On Friday, Beat closed on a house in a quiet mountain neighborhood located in the hills above Boulder, on the western side of the Flatirons. Home-ownership is something Beat has wanted for a few years now, but it wasn't practical or desirable in the Bay Area, where $2 million affords a 180-square-foot shack on purportedly desirable land. Beat's wish for privacy, space, and a much better man cave than our bike-crowded two-bedroom apartment was part of the impetus for leaving the Silicon Valley. We spent many relaxing evenings daydreaming while scrolling through real estate listings in Alaska and Switzerland, but practicality pushed us toward Boulder, Colorado, where Beat could continue to work for Google.
After only a weekend of house hunting before Christmas, we stumbled upon this place that was unbelievably perfect for us. Located at 7,100 feet elevation, it's 25 minutes by car to the center of town, 12 cycling miles, and 7 or 8 running miles. It was built and previously owned by an interesting British couple who styled it with a number of unique features, such as hand-carved railings and 300-year-old fortress doors from India. Although they're quite fit for people in their 80s, the couple was starting to feel the strain of mountain living, and decided to move closer to their children and families in Houston. But they didn't want to sell their place to just anyone, and Beat happened to come along with the right attitude at the right time. We've since heard the stories about a number of potential buyers with whom it didn't quite work out over the past year, but for us this happened at whirlwind pace.
On Saturday we set out to find the most direct route to South Boulder Peak, an 8,500-foot summit that looks like it's practically in the back yard. There was some burr-coated bushwhacking and slogs up 45-degree slopes to reach the ridge, where rotten snow conditions caused us both to roll ankles and wrench knees in hidden rock hollows.
Sunday morning views.