Family Life in Colorado

New Year’s Day Hike at Flatirons Vista Trail in Boulder

This past New Year’s Day we succeeded in finding, and hiking, a great, “new-to-us” trail called Flatirons Vista. After three years living in Boulder, it’s difficult to find new trails to hike that offer something different for everyone, but Flatiron Vista delivered a nice change, and we even managed to get the boys to come along which made for a memorable family outing under blazing blue sky.

Familyvance at Flatirons Vista Trail in Boulder
Familyvance at Flatirons Vista Trail in Boulder

The Flatirons Vista Trailhead is located off Highway 93 a couple miles South of Boulder, across from the NREL campus. It’s probably due the distance from our house (25 minutes or so) that we had never hiked this trail before. It’s a popular trail judging by the nearly full parking lot, and allows for hikers, bikers and horses.

We chose to hike the main loop that encompasses the Flatirons Vista North and South trails. There was ice and snow on the ground, but the trail conditions were good. The beginning of the hike is slightly uphill through open prairie, with cows meandering across the trail. Scooter’s a good dog though, and even off-leash he knew not to mess with the bovine.

The boys and Scooter at Flatirons Trail in Boulder
The boys and Scooter at Flatirons Trail in Boulder

After cresting the small hill, the trail moves through some pine trees, and then approaches a fork that connects with the Dowdy Draw trail. Keeping on the Flatirons Vista trail took us into a denser pine forrest with more snow, birds, and deer bones laid bare. Turning East, the trail goes along a barbed wire fence, comes out of the pine trees, then heads back downhill through a cow pasture and around a stock tank (frozen at this time of year).

True to it’s name, Flatirons Vista trail offers excellent views of the Flatirons, and even a little window of the snow-covered Indian Peaks mountains through the foothills. Total distance is a little over three miles, and the trail gives everyone a little different feature: open pasture, expansive views, alpine forrest, single track trail, and more. Everyone agreed Flatirons Vista is an excellent trail, and if you visit, it’ll be on your destination list.

Family Life in Colorado

Pearl Street Holiday Lights

Since the Brazilians visited, the family has been extra motivated to “vlog”, to create and share our life through video (hopefully resulting in massive wealth and Youtube stardom). So the other night, after watching the somewhat disappointing Star Wars, we took a stroll down Pearl Street in Boulder, taking in the holiday lights and festive atmosphere.

Most of the video and photos were taken by Elijah, and he did all of the editing, learning a new skill and discovering the tedium that is video editing. Expect more videos coming your way. Hope you enjoy.


Travel and Share

We recently hosted a lovely couple from Brazil who are traveling the world and sharing their exploits on social media. Romulo and Mirella hatched a plan two years ago to see the world, and they’re making their dream come true through the kindness of strangers (like us) and a lot of hard work.

Romulo and Mirella share a night of Christmas tree decoration with Familyvance.

They started in South America, drove through Central America, and have spent the last ten months traveling the United States. They create a new video every day for their YouTube channel, post to Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat and probably other sites I’ve never heard of. They have sponsors helping pay their way, do odd jobs for cash, and make friends along the way. Most of their media is in Portuguese, but don’t let that stop you from sharing. It’s a lovely language.

Our friend Aron has hosted them and become good friends with them, so when they came through Boulder recently, he hooked us up with them and we offered our guest room for a night. They joined us for a special evening of dinner, laughter and Christmas decorating. Apparently Christmas is a low-key affair in Brazil (it’s summer down there!), so the whole Christmas tree, ornament and lights thing was new and novel to them.

Travel and Share visit Familyvance.

Their videos and photos catalog an amazing life of adventures, and we’re just one more along the way. They hope to go to Europe next, then who knows where? We encourage you to follow them on their journey, and maybe it will inspire you like it has us.

David Life in Colorado

David Goes Snowboarding

Like it says, DV went snowboarding this time, and you get another janky video. Check out the awesomeness on Knob, David’s website.

Or if you can’t wait, just behold the brilliance below:

Life in Colorado

Sawhill Ponds Fishing Report

I usually don’t like to fish at Sawhill Ponds or it’s sister Walden Ponds, but driving home from work today I decided to stop by Sawhill Ponds. I hardly catch anything at these mostly over-fished and fished-out ponds. I guess I’ve got the seasonal fishing bug.

Even though the day was a beautiful day in Boulder, Colorado, it started to get breezy and a bit chilly as afternoon turned into evening. When I arrived the parking lot was nearly full. I read on the internet (so true!) that Sawhill Ponds and Walden Ponds used to be pretty reliable fishing honey holes, but that with drought conditions a lot of the water was siphoned off for farmers in Eastern Colorado, destroying the fishing in these ponds. Another theory I’ve read is that these ponds are just overfished. I can believe both, and both are probably contributing factors.

One of the many tiny bass I catch in Boulder County. ©Familyvance

At any rate, the fishing at Sawhill Ponds is not that great, unless you want to take your eight-year old niece and bait fish for perch. In that case, it’s probably pretty great all things considering: easy access, lots of perch, pretty scenery. In my case, bass fishing at Sawhill ponds is less than so-so. I’ve had luck in the big pond by the parking lot, and in the largish pond a little Southwest of that, but by “luck” I mean “I’ve caught very small bass and a lot of perch.”

Still, it’s a nice stop-off after work, or a place to wet a line while my wife birds at Walden Ponds. I can’t recommend it as a fishing hole though.

When: 6pm, Mar 16, 2015
Weather: Partly Cloudy, Breezy, 60 degrees
Lure/Bait: Mini crank bait
Action: 1 6″ Bass, 1 Missed fish