19 Mar 2011

Animals and More House Hunting

I used our other camera this week and found this pic from the fall - Quandary Peak from our house outside of Breckenridge (well, the house we rented for 50 nights)

Earlier this week I heard rustling while out back

Baby snakes

Not a huge fan of snakes but they all seemed to scatter after being born. Good luck

I took Friday off from the sweatshop that is AT&T. It has been pretty intense all year and life is made more difficult because I can't stay connected for too long to the internet. I don't feel like calling our useless IT "Support" in India so I live with it.

We were going to run around Denver. It had snowed the night before and somehow this guy made it in our fenced backyard for breakfast (I guess he jumped it)

Today we went to Boulder to drive by 7 houses. Actually, 5 are in Longmont, 1 in Lafayette and 1 in Boulder. I was mellow as I did my final long run before next Sunday's half-marathon - 13.8-miles in 2 hours and 7 minutes. Last week I did 31-miles, so should be all set as the Colorado race season begins

Here is a donkey on the way to the first one, less than a mile away

And here is a fire on the way. I assumed it was a controlled burn of some sorts

The house itself. We'll go back Sunday with our realtor

The view. I think this is Long's Peak

The neighbours...

These two look very nice but are off the list for a variety of reasons

More views while driving around

The next house looked good. It's unique. Hard to tell from the photos but it is built into the hillside. The garage looks like it is 90% underground

The view looks east which is a drag (the mountains are west) but still nice and 15 minutes to downtown Boulder

Another odd thing is it borders the US Government's 2.5-mile x 1.5-mile "Table Mountain Field Site and Radio Quiet Zone"


And here would be our other neighbours...

We then went back to Boulder's Pine Brook neighbourhood - minutes to North Boulder. This was the only pic we took (we were in the car) - it looks over a reservoir

The final house we looked at was maybe 9-miles east of Boulder in Lafayette. We cruised around Boulder first as it was such an awesome day. And not raining. HAHAHA

The house is odd. It is on 7 acres with these views:

But...it seems that suburban sprawl has crept close (see behind in this fuzzy photo)

I'm sure tomorrow will be fun. We've also found a few cool looking homes in West Denver just south of Cherry Creek in our price range so we may check them out next week

11 Mar 2011

House Hunting Update

Here is today's news from the Boulder Daily Camera

"Lefthand Fire: Air tanker en route to Boulder County, 223 homes evacuated"

The best news is that they (the awesome Boulder County Sherriff) learned hard lessons from last fire (this came across twitter from the Sherriff's office):

"Escorts for evacuated residents to retrieve pets from their homes are being provided"

That said...two additional homes are on our list after looking at four more last night...

We took no photos at the first home we saw as the owner was there. It was a really nice home but too dark (as in not enough sun)

The second home was in Boulder Heights. It is $625K and on a little less than 2 acres with 2,700 sq ft. It seems as though it needs no work and is well built. It is pretty private with beautiful views


Here are some pics:

The third home was the closest to Boulder and and only $485K on 1.7 acres with 3,102 sq ft


Here is why it is only $485K:

Ahahahahahahaha! The driveway from hell. Steep and north-facing (needs to be south-facing to get the sun)

The final home is a house on Sunshine Canyon that juuuuuust missed out on the fire. Maureen always liked it - but at the time it was $799K. It was taken off the market awhile back. Now the owners just moved out and the house is about to go back on the market at $699K. It is beautiful from the outside and has outstanding views (you can see Denver over 30-miles away). It's 5 acres is extremely private and is maybe 10 minutes to town. Inside...it needs work...


Here are some pics:

Denver off in the distance (on the left)

You can see where the Fourmile Fire stopped (60% down and 20% from the left)

Of course the other house on our list is Sugarloaf:


After house hunting we got a few drinks with some new friends in Boulder, good times

As far as the Lefthand Fire, it has grown since I started the blog but sounds like it will be ok: "Boulder County blaze up to 300 acres, some evacuations lifted"

8 Mar 2011

Wonderland Trail

Sunday Maureen and I went to Boulder again to look around at houses and neighbourhoods, so we decided to get our run in at Wonderland. Wonderland is about a 4.4-mile loop with a short steep run up the mountain (maybe total of 525' of elevation gain)

Wonderland "Lake" is where the helicopters got water from during the fire

It is also home to prairie dogs

An old lime kiln

The Pinebrook neighbourhood - on our list of possibilities

Olde Stage Road - another possibility

Boulder Reservoir - site of the half-marathon in less than 3 weeks

5 Mar 2011

In the Mountains

It was a good week of running, hitting 25-miles for the 1st time since Seattle last November. Thursday was very sunny, humid and warm (> 60) so Hudson was wiped out after 4.4-miles

It was a brutal week at AT&T so we decided to head up to Georgetown Friday afternoon. Georgetown is a little over an hour away from Denver on the way to Breckenridge. On the way is this fun house - has it's own Wikipedia entry:


If we lived in Sugarloaf this is the road we would come out from to I-70 - the "Canyon City Parkway"

Heading west on I-70 is beautiful - and pretty much all uphill (from 5,500' to 11,150')

We went to Georgetown specifically for a rare book I had seen at an antique store last year. At the time I thought it was cool - about the Swtizerland Trail. Maybe 400 pages with probably 400 photos (and the trains stopped running by 1920). It was a 1st edition and signed but $125. HAHAHA. But...now that we may live on it...

...also found an old burro bank...

...and while I was in the area I may as well drop in one of my favorite local microbreweries in Idaho Springs...

Frozen waterfall across from Idaho Springs

The drive back to Denver requires focus

Saturday was going to be my big run for the week as I have a half-marathon in 3 weeks. Hudson, however, really wanted to join so we did 6.5-miles together. Then Maureen and I went to Boulder to run on the Switzerland Trail out of Gold Hill. This was our first visit back into the burn area since we left CR-83 and our first time west of our old place

These first photos are before CR-83 (east on Sunshine Canyon)

West past CR-83 along Sunshine Canyon on way to Gold Hill

I didn't realize it was so bad all the way up (3-4 miles). For some reason this made us sad - this was such a fun house with all sorts of fun historical things like this old mining car. The house is gone

Looking west to the Continental Divide as we entered Gold Hill. Still an awesome view

We went by the first house we rented on Dixon Road. The fire came maybe 50 yards from the house but the house is ok. We were thrilled to see the neighbour Pete and his balloon house (hard to explain) were safe. The fire went through the Gold Hill cemetary across the street...

Here it was before nice and green

Here was the neighbour on the other side

The Colorado Mountain Ranch lost a lot of old historic buildings. This seems to be one of the furthest west places hit

Several miles on a dirt road and we were at the trailhead

The Wife

We got a different view of the burn area, looking northeast to Gold Hill (the 1st two - you can see the fire retardant dropped by the slurry planes in the 1st photo - that stuff really works well) and east toward where the fire started in Emerson Gulch (the 3rd photo)

This house barely made it. The winds changed direction and came out of the southwest and took the fire towards our house

Back on the trail

Afterwards we went to Nederland for Frozen Dead Guy Days (there is a dead Norwegian frozen in a shed in Nederland - 21 years now). Sadly we had missed the coffin races and the polar plunge


Drivng home along Boulder Canyon