This day last year I was on a plane bound for Rome, the gateway to a summer in the Italian Alps, Budapest and Berlin.
By this time last year I had traveled to the East Coast, to Canada, and all around Washington and Oregon.
This year, I've been in Boulder for two days, and haven't really left the Bay Area in five months.
How things change with a job.
Thus far, Boulder has been a dream destination, a cycling based food and beer filled paradise. Its also made me realize that it is the first "vacation" of my life, a lone figure among the many months spent "traveling" in the past.
While they are similar in essence, there is a difference between the two that runs deeper than schematics. Traveling feels more open and feel, vacation is bracketed by work. That's not an inevitable dread, just reality. Traveling to me denotes the possibility of extension just until infinity, vacation puts the real on pause, a reminder that all the hours in the day can be yours.
So there I found myself yesterday morning, awake at four, on the plane at six, catching the sunrise spread over the clouds. In a daze, we landed, hopped a bus, walked to our rented house and explored the town for a second. After what seemed like an eternity, we had eaten, drank a more than human amount of coffee, built our bikes and hit the road.
Forecasts predicting a shitload of rain all week had worried us, but our first few hours were warm and covered in blue skies. Of course, the second we left the house on our bikes, the drizzle began. It was pretty tolerable, and as we got out into the hills it let off. We wound up on a wonderful road that snaked through the hills, bringing us high above the town with some incredible views.
At the bottom of the descent we realized this climb was pretty much out of our backyard. That's the joy of Boulder, the mountains, the back country, the escape; it is real and it is right there.
We stopped for pizza, and as we did the downpour began. So began the wettest mile of my life.
The pizza and beer at home was well earned to say the least.
Day two began with blue skies and aeropress, as any day should begin.
From there it was about big mountains. The plan was to go to Ward, over 9000 feet. The climb brought me back to Italy as much as it brought me up to elevation, it was as nostalgic to climb for hours straight as it was amazing to be surrounded by red rocks, beautiful trees, a raging river, and eventually,snow.
Micah and I are trying out some clothes from Sportful - they are awesome, more impressions to come
From the top, we had a gorgeous downhill straight back into Boulder. Beer, a baked chicken. Done.
Love it here.