Walkin’ Boulder: Walk Where You Are

Walkin’ Boulder
By Sue Deans
The former editor of the Camera blogs about exploring Boulder on foot.

March 26, 2012

Last year when I was training for the Disneyland Half Marathon, I emphasized distance, walking 6 to 10 miles at a time, two or three days a week.

Although I am going to walk the race again in September, at this early date I’m doing shorter walks and walking more often. Since I get busy sometimes, I am trying to combine my exercise with whatever else I want or need to do.

Here are three examples from the past week:

I babysit for my grandson, 5-month-old Daric, one day a week while his mom goes to work. With the nice weather we’ve been having, I decided to take him out in his stroller for a walk, first time I’ve done that.

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He and his family live in Arvada and have very nice bike/walkways nearby, so Daric and I went on a two-mile trek. Actually he didn’t walk, he rode, and in fact he slept most of the way. He’s a really active little guy so I was surprised he nodded off so quickly. I do remember from many years ago that taking a ride in the car or the stroller was usually a good way to get his dad to go to sleep. Next time I hope to take Daric over to the trail around Standley Lake nearby.

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The next day, I took the bus from Boulder to the Market Street Station in Denver, connecting with the 16th Street Mall shuttle to the Civic Center Plaza. From there a five-block walk took me to my brother’s office near the State Capitol, and then after taking care of some family business we both went to meet my sister-in-law for lunch. After they went back to work, I had enough time before my bus to walk all the way back along 16th Street to the Market Street Station. Total for the trip: 3 miles, plus 1.5 miles round trip from my house to the Boulder bus station.

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Then on Saturday I went with a friend to see the Yves St. Laurent exhibit at the Denver Art Museum. It was awesome, with several hundred iconic outfits from the designer, who was noted for instilling menswear-type comfort in women’s clothing, with pantsuits, tunics, shifts and safari jackets, as well as multifunctional tuxedo outfits and glamorous ball gowns. Also included were a reproduction of St. Laurent’s office and many film clips of his designs.

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Photo Credit: Yves St. Laurent short cocktail dress in the style of Piet Mondrian. Photo from Vintage Style Files, flicker.com

At the exhibit and a couple of other galleries we explored, we put in about 3 miles while listening to the museum’s recorded commentary.

Many people try the 10,000 steps a day regime, using a pedometer. When I was working at the Rocky Mountain News a dozen years ago, I spent a lot of time on my feet so I only needed about three more miles each day to reach that number, which I usually achieved by walking round-trip to a favorite Starbuck’s on Denver’s 16th Street Mall. The iPhone app I use now to calculate distance, Map My Walk, has a stride sensor, so I will try that on my next outing to see if I can track my steps as well as the miles.

You don’t really need to go on a special outing to get your daily steps in. Just walk where you are.

Walkin’ Boulder: Indian Spring?

Walkin’ Boulder
By Sue Deans
The former editor of the Camera blogs about exploring Boulder on foot.

March 13, 2012

This morning’s mild weather got me off my couch and onto the streets, walking again! The snow and/or wind have not made this winter conducive to walking. It’s about 50 when I leave the house and supposed to be in the mid-70s this afternoon.

I was arguing yesterday with my friend Richard, about whether it’s too early to plant flowers. Don’t do it, I said. But it’s warm out, he said. It’s going to be warm all week. Odd that after living here more than 40 years he still lets himself be fooled by the Colorado weather. For me it took only a couple of episodes of planting petunias, marigolds and other blooms in March or even April. It snowed, they froze. I learned my lesson. Richard chose to ignore my advice. But later he was brought up short by the clerk when he went to purchase the flowers, who told him they wouldn’t sell him any yet. It was too early. Ha ha.

I had an appointment at Arapahoe and Broadway this morning so I walked there, straight south on 13th Street, then back to Pearl and Spruce, then along Broadway and home. It was just two miles, but it felt great.

