One of the first trips we made out of Boulder was to the Rocky Mountain national park. I've been wanting to go here for a while, it's an hour or so scenic drive west from Boulder, up through the mountains. On the way we stopped in Nederland, an old gold mining town established in 1885 during the Colorado gold rush. It's a strange little place - with plenty of unique little wood fronted shops and cafes. My favourite building has to be the town hall which pretty much looks like it is straight out of a wild west movie.
A lot of trails in the park were closed due to heavy snow but we ended up doing a mile or so hike up to Gem Lake from Estes Park. The lake was completely frozen over - a pretty common phenomenon that I had never seen before coming to Colorado. It was really windy but we managed to climb up some steep rocks (after some deliberation!) to get a better view. There's been a few occasions like that recently (especially whilst skiing) where I've had to forgo my cautiousness and just go for it... it always (at least so far eek) pays off and the adrenaline you get from doing something that initially terrified you is amazing!
Back in Boulder the temperature gets noticeably warmer compared to the mountains. One of the best things about Boulder (in my opinion) is the weather. Statistically, it gets more sunshine days per year than Florida - so unlike London, bright sunshine and blue skies are common most days. We took advantage of this to take a few pictures around campus.
|Hazel Woodruff Cottage|
The first picture is the Hazel Woodruff cottage, which is where the Women's studies department is located. I've never actually been inside this building, but I know it's where the women who attended the college lived when it was first established - so it's in pretty good condition considering it's over 100 years old. The second picture is the Old Main building. I can only assume that this is the old main building (ha), the architecture is pretty grand with a lot of charm about it. The last picture is the Macky auditorium which is the concert hall. The clock tower is located in here too, and there's a bell that rings on the hour daily. All the buildings on campus are made from this red sandstone from the Rocky Mountains. I find it pretty amusing that my university in America is so much older than my university in England - it feels as if it should be the other way round! CU was established in 1876, initially it's growth as a college was quite slow as Colorado as a state was relatively remote but the student population has now grown to around 30,000.
|me in the library (I didn't find the book I was looking for in the end)|
Here are some photos from Chautauqua Park, an open space and mountain park that's accessible from Boulder. I have absolutely no idea what the difference between a state park, national park and open space and mountain park is.
On the last weekend of his visit, we went to Denver. I'd actually not even been to Denver yet in the 5 months I've been living in Colorado so it was about time. It was not what I usually expect from a capitol city (even if it's only a state capitol), I kept expecting to stumble into a central area that would have the 'buzz' factor of London or other main cities. Despite that, I know from various accounts that Denver has a lot to offer so looking forward to seeing what the bar scene is like another time. It also had a great Buffalo Exchange store!
|my new Steve Madden boots in the mile high city|
Although I was sad to see him leave, showing my dad around Colorado and have him see how beautiful it is here was great, and ultimately helped me appreciate it all the more!