3/18/12

Eighty on 80...

...or something like that when it comes to our drive home today.

After spending a great morning in Boulder yesterday, we headed up to Ft. Collins taking the scenic route via the front range road (36) which was lined on both sides with cyclists out for their weekend rides. Boulder and Ft. Collins are filled with cyclists as it is a part of the lifestyle, so it was great to see so many out and about on their bikes.

We stayed at the Hilton next to the CSU Campus which turned out to be 4 blocks from my cousin's house. My cousin, Joan, was working until 3:30 or 4 (she trains horses), so while we waited we decided to go and hike at Horsetooth Mountain Open Space. Mountain bikes, horses and hikers have plenty of choices between the 29 miles of trails. We headed out for about 90 minutes of hiking which was enough to get the blood flowing and work up an appetite for dinner. The sun was blazing, temps were in the 70's and the altitude and terrain reminded me a lot of the "front range" of the Black Hills.

Horsetooth

We headed back to the Hilton, got showered and dressed and went to pick up Joan. She took us out to where she works to show us her 6 horses. Hey, she even had one named Max and one named Zoey (our Labs)! The stables were beautiful and so were all of the horses. I liked the one named Bear because he was 17+ hands high and looked like a good size XL which I would probably hop aboard for a ride.

We did a tour of Ft. Collins and then headed to a place called Cafe Vino. They serve a Tapas Menu where you order lots of items and share them. We had bacon wrapped dates, duck confit, mushroom pate, hummus, and a few other items along with some fine vintage and lots of conversation. We stopped by Joan's house when we dropped her off to meet Collin and a friend of his that were just getting back from skiing at Steamboat Springs. We visited for another hour, said our good-byes and headed back to the Hilton for a good night's sleep. It was good to touch base and catch up with Joan. She looks great and is in phenomenal shape. It's hard to believe a horse stepped on her and crushed part of her pelvis just 4 years ago. She seems really happy with the horse training and lessons she is giving.

We drove up I-25 to Cheyenne and headed east on 80 all the way home. I pretty much kept it on 80 for the entire time I was driving (hence my Eighty on 80 title). The wind was howling from the south which made it difficult driving thanks to the box shape of the Element. We played tag team driving switching off every now and then to keep a fresh driver behind the wheel until the arms had tired from fighting the box in the wind. I only did about 5 hours of the driving coming home (did 8 on the way out).

Alexa really likes Boulder and the University. She thanked us for taking her. For the kind of an investment a college education is, the trip was well worth it to help her in the decision making process.

Time for bed and back to work tomorrow...

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