A few weeks ago I signed up again to do the Disneyland Half Marathon Labor Day weekend. Training for that was what got me started with this blog last year, but I didn’t begin until late July or August. Maybe this earlier start will help me improve my time this year.

At home I stopped to admire some crocuses in my front yard. The daffodils won’t be far behind if this warmth continues!
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Walkin’ Boulder: Walking Errands

Walkin’ Boulder
By Sue Deans
The former editor of the Camera blogs about exploring Boulder on foot.

October 28, 2011

As I try to walk more and more, and in general get around town without getting in the car, I decided to try doing some errands on foot one lovely October day.

The biggest problem I have is that I don’t like to carry things ““ such as a largish purse ““ when I’m chugging along the sidewalk.

So this particular morning I dig out a very lightweight backpack that I had gotten at a race last year, and a French knitted bag that was bought in Paris many years ago. These, plus pockets, made it easy to bring along a bottle of water, my phone, reading glasses, ID and money without weighing myself down. And if I did make small purchases I would be able to carry them home easily.

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As I set out I notice that my neighbor, who always noted that she lived in the “red house,” is now painting it dark gray. I like it.

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First on my agenda was taking plastic bags to Ideal to drop in their recycling bin. Most of the ones I generate are from newspapers ““ I get two each day. When I worked at the Camera I know they contributed to the Center for Hard to Recycle Materials, or CHaRM, which took the bags. Newspaper customers ““ and there are still lots of us ““ still like to get their papers dry and not scraped or torn, so that’s why they are bagged.

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I notice at Ideal there are some other recycling collections, for cork and #5 plastic ( such as cottage cheese and yogurt containers), that I wasn’t aware of:

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Out front of Ideal is a huge and colorful pile of pumpkins but I think it’s still too early to buy one for Halloween.

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I’m going to Pharmaca to visit the little post office window inside. I need stamps and need to mail some letters. Oops ““ the line is pretty long right at noon so I will probably come back later.

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So as I head south on Broadway I notice some lovely banners that say “Stroll.” Exactly what I’m doing.

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I pass Marisol imports, moved a couple of years ago from downtown to North Broadway, which has some colorful animal sculptures that would look great in my yard.

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But I am really looking today for a costume ““ my Rotary club is having a Roaring ’20s party. Do I want to dress as a flapper? We’ll see. Candy’s, next to Marisol, signals its collection of costumes with Superman and Wonder Woman outfits hanging outside.

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Inside, I find two flapper dresses, with fringe, of course, that are relatively inexpensive.

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I head into the dressing room with them, try them on, and quickly decide I will probably not attend the party in costume. The dresses fit but don’t necessarily suit my 63-year-old self. I will think about it, though.

Next stop is the ATM at my Pearl Street bank. Unfortunately, it’s being cleaned. I walk around the other side and the nice young woman cleaning opens the door and beckons me in. It’s nice when someone cares about customers.

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I decide to try the main post office for my stamps, and on 13th Street spot a sign for chicken matzo ball soup at Dubbins Grubbery, the tiny window-front restaurant south of Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory between Pearl and Walnut. I haven’t eaten here yet but I will. Especially if they have good matzo ball soup.

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The Oak Restaurant at 14th and Pearl is still under construction after a fire in March. I was walking downtown that day and used my new iPhone for the first time to take pictures of it.

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The main post office has only one person in line ahead of me so I get my stamps relatively quickly.

Then I decide to try one more place for costumes, the Ritz in the 900 block of Walnut Street. They have a similar stock of flapper dresses for rent and for sale, plus vintage suits and hats for men and women. But after perusing them I still think I will go to the party as myself.

Walking home on Broadway I check out the scaffolding on the Broadway Building at Broadway and Pearl, which is getting a little facelift.

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Home again, I realize didn’t need my bags, but I might have. And I walked 3.5 miles while getting my necessary errands done. That’s a good thing!

