While I stayed in Boulder, I managed to go on several different hikes, most of which I had never done before. One of them was in the mountains right behind the city – “Mount Sanitas”. Coincidentally I joined a group of very mentally and physically fit hikers of the golden age, most of whom were also part of the ROMEOs like John – “Retired Old Men Eating Out”. By the time we reached the top we were happy that we had started at 7am for it was already a hot day.
For the weekend I went up to Eldora with Micki and John. There they have a nice cabin, which they like to visit frequently. It’s up in the mountains where it is a bit cooler than in Boulder and it’s also not as busy. It used to be a mining town, but the mines have long been abandoned. The “Goldminer Hotel”, “Klondike Avenue” and “Eldorado Avenue” are remnants of this short golden era. Now it mostly consists of weekend houses and only a handful of people live there year rounded.
To accommodate the increasing number of day-tourists, a shuttle service has been installed, which connects the close by trailheads to the nearest town with bus connection. This way Oscar was able to join me for a hike up there. We left early in the morning and decided to go to “King Lake”. The reviews of people who had been there recently had all described it as being wet and snowy, but as we made our way up through the trees we only encountered small patches of snow. Maybe it had all melted in the last two weeks?
By the time we reached the lake, we knew better. There was still lots of snow left, which was partly because we were in a valley, but also because we were getting higher and higher with an elevation of about 3400m at “King Lake”. Luckily Oscar had some snow chains for the boots, which he lent me for better traction. It definitely made it easier to balance. Yet the view of the lake and the surrounding mountains was amazing and it was definitely worth the effort.
The weekend after we also went up to Eldora. This time Micki and John had invited some friends for a dinner at their cabin. But before the guests came over, John and I went on a little hike up “Eldorado Mountain”. It was a short and relatively easy hike, but it provided a good view of Nederland, Eldora and the ski slopes that I had gotten to know so well during my time at the university in Boulder.
That night we slept quite well with a happy stomach filled with beef casserole, carrots and potatoes out of the oven and a delicious angle cake. The next morning we were ready for some more hiking. Unfortunately the area we had planned to visit was closed to protect the wildlife. Instead we looked for another trail at the “Sourdough Trailhead”, but we couldn’t find the one we looking for.
Back in Boulder I decided to go with Oscar on one last hike. We chose one of the classics, leading up to the “1st Flatiron”. The afternoon sun was beating on our backs and dozens of hikers and climbers were making their way up and down the mountain. However, the view of the massive and inclined rocks of the other “Flatirons” and the picturesque city at our feet was more than rewarding.
It ended up not being my last hike for this time, as I had still almost all day the next day before flying back to Canada. Therefore, I asked John to join me, who readily agreed to show me yet another trail that I had never done before. We followed the “Fowler Trail” past Eldorado Springs, through fields of wildflowers and a small canyon. On the other side we could see several climbers ascending the steep walls of “Shirttail Peak”, while the golden eagles were soaring above everything. It was a worthy finish of my time in Colorado!