Enchanted Mesa

(Along the Enchanted Mesa Trail.)

Our triathalon continues.  Another day of hiking, biking, and swimming.

M and I started our morning with a trip to Mike’s Camera where I was told that they couldn’t help me with my camera woes.  I have a Kodak and they won’t touch a Kodak.  Having done some extensive searching online last night, I sort of knew that would be the answer.  From what I’ve read and from what I was told at Mike’s, I’ll have to ship the camera back to Kodak.  I’m not sure it will be worth it, but will save the research and direct contact with Kodak for when I return home.  For now I’ve resigned myself to The Blob and lots of Photoshopping.  I’ve also become a little more creative in the way I frame a picture.  I can usually see The Blob and even when I can’t, I know approximately where it is.  It doesn’t disappear, of course, but it’s not as visible if I frame it just right.

After our wasted trip to Mike’s where, it should be noted, the folks were very nice even though they couldn’t help me, we geared up (daypacks on) and headed up to Chautauqua, located at the base of the Flatirons.  We hiked the McClintock – Enchanted Mesa Trail Loop.  This hike is considered easy to moderate in terms of difficulty.

We did it backwards from the usual descriptions.  We started, I think, on the Mesa Trail and then got on the Enchanted Mesa Trail.  The trail starts out easy enough.  The loop includes a gradual climb from 5,748 feet to 6,142 feet.  There are intervals of open meadow followed by a relatively flat area through the woods.  We saw a deer in the woods:

There were signs with warnings regarding bears and mountain lions (as there have been on most of the trails we’ve hiked so far).  Fortunately, we haven’t encountered either of them although we have seen bear scat.

The wooded area was busy with workers.  In an attempt to restore natural fire conditions, the City of Boulder OSMP (Open Space and Mountain Parks) is doing some selective thinning of the trees.

(At the Quarry)

M and I decided to extend our hike by doing the Woods Quarry loop which brought our total elevation gain to 837 feet.  It was quite a climb up to the quarry, putting us closer to the top of the Flatirons.  There are stone benches set up at the quarry where you can sit and admire the fantastic view and listen to the hawks whistle.

It was all downhill from there.  The total hike was about 3 miles.

We had lunch with M the Younger and Mere after our hike.  We decided on the Boulder Brew Company again because it’s close to our hotel (and the beer and food are good).  After biking back to the hotel, we went for a soak in the whirlpool and a swim.  I’m feeling very spoiled.

We took a brief break, then hopped back on The Bike to go back to the Pearl Street Mall area to explore the shops.  We stopped at the Tahona Tequila Bistro for some (what else?) tequila and tamales.  During happy hour the tamales are $2.00.  The tamales we had were excellent.  The tequila was nice too.

We eventually ended up back at the newlyweds’ apartment where we had a nice dinner with them.  We pedaled back to the hotel just after the sun went behind the mountains.  There were storms skirting the area.  The lightning in the distance was something to see.

A little blog business before I wrap this up:  As mentioned previously, I scheduled posts to publish while we were on this trip in case I didn’t have time to post.  I haven’t had time to go through them and stop them (now that I see I do have time in the evenings) so they’ll continue on their own.

That’s it from me for now.


Akron reflections

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(095:  Akron reflections.  Photo © 2009 by Robin)

When you look at a city, it’s like reading the hopes, aspirations and pride of everyone who built it.

~ Hugh Newell Jacobs


Marshall Mesa Trail

Today M and I hiked the Marshall Mesa trail where there are some great views of the flatirons.  The hike was easy and we took our time, enjoying the views and the gorgeous weather.

I took lots of photos.  Unfortunately, many of them have a dark blob in the upper middle portion of the picture, most noticeable when the shot includes a clear blue sky.  I’m bummed.  I saw the spot early on, cleaned the lens, and thought that had taken care of the problem.  No such luck.  I think the problem may be on the inside of the lens.  I’ll be taking a trip to a camera store tomorrow to see if they can fix it (blow out the dust or whatever is in there).

Here is an example:

Bummer, man.  I can fix them with Photoshop, of course, but it will take time and effort.  (In case you missed it, it looks like a dark cloud above the middle of the mountains.)

Ah well.  What’s done is done.  I can’t go back and retake the shots.  They are not all bad, either.

After our hike we paid a visit to Celestial Seasonings, the tea company.  They had a tent sale this weekend.  We had originally planned to go on Friday but couldn’t fit it in.  As it turns out, that was a good thing.  Teas that were $3 on Friday and Saturday were $1 today.  We loaded up on both tea and coffee.  Getting it home will be no problem as we have an extra suitcase due to carrying out some stuff for the newlyweds (a wedding gift that was left with Mere’s parents).  It’s a huge suitcase and since we already paid to take it on the plane, we might as well fill it.

We had lunch with M the Younger at the Scotch Corner Pub in Boulder.  From there it was back to the hotel for a bit of a rest and then we rode The Bike back to the Pearl Street Mall and wandered around for a few hours, a good chunk of that spent in the Boulder Book Store, an independent bookstore where I’d be perfectly happy spending an entire day or two.

We met up with M the Younger and Mere later and had dinner at The Hungry Toad.  The food was great and plentiful.  Spending time with M the Younger and Mere was great.  While we were there some storms with lots of lightning rolled through.  Although the storms had moved out, it was dark by the time we finished so we were unable to ride The Bike back to the hotel.  It’s illegal to ride a bike without lights in Boulder when it’s dark or raining.  We’ll have to pick up the bike in the morning.