Ode to Boulder. Or Oh Boulder. Or Uh Oh Boulder.

For now, I’m going to gloss over the actual meetings and celebrations of the Rev3 summit out in Boulder and focus on the rest of the trip out West. Next time I’ll tell you all about the sponsors and the team.

Driving in to Boulder was somewhat spectacular. Even in the dead of night, the shadows of the Flatirons and the Rockies (not knowing the region well enough, maybe it’s the Front Range?) are spectacular. During the day, they are even more spectacular.

The snow pack in Colorado has been disappointing this year. The bases at most of the I-70 resorts (Keystone, Copper, Loveland, Vail, etc) are right around 30 inches right now. But it’s a totally different type of terrain, snow, and altitude. I didn’t know how long I wanted to ski on Thursday so I headed to Loveland Ski Area. Much of the more extreme terrain was closed, and the wind was whipping across the ridge, but still, I was out skiing (and freezing). While small and mostly above the treeline, there are some magnificent views and you can see the exhaust pipes from the tunnel (the tunnels are a marvel; when an overheight truck approaches, a loud siren goes off and all traffic is prevented from entering the tunnels.
As the day wore on, I decided I needed to get back to Boulder so I could meet teammates for dinner. But first, I wanted to drive over Loveland Pass (pass #1 of the week) and see what the drive was like (I had never driven over the pass, just through the tunnels). The view at the top? Truly awe inspiring.

Met some teammates for dinner. Someone confused architecture for archaeology (Indiana Jones designs the best buildings). We drank Imperial because it reminded us of Costa Rica and opportunities missed. Later that night I drove back out to the airport to pick up Maggie, Ryan, and Tonia. We got back to the hotel, Ryan and I cracked a beer, and we watched the end of one of the American Pie movies before crashing around 2AM MST.

We made the decision early in the weekend that 5 of us (Ryan, Jeff, Maggie, Lauren, and I) would be going to one of the resorts to ski on Sunday. We met in the lobby at 8AM, jammed the trunk full of equipment, and started off for Winter Park. Once again, the mountain pass (this time, Berthoud Pass) was beautiful: low clouds, snow, tree lines, and switchbacks. Maybe someday I’ll bike the passes.
Gang of five.
We had a great time at Winter Park. We spent the majority of the time in the trees (my first time ever) finding what powder we could, falling into wells over and over again, and laughing it up.

We drove back to Boulder that night and Lauren, Maggie, and I met up with Courtenay Brown for dinner: Tibetan food. I had a yak stew (yup!) because when in Tibet, do as the Tibetans do. While I had met Courtenay briefly before and talked multiple times at length with her, it was the first time we had actually sat down together and talked. Didn’t disappoint: she’s just as cool in person as she is online.

Headed out to Copper Mountain on my own. It was nice to be back at the place where I learned to ski way back in the day. They even still give out Jolly Ranchers at the ticket window like they did 20+ years ago. During the day it started to snow, and while the visibility wasn’t great, the skiing was: there were steeps with deep powder, endless bumps as big as a sumo wrestler, and tree skiing galore. Got in a full day there.
Trees please!
That night, I headed to Avery Brewery. They do a number of taproom only beers, so I had a mint chocolate stout and an IPA that was taproom only[1].
Mint chocolate stout
Decided against skiing (gasp!) and went running up in the foothills/Flatirons/Front Range/whatever. It was there I came up with a brilliant business idea: truck in a ton of oxygen to Colorado. Up the trail into Shadow Canyon, lungs burning, feet searching the snow for good footing… just totally at peace with everything. The run included a lot of stops going up (to catch my breath) and down (to take photos). I thought about stopping at 1 mile going up. But I kept going. At 1.25 miles, I thought about stopping, but still, I went up. At 1.75, I decided that I would get to two miles and turn around.

Lunch was with Steve and MarkyV. I had never met MarkyV (nor Steve for that matter, though we had corresponded). We had a raucous lunch at Rueben’s Burger Bistro, which had 42 beers on tap (including nitro Mojo) and a terribly misleading signpost for the mountain passes in Europe. It was a very motivating (there are things I might be able to achieve), comforting (seems even the really fast people lose their motivation in January), and hilarious (Newton pumps: not happy with 0mm drop? 4 pumps to 4mm!) lunch. Finally had dinner with my cousins in Denver, then drove to the airport and waited in a nearly deserted terminal for my redeye flight back to Boston.

And now I am seriously considering a move to Boulder if I could only keep everything the way it is now. I love living near my family. I love the feel of Boston. But I also love the feel of Boulder/Denver. And the mountains. It’s not an easy problem to solve. It has very little to do with multisport and more to do with comfort. Any suggestions on what I should do? You ever come across this situation?

  1. Next time you go to Boulder, I recommend you go there. The staff there was pretty awesome (though perhaps that was only due to the weather which was nasty)