M and I went on an easy 4.5 mile hike yesterday morning. We took the South Boulder Creek Trail up to Mesa Trail and looped around on the Big Bluestem Trail to where we started. I enjoyed it. It didn’t involve steep climbs or the possibility of steep falls down the side of a mountain. The first half of the hike involved ascending. The second half was all downhill. Nice.
The hike goes through meadows and grazing land. We passed through a lot of gates, some open and some closed. We didn’t see any cattle or sheep or whatever grazes out there. We did see plenty of scat on the trails, especially around the berry bushes where the black bears like to hang out from August 15 – November 1. Grasshoppers, butterflies, and birds flitted about. No black bears, mule deer, fox, or mountain lions popped up anywhere along the hike.
It started out sunny and warm. Then the clouds and wind moved in. I thought for sure it might rain given the ominous look of the clouds rolling off the mountains. We did get a little sprinkle but that’s it. The clouds and breeze kept things cool, making it a pleasant day to be outside.
There are great views of the Flatirons from the trails. I took a lot of photos of the Flatirons last year so I tried not to take so many this year.
They do fascinate me, the Flatirons. We climbed around up there last year. The views are marvelous but my favorite way to look at them is from below.
We went back to Boulder for lunch. On the way in we stopped at an overlook so I could snap a few pictures of Longs Peak which looked beautiful in a cloud wrapping.
We have a couple of hikes planned for today, our last full day in Colorado. I’m not sure where we’ll end up. We might do one or two. We might do them all. It depends, in part, on my left foot. Somewhere around the last half mile of our hike yesterday I felt some discomfort from my hiking boot rubbing my heel. It was never bad enough that I felt like I had to take off the boot. I didn’t have to limp out. But when I finally did take off the boot I discovered a good-sized blister.
One of the hikes we’re considering for today is on a trail that is well padded with pine needles. I’m thinking this might be the perfect opportunity to put my Vibrams to the test. I have worn them around the hotel and on small walks, but not on a major hike. One reason I’ve avoided wearing them on a major hike is that the trails tend to be rocky. I have discovered that one of the things you don’t want to do while wearing the Vibrams is stub a toe (or toes). I tend to drag my feet when I get tired, an action that is almost guaranteed to result in the stubbing of a toe. A well padded trail might be just the thing for my first good hike in my new “barefoot” shoes.
(Evening on the Pearl Street Mall.)
We had dinner with M the Younger and Merdi in Boulder again last night. This time we went to The Mediterranean Restaurant. It was a fantastic choice. The food was excellent and the service was good. We’ve noticed in passing the place on various occasions that it always seems to be busy. Now we know why. We started with some tapas dishes. M stayed with the tapas so he could try different things. The rest of us moved on to entrees. I had the vegetarian paella. The saffron rice was perfectly cooked and mingled with a big variety of peppers — both sweet and hot — as well as peas, artichoke hearts, asparagus, onions, and kalamata olives. There may have been a few other veggies in there that I’m not remembering. It was an interesting and lively dish. Piquant describes it well. I would have eaten it all if I could.
The serving sizes were good, too. They were not super-sized as they are in a lot of U.S. restaurants. If I hadn’t sampled the tapas and had ordered just the entree, I could have finished it without walking away feeling as if I made a pig of myself.
I’d better get myself ready for the day. I can’t believe it’s already our last day here. The time has flown by.