Walkin’ Boulder: CU’s East Campus

Walkin’ Boulder
By Sue Deans
The former editor of the Camera blogs about exploring Boulder on foot.

October 26, 2011

Better late than never, here is a tour of the University of Colorado’s East Campus. I walked there on Friday, Oct. 14, from my house in North Boulder, because I wanted to get a close-up look at the new Biotechnology Building. I had seen it from a distance but not close-up.

Ground was broken for the Jennie Smoly Caruthers Biotechnology Building in 2009 and it is scheduled for completion in 2012. It is being built to LEED certification standards and will get at least a gold and possibly a platinum certification, rare among academic buildings and research labs in particular.

According to CU’s website, the building is named for the late wife of Marvin Caruthers, a CU professor and biotech inventor, one of the founders of Amgen Inc., a principal donor for the project. Jennie Smoly Caruthers taught in CU’s chemistry and biochemistry department.
The point of the building, the university says, is to create “productive collisions” ““ not literally, we hope ““ between scientists from different disciplines that will help address critical challenges in bioscience. These include computer scientists, chemists, physicists, and engineers whose work impacts that of the biomedical scientists. When finished, the building will house the Biofrontiers Institute, the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering and the Division of Biochemistry, with more than 600 faculty, staff and students from nine departments and divisions in 330,000 square feet.

I notice that the rendering of the building that appears on a poster outside and on CU’s website does not include what look like chimneys on the top of it, making it appear from a distance rather like a steel mill or some other kind of manufacturing plant.

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The building is massive, as can be guessed from the statistics above. Construction is ongoing although its opening is projected for early 2012.

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Many years ago, when I was a graduate student at CU, my son and I lived in a family housing complex called Colorado Court that was on the East Campus. And I didn’t realize until I walked toward the Caruthers building that my little duplex was right next to the building, on what is now its parking lot. We looked out the window at the CU baseball field and often went to watch games there. Jeff, my son, was 4 at the time, but liked sports just the same. CU was still competing in intercollegiate baseball then but the program was dropped in the 1970s after Title IX required universities to fund equal numbers of men’s and women’s sports. I think I helped cover that story when I was a reporter at the Camera.

Family housing was available to students who were married or had children, and as a single mother it was invaluable to me. Jeff and I shared the duplex townhouse with a law student and his family. Later he was a judge in Boulder County. Another family housing complex, Smiley Court, is still at the corner of 30th and Colorado.

This photo of the Caruthers building was taken from about the spot where my townhouse stood, as nearly as I can tell.

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The baseball field is still there, with nicer fencing and fixtures, as is the running track where a lone runner was doing laps that morning.

Most of the East Campus buildings are devoted to scientific pursuits. In fact its formal name is the East Campus and Research Park. A map can be found here.

A few buildings that stand out are:

-The Administrative and Research Center, housing a number of administrative departments including Human Resources.

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-The Center for Astrophysics and Space Astronomy Research Lab, founded in 1985, which is a unit of the Astrophysical and Planetary Sciences Department and also connected with the Joint Institute for Laboratory Astrophysics and the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Research. CASA’s work includes elements of NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope and the FUSE Spectrographic Explorer.

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-Two buildings of the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Research: The newer Space Science Building houses the LASP science division, communications & outreach, and some IT and administrative operations. The main building, the Space Technology building, built in 1991 and enlarged in 2006, houses mission operations & data systems, engineering, and administration. Another LASP facility is in the Duane Science Bulding on the main campus.

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Also housed on the East Campus are Housing System Maintenance and Service, the Computing Center, Transportation Services and the Research Park Greenhouse.

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Near Transportation Services, CU’s fleet of buses awaiting use and a tiny maintenance truck underscore the green reputation of the University.

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And the view from out there is amazing!

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Walkin’ Boulder: Circle of Life

Walkin’ Boulder
By Sue Deans
The former editor of the Camera blogs about exploring Boulder on foot.

