Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Weekend in Nederland

Memorial Day weekend here started with a bout of severe weather and Nugget, D and I hunkered down in our gloomy basement for our first tornado of the season!  Well, it thankfully manifested for us only as strong winds and horizontal rain.

Good thing, too, since we took off for a weekend in Nederland, Colorado shortly thereafter!  I lived in Colorado for four years and yet I had never made it to this little mountain town.  How?!?  We've overnighted in Denver or the ski resorts intermittently since then - most recently, for Labor Day last year when we visited the Botanic Gardens and DMB concert, but we never ventured far from the cities.

So for Memorial Day weekend we rented a cabin to enjoy the cool, spare air, go hiking, and eat fabulously. Check!

Nugget came with us since we are last-minute planners and doggie daycare was full (imagine that).

9 hours after leaving home we settled in to our adorable cabin (which is larger than our home!) in Nederland, 15ish miles into the mountains outside of Boulder.

We enjoyed coffee and breakfast burritos at Happy Trails and The Train Cars Coffee and hiked around the Walker Ranch Loop.

We ate splendidly in Boulder - Backcountry Pizza (pretty good, but no match for Moose's Tooth) and CafĂ© Aion (best veggie burger I can remember, D loved his Aion burger too, but the show stopper was the hummus (really!)).  We even made time to visit the Celestial Seasonings HQ for a cute tea tour and samples of course.

The weather held beautifully all weekend, chilled only by a few mild rain showers - a welcome respite from the very Colorado sun that energizes us to enjoy the outdoors all day.

At some point we loved our weekend so much we considered moving here instead of Alaska.  I poo-pooed this immediately but D is still unconvinced so we scouted out some properties.  Boulder is definitely too crowded for our taste, and Nederland a little too far removed from the rat-race, so no big changes yet.  No worries mates, I will hold strongly in the Alaska camp!

Memorial Day holds many memories and sadnesses, and this break from our usual habits and fast-paced humdrum is part of acknowledging the day.

In my absence from this blog, I have had some running challenges.  My back pain is a beast I now manage instead of cure.  I'm learning to deal with that.  The slower pace of trails has helped, so to indulge I recently bought the Salomon Fell-raiser trail shoes at a discount - a good gamble.  Very well-suited to the Colorado dry trails, but the tread on the bottom collects A LOT of mud here in earthy, boggy, Kansas.  I don't mind so much, but I did stop often along my 10-mile WYCO loop on Monday to clap off the caked mud.  I think I just made room for more :)

Several times now - on recent runs, at my new slower pace - I've noticed the return of our songbirds!  We host a beefy cardinal pair that nibble corn from our back railing, but I've seen more exotic birds, too - blue jays, mourning doves, indigo buntings, a summer tanager, red-bellied woodpeckers, black-capped chickadee, red-winged blackbirds, and even a goldfinch.  Oh yes and starlings by the busload, of course.  Just the other day while D shoppied for his NB Leadville shoes at the Running Well store, we noticed a Backyard Bird Center store in the same strip mall.  I've had such luck with my bird-watching lately so we bought a bird feeder to more easily spy on our chirpy friends.  Nugget is completely disinterested - certainly for the best.

I finally finished up my kitchen island based on one from Ana White.  It looks great -- what a surprise!  It definitely isn't used as an "island" (40 sq ft kitchen here, folks) but it holds our miscellany well.  I drill my pocket-holes without a jig, but even so it is still in one piece and level (amazing).  I left the top as plain cedar though heavily sanded and with several coats of wipe-on poly.  The base is a weathered gray with a coat of wipe-on poly for protection, too.  The cedar grain is lovely to look at and I am glad I rustically nailed the top planks down vs more pocket holes...oy.  I added a small decorative hook on the front to hang kitchen towels and D is under strict instructions not to let a single molecule of water linger on the cedar surface.  So far, A+ for his compliance :).

Here, some pictures:

Yep, I sure have no interest in messing around with photos, do I? :)

Summer is sort of here, let it be a safe and happy one for all!