It’s been a whirlwind landing back in Boulder after nine months away. Coming into Denver via Iceland was a breeze, and I’m going to recommend IcelandAir to anyone who will listen from now on. My bikes came out of the airport machinery looking a little mangled, but a quick check over reassured me they were OK, and the haste to find Christa and get back to Boulder stopped me inspecting them any further.
The meeting with Christa in the middle of the airport arrivals hall was exactly how one may expect it to be after too many months apart. I’m really looking forward to saying “See you later” to Christa, and it meaning later that day, rather than three months down the line.
Before I even got on US soil, I had a pretty strenuous socialising schedule laid out, and it started the first night in town with a visit to the Bohemian Biergarten; a Czech-inspired bar, that was labelled by all around me as German. I was too polite to correct the geographical misappropriation of Bohemia, so instead I stopped being a nerd and enjoyed a great evening catching up with people. We had full table of people willing to celebrate my lowly presence, I was happy to be back in the fold of good friends. One friend in particular, Brando, was lovely to catch up with; since I left, he’d decimated his femur in a freak road bike accident, and was just getting back on the process of walking again. It’s warming to see someone who has been through so much ask you the simple question of “How have you been?”. The regular crew also assembled, and I managed to fill in the details of life stories that don’t filter over the digital world. After drinking a full stein of good dark beer, I was pretty done, and I certainly didn’t need the Margaritas that followed.
Since Christa and I are now living together, a lot of this first week has been entirely consumed by the process of ‘life mesh’. It’s been a little stressful, but now we’ve done the bulk of the moving, and there’s no longer belonging stashed all over the house, it’s starting to feel very settled. Very settled and very civilised!
We broke up the moving boredom with a fantastic first bike up to Eldorado Springs and around Cherryvale. The most simple and short bike ride in Boulder.
I was surprised how green the Foothills were; after being in the lush and majestic Alps, I was expecting to be underwhelmed by the parched and rocky Front Range, but a wetter than average season had left plenty of flowers blooming, and a distinct green tinge to the long grass on the lower slopes of the flatirons. I had a great introduction to altitude again with a fast ride up to Rollins pass road with Bryan; although I felt like I was breathing through a straw, there clear air at 10,000 feet gives a distinct light that is hard to capture anywhere else.
First week back has been a success, and I’m ready for some fun mountain adventures coming up soon.