October 21, 2011

This has been a chaotic autumn for my family. Even though I’ve been “running around” a lot, I haven’t been able to do too many of my usual walks.

Next week I will share with you a two-part blog about the University of Colorado’s East Campus, part of a 7-mile walk I did last week.

Just a day after that, family events started happening quickly.

My first grandchild, Daric Jeffrey Foss, was born on Saturday, Oct. 15, a week early. Of course we are all gaga about him and I have been making frequent trips to see him, for the first few days at Lutheran Hospital in Wheat Ridge and now at his home in Arvada. His parents are my son, Jeff Foss, and his wife, Wendy, and his big sister is Lexus Limmer, Wendy’s daughter.

Of course we think Daric is the most beautiful baby ever.

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On the other side of the circle of life, my dad has been ill for several months and this past week my brothers and I moved him from his independent living apartment in Thornton into nursing care at the same facility where he and my mother have been living for the last few years. My mother has Alzheimer’s disease and lives in a memory care nursing unit.

Young Daric will be visiting both his great-grandparents soon. Shortly after he was born, he met his maternal great-grandmother, Jean Cimino, who was hospitalized this past summer after a stroke but is making a great recovery.

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Happy and sad, all at once!

Walkin’ Boulder: Pedestrian Weekend

Walkin’ Boulder
By Sue Deans
The former editor of the Camera blogs about exploring Boulder on foot.

October 10, 2011

It’s always fun to have visitors in Boulder, especially when the weather is as perfect as it was a couple of weekends ago.

We had planned a pedestrian weekend for our guests, who were staying in a downtown hotel, so that they would not have to rent cars and could walk almost everywhere they needed or wanted to be.

Here’s a look at what we did.

Many of the guests arrived Friday morning at DIA and some got to Boulder in time for lunch at Reuben’s, a couple of blocks from the hotel at Broadway and Walnut. They loved the sandwiches on pretzel rolls and the sweet potato fries.

While some of the visitors rested or napped at their hotel, the serious shoppers got started on Pearl Street and the mall, including of course a stop at The Pedestrian Shops for comfortable shoes. In addition, The Fall Festival brought dozens of artists and artisans to display their work in booths downtown.

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Others explored Alfalfa’s, Whole Foods and Liquor Mart, bringing back food for a buffet dinner at a downtown condo just two blocks from the hotel. The “meet, eat and greet” featured salmon, chicken, beef, salads, cheese, bread and beautiful pastries for dessert.

On Saturday morning we led everyone on a short walk to the City Club in the Highland Building, the renovated school at Ninth Street and Arapahoe, for breakfast and a meeting. Those not taking part toured the Farmers’ Market and the Fall Festival and bought even more shoes at The Pedestrian Shops.

Saturday afternoon’s field trip, in a hotel van, was to Red Oak Park, a new complex of affordable housing at 2637 Valmont Road, built on the site of a former mobile home park, Boulder Mobile Manor. The homes are fully equipped with solar to generate their power.

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Even more shopping ensued when we got back downtown.

Dinner at Jill’s at the St. Julien Hotel was the final event, the piece de resistance as the restaurant’s general manager Philippe Antoine would say, an excellent meal for the grand finale of the weekend.

The guests departed Sunday, wishing they could have stayed longer to enjoy Boulder’s walkability. Not to mention the great weather.

Walkin’ Boulder: Looking for Wonderland

Walkin’ Boulder
By Sue Deans
The former editor of the Camera blogs about exploring Boulder on foot.

September 29, 2011

Last week I mentioned that on a future walk I planned to take the Wonderland Creek Greenway Trail east from Folsom Street, and from there to the Four Mile Creek Trail that makes a big circle around the Pleasantview soccer fields near 47th Street.

