Nederland

I-70 leaving Utah turns suddenly from flat desert with distant snowy peak views, to mountainous drama – no more sandstone eroded spires and cliffs, this is the Rockies proper. After Grand Junction the canyons are almost vertical through Glenwood Springs and on into Eagle, Vail and Beaver Creek where the greatest bike trail you’ve ever seen runs alongside. We huffed over Vail Pass and settled into Breckenridge for an overnight that ended up drawing us back there for two more nights after we visited Nederland. There’s a distillery in Breckenridge with a fine restaurant attached. I’m not saying my wife is a wild child, but they may have our picture on the wall.
At any rate Breckenridge is gorgeous and Frisco just north of there has a Whole Foods, so it fits the Franklins right down to the ground.
Next day it’s an easy and fun trip over the continental divide and then up the peak to peak scenic highway through Black Hawk into Nederland. We slipped into Evan and Jocelyn’s driveway while they were at work, and buckled up for the snow we could see coming.
After visiting with Olivier Boone Franklin for the first time that afternoon Jennifer, Jocelyn, Boone and I drove around the back roads 2500 feet down into Boulder to pick up Evan, because the Canyon was closed and he couldn’t take the bus home. That was sufficient excuse for the first of our Pearl Street excursions, which always involve eating out. This time it was a place called The Kitchen, where Boone enjoyed one of his first nights out with Grandpa. One of many more to come no doubt.
We ended up going to Boulder every day, even in the snow. There was little opportunity this trip for hiking, but we had plenty of time to tool around ‘Ned’ and get reacquainted with the charm of this friendly, raw-edged, thoroughly western town, where everyone knows everyone and everyone else is welcomed.

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