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Sunday, January 17, 2016

Flashback to Boulder

This post is a flashback from our trip out west in 2009.

I'm in need of a little nature therapy this morning, but it is only literally below zero outside in southern Wisconsin today so I'll have to get my dose of nature through photographs.

On our trip out west in 2009 we stopped at St. Vrain State Park in Boulder for two nights.  Eighty-seven campsites hug seven small ponds filled with birds even in September.  I would definitely stop there again, it was nice just walking around the ponds at the end of the day.

We didn't have much time in Boulder but I liked what we saw, especially the Flatirons from Chatauqua Park.  Unfortunately we didn't have time for a hike, but we saw other folks heading in, including owners of dogs who are allowed to be off leash.  They can do this for an annual fee after taking a class.  Owners and dogs must remain registered in the program and demonstrate proper voice and sight control at all times. While on city trails that allow voice and sight control, all off-leash dogs must wear their program tag and guardians need to have a leash for each dog in their possession. The dogs we met were very well trained and not a nuisance whatsoever, we were very impressed and think every city near trails should have this type of program.  Signs about the off leash program were at the trailheads.

We toured the National Center for Atmospheric Research, checking out exhibits about global warming and other weather and climate related topics. Check out their top 10 stories for 2015 here.  From extreme heat on the rise to nighttime storms on the Great Plains there is plenty to explore.  And we got to see I.M. Pei's award winning architecture too.

The "weather trail" behind NCAR was short but filled with natural beauty.

We also visited the Leanin' Tree Museum and Sculpture Garden of Western and Wildlife Art which exhibits the private art collection of Ed Trumble, Founder and Chairman of Leanin’ Tree, publisher of fine art greeting cards.

Admission is free and the collection includes 250 paintings, 100 bronze sculptures and of course you can spend money in the card and gift shop on your way out.

I was happy to spend my time admiring the creativity of man inspired by nature for free and keep my money for other things.  This morning I watched "Call of the Wild" on National Geographic which  told me things I already know like the fact that even viewing pictures of nature can lower your blood pressure, elevate your mood and increase creativity.

Actually spending time in nature (like hiking and camping) does a lot to repair the stress and damage to our minds and bodies that comes from living in a modern world filled with too much stimulation.

I keep trying to explain to other people why I'm always running off for the outdoors, maybe I'll be able to articulate it a little better now with some science to back it up!


  1. Yup, that's why I try and hike every weekend (except during ski season of course!)

  2. Oh that temperature sounds so COLD! I hope you have a wood stove to snuggle up to. Love the sculpture of the Elk.