I tried to do that this morning but was not successful, even with the Map My Run app. I got to the stone marker for Wonderland Creek Greenway at Folsom and Norwood and headed along the creek toward 28th Street. I thought there would be a clear intersection with the other trail, or at least a directional sign, but I couldn’t find it.

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Looking at the map online, I realize now that I needed to cross 28th Street at Palo Park to find the connection. I will try it again soon.
I ended up on a path behind the Sunrise Assisted Living Center that went past the Elks Club. A pack of bicyclists were either training or having some kind of race going in circles around a track.

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So I walked back southward along 28th Street to Iris, then took Elmer’s Two Mile Creek trail back to Valmont and home. This is the park along Elmer’s near Iris. It also has some beautiful weeping willows on the creek banks, one of my favorite trees.

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Even though I didn’t find what I was looking for, it was still a good walk, 5.3 miles on a beautiful morning, and I found some gorgeous fall flowers you can see below.

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Walkin’ Boulder: Folsom and Norwood

Walkin’ Boulder
By Sue Deans
The former editor of the Camera blogs about exploring Boulder on foot.

September 19, 2011

I started out today doing my habitual North Boulder circle route, north on Broadway to Lee Hill Road, back to Yarmouth and south on 19th Street. I changed direction this time and from Broadway I turned east on Iris and then headed north on Folsom to see where it went.

It goes through a beautiful shady neighborhood of large lots and large houses. I followed Folsom until it split off and became 26th Street, and there I turned left on Norwood toward Centennial Middle School, where there was some construction noise that piqued my curiosity. If I’d turned right, which I’ll do on a future walk, I would have been on the Wonderland Creek Greenway Trail, which hooks up with Four Mile Creek Trail and goes past the Pleasantview soccer fields near 47th Street where my granddaughter sometimes plays.

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And a little further up the road is Wonderland Creek.

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So there is a major construction project going on at Centennial, which must be one of the last ones from the 2006 bond issue, passed by voters to upgrade schools in the Boulder Valley School district. The school district has an extensive website on the three-phase, $296.8 million bond program, which planned improvements to every school in the district. www.bvsd.org/bondproject/Pages/default.aspx

At Centennial, the first phase includes renovating the front entry, main office, science rooms and upper corridors, along with new boilers and unit ventilators. The second phase, shown here, is a new gym, locker rooms and art room, scheduled to be finished by the middle of the school year. The project is costing about $7.3 million.

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Across from the school there appears to have once been an apple orchard and some beautiful old apple trees remain, now laden with fruit. Another tree nearby was showing some very preliminary signs of fall color.

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I love some of the little touches on people’s homes. This wooden gate and fence have a rustic look that echoes the house they surround.

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This gorgeous new home is under construction nearby on Norwood. These homes have a fabulous view behind them as they sit on a ridge overlooking Boulder and the Flatirons. This picture of the Flatirons was shot a block or two away, from the top of the hill at 19th and
Norwood.

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A friend I talked to the other night lives on Neher Lane, down the hill from Norwood, an unpaved road that heads eastward from 19th Street. He called the street “Fred’s driveway.” Boulder newcomers may not know that famed syndicated cartoonist Fred Neher once lived there. Neher drew a cartoon called “Life’s Like That,” which appeared in newspapers for 43 years. Camera history columnist Carol Taylor wrote about him recently: www.dailycamera.com/features/ci_18271504. Neher donated his archives to the University of Colorado before he died in 2001 at 97.

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From there I took 19th Street nearly all the way home. Today’s walk totaled 5.2 miles.

Walkin’ Boulder: Ciclovia!

Walkin’ Boulder
By Sue Deans
The former editor of the Camera blogs about exploring Boulder on foot.

September 18, 2011

I am just starting to do some serious walking again. I gave myself a week off to recuperate from the half marathon in Anaheim, but last week when I planned to get started again, I had to deal with some family issues that kept me driving back and forth to Thornton and Westminster. My dad was in the hospital twice after a serious fall and pneumonia, and now is recuperating in the medical center at the seniors complex where he lives. He seems to be recovering quickly but at almost 86 he’s pretty impatient with therapy and dietary restrictions!

