Boulder Bound: The End of the Road

Some thoughts:

  • The adrenaline thrill of the journey exceeds the soporific effect of arrival.
  • That's the Rockies back there and the university in the foreground.

    That’s the Rockies back there and UC Boulder  in the foreground: close but not the same.

    Familiar scene: the surging to and fro on the hour.

    Familiar scene: the surging to and fro on the hour.

    Some confuse matriculation with mastication.

    Some confuse matriculation with mastication.

  • No matter how extremely remote the station or town, gas and food are cheaper than in California: we’re being taken for a ride out here.
  • Boulder, like Santa Cruz, Berkeley or other college towns is a cut above the average but with the same mix of university people, boutiques, gourmet bistroes and cheap eateries, chain and box stores, and more than a few tourists. The sense of artifice is always in the air.
  • Lest we forget. Boulder is the western terminus of the great plains that begin back at the Mississippi River.

    Lest we forget. Boulder is the western terminus of the great plains that begin back at the Mississippi River.

    And some roads aren't even blacktop as they head toward that great mountain barrier.

    And some roads aren’t even blacktop as they head toward that great mountain barrier to the west.

  • Our two lane blacktops are in better condition than our freeways.
  • A shut down suger mill. TheBoulder area teems with huge, low lying, high tech factories, the new crop that this vast land supports.

    A shut down suger mill. The Boulder area teems with huge, low lying, high tech factories, the new crop that this vast land supports.

    In a Boulder bookstore. on the left anatomy, a reminder of my brief but happy medical training, and on the right: movies!

    In a Boulder bookstore. on the left: anatomy, a reminder of my brief but happy medical training, and on the right: movies!

  • I can drive almost 2000 miles without TV of any kind, but can’t go a day without wi-fi.
  • GPS is a luxury; maps work. I relied on them entirely.
  • Backroads are majestic and magical; freeways are like never leaving home.
  • The most horrific bump was on a freeway just miles out of San Francisco. I discovered, on arrival, thanks to another driver telling me, that my tail lights were all out. I found the light assemblies on both sides had been jarred out of their receptacles, fallen down into the trunk well and were useless–maybe for the entire trip! I may have driven to Boulder without tail or brake lights the entire way.
  • Travelers depend on the kindness of strangers and I was never let down. It isn’t the obsequious sort of attention that the tourist trade creates, not on the backroads; it’s more a genuine openness and curiosity about those who come from other places.
  • A definite beauty surrounds this place. It's not all malls and tourists and shopping centers, and not only a major university at all.

    A definite beauty surrounds this place. It’s not all malls and tourists and shopping centers, and not only a major university at all. Much awaits discovery.

    Heading out of town for a brief escape into the Rockies.

    Heading out of town for a brief escape into the Rockies.

    Gem Lake. In Rocky Mtn Natl Park. About 7000 feet high at the end of a steep, demanding trail. Reward enough.

    Gem Lake. In Rocky Mtn Natl Park. About 7000 feet high at the end of a steep, demanding trail. Reward enough.

    In December I return to San Francisco, on different roads, ahead, I hope, of the winter snows.

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