.
This library has some great views.
Tom checked out a really cool display.
This is the ENCAR (ENclosed Cryocondenser for Air Recovery), which is a rocket-borne air sampler first launched in 1968 at White Sands in New Mexico.
The walls of the facility are covered with interesting information.
This display explained about ice cores and what they revealed about the climate over many years.
It was a plexiglass simulation of ice, not actual ice, but it was still effective in making its point.
Here's a view looking down at Boulder.
Here's a dramatic poster of the facility.
This display consisted of lots of different weather phenomena, including sundogs, rainbows, etc., explaining what each one was.
This iconic facility was designed by famed architect I. M. Pei in 1961.
Here's a model of the facility, including a never-built third tower and conference center. A portion of this model was displayed in Pei's Manhattan office for decades.
Sadly, Mr. Pei had died nine days earlier, and a poster was on display noting this fact and to honor his passing.
The view from the atrium with the I. M. Pei display had a stunning view of the Flatiron mountains.
Here's the entire area with a telescope blocking the view.
Tom decided he wanted a display like this in our home. It depicted the advances of general science (bottom), space science (top), and climate science (center) over the last 70+ years.
We were on our way out of the facility shortly after 9:00 AM because we had a lot more to see.
We passed the Department of Commerce National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).
We headed to Scott Carpenter Park, which was a little tricky due to large construction going on in the parking lot.
This sign told us all about Scott Carpenter, born in Boulder in 1925. He was one of the original Mercury 7 astronauts.
Because of the construction, we only snapped some photos through the fencing of the rocket-themed play area.
Awwww, it's a little space shuttle for the tots!
We passed the huge University of Colorado Research Park, home of Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics.
We arrived at the Celestial Seasonings headquarters.
It's located near the corner of Zinger Street and Sleepytime Drive.
There's a large field next to it which is designated as a prairie dog preserve. The prairie dogs blend right into the landscape unless you are looking for them.
Here's one. Can you see him? He's behind the plant.
Here's another.
We would be visiting the Tea Shop on our way out, ...
... but first, we checked in for the 10:00 AM tour, the first tour of the day. Our tickets looked like Celestial Seasons box fronts.
We were given paper cups to use to try any of the hot or iced teas they were serving that day.
The waiting area was a mini-museum.
This wall told the history of the company, founded in Boulder in 1970.
Several walls featured artwork that has been used on the tea boxes.
One of the artist bios noted that he had attended Augsburg College, where Debbie's mother used to work as a librarian.
A variety of interesting tea pots were on display.
This huge one was a little playhouse.
Let's peek inside.
This display included the sewing machine that was used to sew the muslin bags in which the tea was originally sold.
We went into the room where the tour starts. This beautiful dress and matching hat, shoes, and handbag, were all decorated using Celestial Seasonings teabags.
Since we would be entering the factory area, our tour guide passed out blue haircoverings.
Sexy! We watched a short film and then toured the factory. No photos are allowed, sorry. It was a fun tour, especially smelling all of the different herbs that make up the tea, especially the peppermint, which is stored in a separate room to contain its strong scent.
The tour ended at the gift shop.
Tea-loving Tom was overwhelmed by his tea-purchasing options.
We ended up buying a Bengal Spice gift set with mugs, and a couple of sampler boxes.
After the tour, we spent a few more minutes enjoying the antics of the prairie dogs next door.
These three little guys were especially adorable.
Next, we headed to Long's Gardens.
It consists of field after field of irises.
Each row had a photo and information about the plants there.
Many of the varieties of irises were in bloom. Some were already done for the season and some would bloom a little later, but we were pleased with our timing.
Visitors are welcome on the farm and we enjoyed walking around.
A sign on one of the buildings noted that it was a Colorado Centennial Farm, indicating that it had been owned by the same family for 100 years or more.
Next, we drove to North Boulder Park.
It's a huge green rectangle with a playground near the center.
The playground has a lovely view of the Flatirons.
But the view we were here to see was this little water fountain. It was relatively new, ...
... but it was a replacement for the original one donated back in the 1970s by Joe Walsh in memory of his daughter, Emma, who liked to play here before she died at a young age.
We drove to downtown Boulder to the Dushanbe Teahouse. It took us a while to find a parking spot nearby. We ended up in a parking garage on Pearl Street ...
... and walked a few blocks to the teahouse.
The impressive entryway is lined with trellises and rose bushes maintained by the Boulder Valley Rose Society. This was a hardy rose demonstration garden.
The teahouse is a gift from Boulder's sister city, Dushanbe, Tajikistan. It was hand-built then shipped to Boulder in 200 crates, eventually being rebuilt in Boulder and opened to the public in 1998. The detail on the exterior is beautiful.
It's even more beautiful inside. A fountain sits in the center of the room below a skylight.
The details on the colorful ceiling are amazing.
We were here for lunch, but of course, we had to start with tea. Debbie opted for their famous Teahouse Chai and Tom had Red Dragon Keemun.
We shared the Thai noodle salad ...
... and Tajikistan Plov, a traditional rice drish with carrots, onions, chickpeas, spices, and grilled beef, served with a tomato-cucumber salad and naan.
After lunch, we walked along Boulder Creek through Central Park, where vendors were busy setting up their tents for the Boulder Creek Festival, starting the next day.
Here's a peek under the Broadway Street bridge.
We continued along the creek ...
... and saw the state flower of Colorado: columbine (aquilegia coerulea), one of Debbie's favorite flowers.
We stopped to look at the creek from the 11th Street pedestrian bridge, ...
