Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Hiking Chautauqua

Working in Boulder I’ve heard of this place called Chautauqua. All I really knew was that people would go there to hike and it’s right in Boulder, but I hadn’t taken time to get out there. Then I was given the task of organizing all the logistics for my company’s off-site annual planning meeting this year (which I thought was a bit odd since I just joined the firm a few months ago, but then again, they probably realized that I’ll rock it so they chose me anyway) and I found out that it’s typically held at Chautauqua and that would be my first place to check out.

Flatirons at Chautauqua

I drove the 10 minutes from our office in downtown Boulder to check out a few options and was immediately taken aback by the beautiful scenery when I turned into the park. Before I left I had decided to bring Woody back to hike. Thankfully the weather was perfect on Sunday – and I was feeling less sick – so it was a great day for a hike!

Chautauqua Park

Hiking in Chautauqua

A rocky trail

The fact that the park is free and just minutes from Downtown Boulder makes it a perfect place for people to hike. There were lots of people on the trails, from families to groups of friends, and of course, dogs. Some of the dogs were pretty amazing, not sure how they were getting up those steep rocky climbs!


On the trail


There are access points to climb the three flatirons in the park, and we saw a number of rock climbers, weighed down with gear (I have no idea what it’s all called). I was hoping to see someone actually climbing, but we didn’t catch a glimpse of that! We did see a handful of hardcore runners – some in these steep rocky areas and some on the gravel roads. I was secretly wondering if they run Leadville!

Flatiron #3 Access

Bluebell Road

After our hike, which was only about an hour and a half because we had started our morning with a gym workout, we had a delicious brunch at the Dining Hall in the park. We both enjoyed our meals and the atmosphere was comfortable but upscale. The prices were very reasonable and the whole thing reminded me of brunches we’d have at the Boathouse Café in Central Park after running.

I look forward to going back to Chautauqua to try out some of the many other trails in the park!

What are your plans for Halloween?

I’d be remiss not to mention Superstorm Sandy on the one year anniversary of when it hit New York City. The night of October 29th, 2012 was the most frightening night of my life, and we rode it out 24 flights up. The building was creaking like we were on an old wooden ship and the wind was pounding on our windows so hard I was convinced they were going to blow out. Thankfully, we just lost power and water; our building didn’t flood. The flood zone maps are eerily accurate as buildings across the street from us did flood and we saw waves of water on Wall Street from our window during the night. The morning after we walked down the 24 floors and saw these scenes…

South Street Seaport

water line

Titanic Memorial

pumping water

flooding garage

Thankfully, we had great family friends in Hell’s Kitchen who took us in for several days until we could go back home. There was a sense of camaraderie in the city the days following Sandy that I’d never experienced before. I’m beyond grateful that we made it through the storm, and I hope never to go through that again. Whenever I hear of businesses re-opening in our old neighborhood, two more just last week, it’s a great, great thing.

1 comment:

Lisa said...

That looks like a great place to hike! And it's great to hear that things are coming back together in NY.