This past weekend I made an impulsive plan to go on a road trip to Boulder, CO with my friend Hrishi. He was moving from Irvine to Boulder and I suddenly thought – how about an unplanned roadtrip? ? I had heard a lot about Boulder and it was on my list of places to visit. So I tagged along with him and we set off Friday afternoon around 2 p.m. (the original plan was to start in the morning, but you know how well our planning goes! ). There was traffic all along the way towards the east and by the time we reached Vegas it was around 8 p.m. After dinner we continued driving and camped for the night in Cedar city KOA around 2 a.m.
The next morning, we got up around 8 a.m., grabbed a cup of coffee and break fast from a local coffee shop and drove towards Bryce canyon national park, UT. It was a hot summer day in the desert and the canyon structures which have been standing there for millions of years were spectacular. We spent a few hours in the national park admiring the colorful, water and wind eroded structures (checkout some photos that we took). It was afternoon and time to get back on our journey and we decided to go all in and reach Boulder the same night. The drive on I 70 was unbelievably picturesque and the best part was that it was a total surprise, as I had no idea about it. There were canyon structures for hundreds of miles with different colored layers and various formations, formed over millions of years.
Bryce point view
A Panaromic view from Bryce point
Rain clouds on the way
As we entered Colorado, I could see the change in the geography, with the arid surroundings being replaced by more greener, mountainous landscape. We climbed the Rockies and down again to reach Boulder by early Sunday around 2 a.m. Sunday was restday, but I hardly got any since I was dehydrated over the journey and Boulder was hot and dry that day. I managed to rest a bit and as the afternoon brought some cloud cover and cooler breeze, I felt better.
More sleep Sunday night meant I was more energetic for Monday. My plan was to roam around the CU Boulder campus and get a feel for the place. Boulder is a small college town with a widely prevalent hippie culture and eastern spiritual influences. Coffee shop notice boards were filled with promotions for music lessons, meditation/ spirituality/ mysticism retreats, among others. Not to mention the fact that recreational Marijuana use is legal here. There are also good restaurants serving some authentic Asian food- Tibetan, Nepalese, Thai, and Indian food.
On my way to the CU campus, I stopped at the Boulder creek that runs through the town (Boulder city is supposedly named after it). Then I spent a couple of hours at the natural history museum on campus, learning about the geological formation of the land around there, over millions of years and all the fossils that have been recovered in the central states, including Colorado. I was also able to witness a rehearsal for the Colorado Shakespeare festival in the arts department. Later that evening we went to the Chautauqua park at the base of the famous Flatirons of Boulder. The view was peaceful and I felt very much connected to nature. Later in the night, we walked along pearl street, which is a happening little street with restaurants, and some stores selling interesting collectibles/gifts. Monday was a good day for me with some interesting experiences of the local culture.
Skull of a dinosaur found around Colorado
My foot size compared with foot prints of a iguanodon
Good spot for a nap!
Tuesday was time to get back. An interesting coincidence was that the owner of the Tibetan restaurant in Boulder where I had lunch actually spoke my mother tongue, kannada. He identified my language as I spoke on my phone and started talking to me. It turns out he was a Tibetan who lived in northern karnataka for 25 years before coming here! Next, I took a bus from Boulder to Denver airport. In the airport, I started chatting with Zach, a local resident from Netherland, CO. He shared his perspectives on life in Boulder and the outdoor activities in the surrounding mountains. He shared interesting/weird things that happen in his town- there’s a frozen deadman in his town since around 1998 and his town also hosts an annual coffin race (a team of 5 build a coffin and then in the day of the race four of them carry the other guy in the coffin around town)! We also had a good chat on psychedelics and he also discussed his experiences brewing beer at his home.
This was a memorable break and I can’t wait for my next visit to Boulder!