... then headed north on 11th Street past this cool sculpture ...
... and Flatirons Bank.
Here's a cool mural ...
... and a stand of rental bikes on 11th Street just before it intersects with ...
... Pearl Street. Here's the view of the mountains to the west.
We headed east to walk through Pearl Street Mall, where we encountered another metal animal sculpture, this time of a bison.
The Pearl Street Mall consists of four blocks of pedestrian mall. There is lots of seating ...
... and sculptures ...
... and open space for pop-up vendors.
The crosswalk at Broadway was painted in bright rainbow colors, in preparation for Pride Month in June. We later learned that the crosswalk had just been painted in the wee hours of this very day.
This little bridge crossed over an imaginary creek.
We were delighted to make a quick stop at the public restrooms.
Oh, Lush, we cannot resist your charms.
We tried. We definitely tried. But that scent lures us in every time.
We enjoyed this sparkly gold bath bomb fizzing in the water, ...
... but we only bought a pair of Godiva shampoo bars. Those things smell heavenly.
This interesting brick sidewalk display is the site of a time capsule placed August 6, 1977, by the City of Boulder Centennial-Bicentennial Commission. It is intended to be opened July 4, 2075 by the City of Boulder Bicentennial-Tricentennial Commission.
This impressive structure is the Boulder County Courthouse.
Here's a fun water fountain.
This was a large map of Boulder County.
Another metal animal sculpture.
We were at the very end of Pearl Street Mall when we saw Liberty Puzzles. We came a little closer. We walked in.
Once we saw their amazing puzzles up close, it was game over.
Their gorgeous wooden puzzles have lots of unique shapes, including human figures and animals.
We decided that we had to buy one, even if they were as much as $50. We bought the Flatirons puzzle on the left for $105. So much for willpower.
But we love this puzzle so much. With each purchase, you can take a free puzzle piece with you, so we picked a girl figurine puzzle piece out of a large glass jar of loose pieces. It's now a magnet on our refrigerator. The free navy tote bag is now in our grocery bag rotation.
It was 2:00 PM by now but we still had lots to see. We headed to Settler's Park, just hidden here behind the trees in the foreground.
We set off for a short hike to the top of the hill.
The route starts on a bridge over a small creek, ...
... then splits in a grassy area. We took the Red Rocks Trail.
It was a steep hike uphill to this natural landing, ...
... but we wanted to get to the really big rocks further up.
The route continues further into the rocks, but this comfortable bench was calling to us.
There's Boulder, with the downtown area centered right over Debbie's head in this photo.
We headed back down hill, which is much steeper than this photo lets on.
We were surprised to find cactus growing among the wildflowers on the hill.
Forty minutes after we started, we were back on the road. But not in this car, because that would be Madness.
We were headed to the mountains.
We passed all of the posh, modern, cool houses on the mountainside as we climbed the road.
We paid our parking fee in a little envelope, ...
... on our way up to Flagstaff Summit.
We visited the Flagstaff Nature Center there.
We were the only visitors at this time of day. We got a close look at this guy ...
... and this one.
Next, we headed to Lost Gulch Overlook. We stayed away from the crowd on these rocks ...
... and went to the official overlook area instead, facing west. Aren't those mountains pretty?
We also found a north-east facing break in the trees for a different view.
Someone had built a snowman out of the blizzard snow from the night before, all of which had already melted away in the warm weather except this guy.
Back down we went again, ...
... stopping occasionally to enjoy the view.
Our next stop was that little neighborhood on the far side of that field ahead, Colorado Chatauqua National Historic Landmark. Around the turn of the 20th century, chatauquas were popular in the US, providing cultural and educational retreats. Speakers, performers, and preachers often traveled the chatauqua circuit across the country during the summertime.
The Colorado Chataqua site opened in 1898 and consists of an auditorium, dining hall, academic hall, and numerous cottages.
These cottages form an unusual neighborhood, as some are private-owned, some are publicly-owned, and most are available as vacation rentals.
They are in various stages of condition, but all are in remarkably good shape considering how old they are.
Here's the auditorium, still in use today.
The Flatirons provide a dramatic backdrop to the area.
Our final stop of the day was in an area called "The Hill," just a couple of blocks away from the Chatauqua: the home of our friends Stuart and Roxy, friends of Debbie's from years ago when she lived in Texas.
We enjoyed a late afternoon on their patio with cold beer and a delicious spread of fruit, cheese, and crackers.
We were having much too good a time to take any good pictures of us, much less their gorgeous home, but we did take a picture of this cool jigsaw puzzle they had just completed.
It was close to 7:00 PM when we set out for a pleasant walk to dinner.
We walked over to 13th Street, which was lined with bars, shops, ...
... and the Fox Theater.
Here's some cool fencing.
We arrived at The Sink, a college hangout where Robert Redford bussed tables when he went to CU. We didn't get a photo of the outside, so here's a Google Streetview image to help us remember. 
We did photograph the interior though. This piece of plexiglass covers the signature of President Barack Obama when he visited the restaurant in April 2012.
This framed newspaper article tells all about the visit. The pizza that he ordered was immediately renamed P.O.T.U.S.
We were seated in this huge room in the back on the right. No further photos exist of this event or of our meals, which consisted of gigantic burgers, which in Debbie's case was the Caribou Ranch Burger.

The sun had set by the time we walked back to Stuart and Roxy's, said our goodbyes, and headed back to our hotel in Golden.

Day 8 >


Colorado and Utah 2019: [Day 1 - Steamboat Springs] [Day 2 - Grand Junction] [Day 3 - Moab] [Day 4 - Moab] [Day 5 - Cataract Canyon] [Day 6 - Cataract Canyon] [Day 7 - Boulder] [Day 8 - Denver] [Day 9 - Denver] [Day 10 - Denver]

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