July 11, 2015 – Sunny, 90 degrees
Miles Today: 45
Miles to Date: 3,959
States to Date: 18
I slept in, took an easy leave, and headed south on U.S. 287, Main Street of the Front Range. Regardless what was on the side of the road, a quick glance to the right always revealed an amazing view gentle foothills, rugged mountains and snow capped peaks, topped with swirling cloud icing.
I pedaled through Loveland, which had a Saturday festival and girl’s softball tournament in full swing. Then on to Longmont, where 287 turns into a charming, tree-lined shopping street. I stopped for a break at a Valero and met Sarah, the sweetest convenience store clerk ever. Then stopped at Simply Bulk to talk to the owner about tomorrow.
The last fifteen miles climbed up, up to the base of the foothills in Boulder. I arrived at Pearl Street about four and had time to absorb the street jugglers, daredevil skateboarders, and chubby men giving out free gay hugs next to silent Christian protestors. Grandparents pushed carriages, longhaired guys wore nothing but ragged shorts, middle class tourists licked ice cream, and all manner of casual strollers looked each other over. The constant din of an accordion player accompanied the passing conversations. The sun shined bright and then disappeared behind ever-dramatic clouds that threatened to deliver rain, and finally did with a thundercloud burst.
I pedaled in the downpour the few blocks to a CU fraternity house near campus, where my warmshowers host Alana is living for the summer. Her sixteen-person coop, Chrysalis, and another coop in town, Masala, have taken over a frat house while their own homes are being renovated. It proved a great place to engage in Boulder’s eclectic yet embracing ways.