Archive for the ‘Leaving Loveland’ Category

Day 22 in my “Leaving Loveland” challenge.

Today Silas and I ran the Loveland Classic. We meant to do this other years, just never made it happen, so this year we had to do it since it’s our last chance. It’s a benefit race for early childhood education here in our Thompson School District, and it’s been going for 41 years!

Silas finished sixth in his division (males age 14 and under) and 28th place overall. His time was 25:14. I finished fourth in my division (females ages 40-49) and 53rd overall. My time was 28:07. (Silas asked me to include all of this, so my readers could be sure and understand that he crossed the finish line nearly THREE MINUTES before his mother did! That’s the first time we’ve run a race and I haven’t kept up with him. It’s only going to widen from here, I’m thinking!)

I have enjoyed running – and improving my running – here in Colorado.¬†The altitude took some acclimating at first, but I’ve improved my pace and hope to bring all that momentum back to Minnesota with me! And it’s been fun running with my boy!

On a side note, next time I’ll be sure to bring my ID with me. I was denied my two free beer tickets because I didn’t have it. ūüė¶ ¬†But then the sun came out this afternoon and our friend Braden came over and brought us a growler of “Widow Maker” Russian Imperial Oatmeal Stout from Berthoud’s City Star Brewing, so all is well . . .

Special thanks to Nathan and Luthien for being our support team, holding our jackets, taking pictures, cheering us on!

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Foote Lagoon

Day 21 in my “Leaving Loveland” challenge.


Across the street from our house is the Foote Lagoon, surrounded by meandering sidewalks and city buildings including the public library and Chilson Recreation Center (and of course sculptures, but you probably already knew that!).

Here’s the big fountain at one end:


In the summer bands set up where that fountain is (it doesn’t run then!) and perform for free on Thursday evenings. People sit around this little amphitheater to hear the music.


This whole area was just drained and cleaned, and all this¬†water was¬†freshly added just yesterday or today. So the whale fin sculpture below wasn’t making the farting noises today it was making last year, when I’m assuming one of its¬†waterspouts was partially plugged. The kids always got a kick out of that!


I wish I could share the lilac smell in this post, but this photo will have to do:


When Nathan and I were married in Minnesota in 1998, we set our wedding date for May 2nd and wildly hoped that just maybe there would be lilacs blooming by then. There weren’t that year, but the marriage has worked out anyway! But every year here in Loveland it amazes me that lilacs are in full and fragrant bloom in April!

And just one more, non-related, a photo I took last night after a heavy downpour when a rainbow appeared and the kids were having fun on the wet trampoline:


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Day twenty in my “Leaving Loveland” challenge.

Is this really the first microbrewery I’ve posted in this series? Well I’ve got some work to do to get ’em all in before we leave!


We walked to Verboten this afternoon¬†while the kids were at school. Happy hour over “Quaffee” – a coffee quad, “Belgian style Quad with an infusion of locally roasted coffee. Collaboration with SnowBank Brewing of Fort Collins.” This was a big beer, 10% ABV. Glad we were walking!

I’ve got some¬†poignant memories of Verboten, which¬†just moved to downtown Loveland from its former location in an¬†industrial park about a year ago, and has quickly become a favorite spot. Sitting out on the patio with our Wisconsonian friend James when he came to visit; one very low moment for me crying into my “Music Maker” beer this past February, feeling depressed and homesick and purposeless (I wasn’t alone, I don’t drink alone – I was with Nathan); and then a few weeks later¬†drinking a beer whose name I forgot with Nathan, after we decided to move to St. Paul, and talking about the future and our ideas for our new life back in Minnesota.

My favorite regular beer here is “Killer Boots.” “Angry Banjo” is very good too. In fact I haven’t had anything I didn’t like here!

Footnote: that cut under my lip is from an unfortunate music stand adjustment-turned-attack at my church’s Good Friday service. It looks a lot better in this photo than it did that night!

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Day nineteen of my “Leaving Loveland” challenge.


Although the dry climate here in Colorado induces even more nosebleeds for those of us already prone to them (my son told me he had three throughout the day today!), one thing I appreciate about it is the complete irrelevance of a clothes dryer. It’s just not a worthwhile appliance to own and maintain here, in my humble (and minimalist) opinion. So when we bought this house which didn’t include a washer or dryer, we only bought a washer.

Most of the year, even many days during winter, we can hang our clothes outside, and especially when there’s sunshine, they’ll dry within a couple hours. (A high-quality front-loading washer with a high-speed spin cycle helps a lot too!) On rainy or too-cold days, we hang laundry in the basement, which humidifies the even-dryer indoor air from our¬†forced-air heating system.



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Day eighteen in my “Leaving Loveland” challenge.

Just north of Lake Loveland is the Benson Sculpture Garden. Each summer sculptors from all over the world gather here for¬†Sculpture in the Park, “America’s largest outdoor juried sculpture show and sale.”

The show has been going on for 34 years, and each year proceeds from the show are used to add more sculptures to the park. So there’s a lot to see here!

And like a lot of locals, I drive past this place all the time and have only actually explored it a few times while I’ve lived here. So today between dropping off a thrift store donation and getting an oil change, I stopped and took a few photos. These particular sculptures are all within a few steps of each other.


The Conversation (marble, by Madeline Wiener) is also a bench, like those old-fashioned loveseats, where two people sit like the people in the sculpture are sitting. You can just sit in their laps and have your own conversation!




Cultural Pedestrians (cast concrete & steel, Sue Quinlan).


The proportions on this one are so fun. Nothing unusual with the camera, I just stood in front of it to take this photo. Here’s its title and sculptor information on its nameplate, by that fantastic¬†right foot:


And seen from the back:


My kids love this interactive sculpture. You can stand there on that stone and join the circle holding hands.


It’s called Circle of Peace, bronze, by Gary Price.


And here’s another bench where you can join the sculpture, They Are Waiting, bronze, by Nnamdi Okonkwo. I love the weight of these waiting figures. I think they’ve been waiting a long time, and they remain steadfast and present in their heavy wait.



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Day seventeen in my “Leaving Loveland” challenge.

We love the lunch buffet at Nepal’s in Estes Park – plenty for hungry vegetarians, and the naan is so good. Unfortunately since last October and until this coming Memorial Day, Highway 34 from Loveland to Estes¬†through Big Thompson Canyon has been closed. Which means we have to go quite a bit out of our way through Longmont and Lyons on Highway 36 to get back around to Estes Park.

But today we took the time on a beautiful spring day and made a motorcycle ride of it.


This riverwalk through Estes Park is a beautiful¬†way to get around town away from the noisy street traffic. That’s Nepal’s in the background. And that’s one satisfied Nepal’s lunch buffet customer in the foreground.


Just across the street from Nepal’s, further down the riverwalk. Once we saw some guys tubing down this river, when it was higher and flowing even faster than this.

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Day sixteen in my “Leaving Loveland” challenge.


That’s my house, the little gray one on the corner. And that stunning backdrop down the block? The blue and white land touching blue and white sky? Those are mountains. Right there in my backyard. For a couple more months anyway.

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