Day 41 in my “Leaving Loveland” challenge.
Another of my favorite running routes takes me through River’s Edge Natural Area. In this photo the water isn’t showing, but there are several large ponds ringed by gravel trails through prairie grasses, and I suppose part of why I love coming here is because it reminds me of Minnesota. Except with mountains as a backdrop.
I took the above photo this morning when my dog stopped to sniff/pee on some grass and I noticed the blue flowers in the foreground.
Here are some photos I took when I ran through here in February:
Day 40 in my “Leaving Loveland” challenge.
Today Nathan and I took a motorcycle ride out west of town into the foothills past Carter Lake and up to where the public road ends at Pinewood Reservoir. The hairpin turns up (and back down!) the mountain make for a slightly too-exhilarating ride for my taste, but it’s worth it for this view.
And yes, that’s snow! There isn’t any left in Loveland from last week’s storm, but it’s still hanging around at slightly higher elevations.
Day 35 in my “Leaving Loveland” challenge.
One Saturday morning a year ago or maybe two, we happened to be walking downtown as a family when we saw a sign reading “Stone Age Fair” with an arrow pointing towards the Pulliam Community Building. We were curious so we followed the arrows which led us to the basement of this interesting old building, a 1930s-era WPA project that has been neglected in recent years but still hosts events occasionally.
What we found was a basement full of tables filled with artifacts and arrowheads and archaeologists, amateur and accomplished alike. Enthusiasts had come from all over the country to share their finds and meet and greet one another and the public. And my kids dove into a huge box of artifacts they could take for free, which they added to their rock collection pictured above. Silas remembers that he filled his pockets so full his pants were falling down on the walk home!
The Stone Age Fair is free and open to the public and has been happening since 1934. In its second year, it was attended by 10,000 people! There weren’t nearly that many in the basement of the Pulliam Building, but it was a fun time nevertheless.
Day 34 in my “Leaving Loveland” challenge.
Here’s another sculpture just around the corner from our house. This one stands facing the studio of its sculptor, Mark Lundeen. The kids like to stop and look in the cup for loose coins (there are sculpted ones in it already), or sometimes they’ll put coins in it. It’s a pretty elaborate “take a penny leave a penny” container!
Day 33 in my “Leaving Loveland” challenge.
Once again, a planned camping weekend at Great Sand Dunes National Park did not materialize for us. We got a late start heading out on Friday and then took one look at the slow-crawling traffic as we approached the freeway and summarily ditched our plans.
Instead we went home, unpacked the camping gear, ate our picnic dinner in our own yard, called up some friends who came over and sat around a backyard bonfire and we talked and laughed and swapped stories until nearly midnight.
Then on Saturday we “hiked” at Button Rock Preserve, about an hour’s drive away through Longmont and Lyons. Quote marks because this was our second time there, and just like last time, we didn’t get more than a half-mile away from the parking lot. The kids have a favorite spot where there are small rapids and piles of driftwood, and they find boat-like driftwood pieces and launch them through the rapids. (Or, as Luthien did in the very last photo below, lash sticks together with jointed grass to make a raft.)
Nathan and Luthien also climbed Tigers in Lipstick, a small but challenging route Nathan had his eye on last time we were there. And Silas had fun taking lots of pictures while they were climbing and he and I and Cody the dog were lounging at the base of the rock.
Day 32 in my “Leaving Loveland” challenge.
When I posted about Lake Loveland the first time, I really didn’t do the view justice. Today my dog Cody and I ran around the lake, and I got some photos from a better vantage point. Look at all those snowy peaks!
Here’s a closer view of the biggest peaks visible from Loveland – Longs and Meeker:
Day 30 in my “Leaving Loveland” challenge.
Loveland has an extensive recreation trail that loops the city, with only a few incomplete segments and plans to connect them. Unfortunately, repairing the trail had to take priority over extending the trail after the 2013 flood. And finally, today, one of my favorite sections was open again.
I only saw Faces Bridge once or twice before today. We moved here in late June 2013, and I explored the trail and discovered these sculptures under the bridge that summer. Then in September came the flood, and this section of the trail including the pedestrian bridge over the river was destroyed.
So it was a pleasant surprise when I went running this morning and discovered it was open again at last.
A closeup of two faces on the outside of the bridge (yeah I think that’s an alien on the left!):
I also love seeing these swallow nests under bridges along the trail.
Here’s a closer view of some:
And an over-the-shoulder look from the sidewalk on Wilson Avenue, where I got off the trail to loop back home.
Day 29 in my “Leaving Loveland” challenge.
One thing that’s been exciting about living in Loveland for the past four years is the amount of growth and revitalization that has happened, especially downtown where we live. This is still a smallish town (about 70,000 people), but downtown doesn’t shut down evenings and weekends like other small towns I’ve known.
And a good number of those restaurants and breweries and artist studios that make downtown an after-hours destination have opened since we’ve moved here.
But The Foundry (construction site pictured above, one block from our house) is definitely the biggest new thing happening downtown since we’ve lived here, and we won’t be around to see it completed. New housing and retail, including a movie theater, are planned for this space; which we were excited to hear because the only movie theater in town is a twenty-minute drive to the eastern edge at the fancy-schmancy Centerra shopping center, and we were looking forward to being able to walk to the movies. Oh well, not that we go to movies that often anyway.
Day 27 in my “Leaving Loveland” challenge.
This place is just across the street from our house. In the mornings you can hear the tortilla-making machinery squeaking, and smell breakfast cooking. Probably about once a week I buy a couple dozen tortillas for tacos. That’s what we’re having tonight! We will very much miss our tortilleria.
Day 26 in my “Leaving Loveland” challenge.
Thursdays are double-punch days at the bread outlet I frequent, which happens to be in the same office/retail park as another great Loveland craft brewer, Grimm Brothers. It’s a quick bike ride from our house, so this afternoon Nathan and I made the bread and beer run.
Nathan got the Robber King, a rotating Robust Porter, and I went for Bearskin, an Irish Dry Stout, also a rotator. Grimm Brothers has the good pretzels, those bigger sourdough ones.