2. Hike, bike & beer…Colorado 8.2013

Day TWO - Sunday

 Last night I checked FB before I went to sleep & saw that an old friend of ours was competing in an Ironman Triathlon in Boulder this morning out at the Reservoir.  We were both awake a little after six, slid out of our bags, into the front seat & on our way to Starbucks for coffee, then a drive to the Boulder Reservoir.  

Danny & I went to high school with Tom Turner & he is one of those really “good guys” you meet in life.  We had just seen him at a funeral not too long ago & knew he was into endurance sports & loving it!

Back in 1975, Danny & I had driven to Tulsa, OK for a Willie Nelson & Waylon Jennings concert.  Among 60,000 people, we ran into Tom & another friend & ended up sitting in the same place for the rest of the concert.  We weren’t sure if we’d find him or his wife Kathy, but we were going to try.  

It was a beautiful morning for any outdoor activity & the place was packed with athletes & filled with excitement.  

It didn’t take too long, before we found Tom, his wife Kathy, their daughter Emily & Tommy (one of his sons) & Tommy’s wife.  It was so much fun & definitely trip magic!

We all visited for a brief period, then it was time for Tom to start with swim.  With hugs from his kids & a good luck kiss from his wife, he was off with a huge smile on his face!

We knew we wouldn’t be able to stay for the whole race, but stayed long enough to catch him coming out of the water.

Look at that huge smile on his face!!  We snapped this photo, then took off for just outside the transition area.  We stayed there for a long time wanting to take one more pic & shout our good wishes, but must have missed him on the bike.  It had been so great to see Tom & meet his whole family, but most specially to see a guy our age, enjoying life from the front lines of activity, not passively waiting to grow old, but embracing new challenges (that’s an understatement for everything a triathlete does), new friends, & doing it with passion & big smiles.  Love it!  Way to go Tom!

We still had our own mission to pursue...sort of a marathon of breweries!  (Hope I didn’t offend any marathoners out there!)

We’d brought both our bikes & were ready to go riding.  We parked the car at some random ball fields, about 5 miles from downtown Boulder.  This has to be one of the most bike friendly cities...anywhere!  There’s a gazillion bike paths & almost EVERY STREET HAS BIKE LANES!  Do you know how awesome that is?  And, THE MOTORISTS PAY ATTENTION TO BIKERS!  Do you know how awesome that is?  We soon realized the bike lanes were faster than the bike paths, & not at all scary, like street riding can be  in cities, towns & IN THE COUNTRYSIDE (ummm...Leavenworth county?) where there’s not so much friendliness towards bike riders.

There were three breweries along or near Pearl street we wanted to visit & maybe take in some shopping as we went (Danny & I are neither one big shoppers...more like we look in about three stores & we’re at our limit!)

Our first stop was the Walnut Brewery.  I had an “ok” IPA called 1123 & a Pomegranate Wheat (what was I thinking?) which wasn’t’ very good, & Danny had a Belgium Style Ale, a St. James Irish Red & an Indian Peaks Pale Ale...which he says all were “not anything special”.  This brewery definitely goes at the bottom of the list.

We had a special plan for this afternoon.  Luke’s been in Colorado for the past month & he & Steve met us for a late lunch.  They had the dogs with them, & while Boulder is an extremely bike friendly town, it’s not so much for dogs.  At least down on the Pearl mall, you’re not supposed to have even leashed dogs.  And outside the restaurants, you can’t tie up your dog...even if you’re sitting on the outside patio.  

And, Luke & Steve were carting a trailer behind the jeep, so parking would have been a nightmare down near Pearl.  We met them in a large parking lot, threw our bikes on the trailer & drove to eat at the Walnut Cafe...which turned out to be really good food.

Our visit was short, but it’s always good to see him.  He & Steve & some other friends are getting ready to leave for Burning Man soon...& I know they’re so stoked about going back. (Yes, the camper will be revived for another trip...say your prayers that it makes it!)

The skies looked like they were going to spill, but we rode our bikes back downtown for the last two breweries & one super sweet bike shop.

Here’s just a ton of pics from the bike store.  New bikes all around, but amazing old bikes hanging from the ceiling.  We had a great time just strolling around looking up & down & all around.  

After drooling over all the bikes, we took off down the street to the West Flanders Brewery.  The beer was good & the bartenders nice!

They had guest taps as well as their own, so I tried both.  I had West Flanders Third Kingdom IPA & then tried the Sunshine Nectar which is a mead from a Boulders Redstone Meadery.  Danny had the Angry Monk Belgium Ale & the Daisy Cutter Belgium Strong Ale.  We both really liked all our beers.

Next stop would be our last for the day...Mountain Sun & Pub...& we loved it!

The atmosphere here was great.  Unique restaurant in that all employees to all jobs...one day they’ll cook, another they’ll wait or bus tables, or be the host...& they’re games everywhere for you to play while you drink & eat.  The food looked good, but we were still full from lunch with Luke & Steve (but we’d love to go back here!)  The beer was really good too (& a ton of people had recommended this place!)  Danny had the Trippel & I had the FYIPA....yummy!

We rode our bikes back just as it started to rain, loaded them up (no small process...patience, patience, patience) & had one more stop to make before heading south.  It was time to say good bye to Boulder...we might be back on this trip...we’ll see.  

As we’d been out riding the bikes, we past a huge, but really cool looking liquor store.  You might think since part of this trip is a brew tour, we wouldn’t need to stop & buy beer.  

Here’s our excuses:  1) We always shop for beer when we’re out of town.  There’s so much you can’t buy in Kansas or Missouri...it’s the kind of shopping we do best!  2) we are camping...so it might be fun to have a beer in the evening at camp & 3) we needed ice.

Hazels was the name of the liquor store.  The name & decor are inspired by the WWII women pilots.  (Hey Jill!!  Wish you were here...I found a gluten free Dogfish Head beer just for you!)

We made our way out of town & Danny soon fell asleep as a gentle rain & darkness fell.  I had wanted to go through South Park again...I think it’s such a beautiful valley surrounded by so many huge & magnificent mountains...but I couldn’t see it in the dark.  I drove as far as the top of Kenosha pass & looked for camping.  I knew this area had tons of National Forest property, so camping wouldn’t be a problem.

We soon found a place, moved from the front to the back, & said good night.  We’d had such a great start to this trip...I can’t wait for more fun & good times!

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