Operation: Wexodus (a quick 3,655 mile road trip)

Part 2

A local brochure is not kidding when it reads “Boulder is snug up against the mountains”. To get to them you head west on Baseline Road (so named because it runs along the 40th parallel north and was used as a baseline for surveying before Colorado became a state). It runs through town, and the campus, and a mile through a suburb…

…and ends here, a picturesque park and gateway to the Rockies.

Just past the gates:

Start of a trail leading into woods and mountains:

Standing on a cliff, looking east into UC campus and downtown Boulder. I can see my dorm from here!

Road closed, sixes on fire have been reported in the area.

It surprises me how you can just walk right up to, and up, a mountain. Growing up in the plywood-flat Midwest I always pictured them as remote, isolated, requiring at least a helicopter to approach. Nope, just a hundred yards into the park the ground already became noticeably steeper.

The terrain quickly shifted from meadow to forest as well.

It had been sunny all day, but a passing cloud briefly offered this scene, straight overhead.

One park ended and another began.

We are now deep in the forest. While taking this picture a large insect landed on my arm, making me jump and nearly throw my camera into this stream.

Just past the stream is this sign. It first welcomes you to Gregory Canyon, and then warns you of numerous dangers in it ranging from “suspicious activities” to cougar attacks.

“Why’s this road closed? ‘Damaged from flooding’? C’mon, sure it’s a bit chewed up at the edges but it’s perfectly driveab–

…uh, never mind.”

And, back to civilization. Specifically a large outdoor mall in downtown Boulder (Pearl street, if you’re familiar with the area).

That’s not a mountain park, this is a mountain park!