On Sunday, Sept. 18, I decided just after noon to walk downtown and check out the second annual Ciclovia, a project of Boulder Green Streets that closed off Pearl Street to auto traffic between 15th Street and Folsom from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The stroll of a little more than 3 miles was pleasant ““ the weather was beautiful and it felt good to be out stretching my muscles again.

I’ve always loved the way many old cities in Europe have closed off their narrow streets to traffic. Our four-block Pearl Street pedestrian mall is a good example of how that can work to bring people downtown.

Pearl was barricaded at 15th Street, and just beyond were some lovely dancers who drew a crowd of onlookers.

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For the most part, the crowds weren’t too large when I visited between 12:30 and 1:30, but I’m told they increased a little later as a fashion show and parade created more excitement.

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Lots of kids’ activities were going on, such as chalking the street, hula hoops, a climbing wall, a kayak pool and a bike riding course ““ even baton twirling! I didn’t know people did that any more.

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Pedicabs were available to transport people back to their starting points, or cars, or wherever. What a great idea to chauffeur senior citizens short distances, especially if they are carrying bags of groceries or packages from shopping.

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Most of the food was down toward Folsom. A tentful of vendors gave out samples of their wares, a few food trucks stood by, and Hanuman Chai was baking cookies in this solar oven!

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I walked back westward along Spruce Street because it was shadier, but moved over to Pearl at about 16th Street when I heard a loudspeaker announcement about the parade coming up later. There I saw Rotary colleague Alexia Parks, who told me a “green” fashion show was about to start so I hung around for a few more minutes. Emcee Ryan Van Duser, Boulder’s “out there guy,” kept the commentary lively. The clothes included “eco-fabrics,” local designers, vintage and active wear.

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I had been in the sun long enough, so decided not to stay for the parade. The festivities continued until 4 p.m. I’m sure a good time was had by all!

Walkin’ Boulder: Seriously Training

Walkin’ Boulder
By Sue Deans
Training for a half-marathon walk, the former editor
of the Camera blogs about exploring Boulder

August 30, 2011

The last few days I’ve been serious about training for my half marathon, which happens Sunday in Anaheim, California, at Disneyland.

On Friday I walked 7 miles, Saturday 4 miles, Sunday 2 miles and Monday, my last big effort before I slow it down, 10.25 miles in 2 hours and 51 minutes. My brother Charlie, my advisor on all things running related, even though I’m not actually running, says I should ramp it down considerably now and “let everything heal.” This morning I took a more leisurely 2 ½ mile walk and I’m feeling pretty good.

I haven’t been taking pictures because I was focused on the walking. I will get back to that after I come back from California!

Charlie says the weather will be great for the race, high of 83 and low of 64, cloudy in the morning. The race starts at 6 a.m. so it’s done before it gets too hot. I will need to finish the 13.1 miles in 3 ½ hours but they start counting that after the last person starts, which should give me a little extra time. Basically I just want to finish, but it would be nice not to be the last one in. And the fact that it’s a pretty flat course, and at sea level, should help a lot! It’s fun because many of the participants dress up as Disney characters, and the characters from the park are all around while we run, with music and other distractions. We haven’t decided whether we’ll be dressing up as characters ““ we all have red T-shirts with our family team name on the back that we’ll probably wear.

I am including below a picture of our cast of “characters” that will be in the race. From left, they are my brother Charlie and his wife Margie, who live in Arvada, my cousin Dawn, who lives in Lake Arrowhead, California, and yours truly. Dawn came here in May and we all did the Bolder Boulder in our different modes of walking, jogging, or running, and that’s where this picture was taken. Dawn, Margie and Charlie did the Disneyland race last year and I just watched, but I decided to try it this year.

Wish me luck! I will update the blog when I return.

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