It's been a year since we moved to Boulder. Spikey arrived May 21, 2014, Paul and I arrived June 7th, Ben arrived June 10th and Fetcher joined us on June 16th. A year later we are still pinching ourselves, not quite believing that we now live in this beautiful place.
It's hard to write about how fabulous it is here --great scenery, great hiking, great restaurants, great neighborhood, great neighbors. Great, great, great. It must get tiresome to read about how wonderful Boulder is if you aren't here yourself to enjoy it. So.......just for a change of pace, I'll share three not so wonderful facts about this area so all you non-Bouderites will feel better.
First and foremost, you can't go anywhere here before you find that you are going up! Hiking, biking, driving your car....sooner or later (and mostly sooner) you'll find that you are going up. Now this is great if you love "up" as most folks around here seem to. But for some of us, up is not so good and down is great. Well, here's what I've learned this year. Everyone breathes hard going up; being short of breath is not a sign of weakness but just a fact of life when you are climbing a hill or mountain. And when there is up, there is a down right around the corner. The old adage "What goes up must come down" is still generally true!
Second, Boulder has some weird traffic control practices. In general, traffic lights turn yellow only for a few seconds. The lights are green and then suddenly they turn yellow and then, boom, they are red and you're still going through them. Also weird is how little the road signs are. If you are traveling along Foothills Parkway, for instance, a major north-south connector, and you are looking to turn on Baseline, the sign for Baseline will be very small. You can't read it until you are right up to it, which greatly increases your stress level, let me tell you. And when you get to a light with a left turn signal, well! you may never see that left turn signal actually turn on. Often the signals are set to only turn on at the busier times. So you may sit there waiting and waiting to turn left only to realize the silly signal just isn't going to turn on for you. And don't get me going about having to have eyes in the back of your head so you can spot all the walkers, bikers, scooters, and skateboarders that share many of the roads with the cars.
Third, the city government seems to have the goal of eliminating or at least greatly decreasing the number of cars on the city streets. Many efforts are made to promote bike riding and public transportation and to make driving less pleasant. For instance, I've been told that in an effort to promote the use of smaller cars the City Council decided to make the spaces in the city parking lots less wide. When I heard about this I actually laughed, but I'm not laughing any more as I squeeze my little VW Gulf into a narrow space in a city lot. The most recent action to decrease car use is "right sizing" three major city streets, eliminating one vehicle lane so the width of the bike lane is increased. So Iris, a major East-West route, is going to be restriped from two vehicle lanes each way down to one and the bike lanes widened by a few feet. Should be fun!
I hate to rat on my new city, but maybe hearing some of the not-so-great things about living here will keep you from being jealous of the heaven we now live in. After all, this is a happy blog and I want all my readers to feel good that they have stopped by for a visit.