Rock & Rails in Niwot

Donna says we’re just goofing off in Longmont, Colorado. I don’t know, I’m always just goofing off, no matter where we are. I guess from her perspective, she doesn’t have any writing deadlines and is enjoying her free time.

Yesterday she rode the Spyder up to Loveland – about 27 miles from here – to meet her friend Autumn Leopold for lunch. The route had several turns along the way and Donna did a great job memorizing the unfamiliar route before she left. She found the restaurant where they had lunch with no problem. She’s gotten a lot better at plotting a route and finding her way around since we hit the road. When we first met, she was so directionally challenged, that she would often get lost in Phoenix  where almost all of the roads are straight on a east-west/north-south grid.

While she was out, I walked over to the shopping area on Hover Road, not too far from the Longmont Fairgrounds where we’re staying. I stopped for lunch at Noodles, then hit the Chase Bank to deposit a check.

I didn’t mention the good mail I received while we were in Kearney, Nebraska. First off, I got a check from the IRS refunding an overpayment I made two years ago. The refund included interest at a better rate than I get on my savings accounts! Nebraska and Wyoming don’t have Chase banks, so I held the check until we reached Colorado.

I had another piece of mail from the State Department. They returned my old passport. I thought this wasn’t a good sign until I opened the next piece of mail and it contained my new passport – yay! I was a little worried that our nomadic lifestyle with no real physical address would cause problems with issuing a new passport. No worries!

While I was out, I stopped in at Wynn’s Wine and Spirits for a look. I was shocked to see The Balvenie Doublewood single malt Scotch whiskey 750ml bottle on sale for $39.99! I’ve never seen it priced this low – not even in California. I hate to admit what I paid for a bottle the day before in Boulder!

By the time I made it back to the coach, I’d covered 6,000 steps – about three miles of walking. Donna came home around 2:45pm and had a good time with Autumn. Clouds were coming in off the mountains and the wind picked up. I expected a shower at any moment. The rain bypassed us – most of it skirted to the south. We decided to take a chance and rode the Spyder to Niwot to check out the Thursday evening entertainment at a small park there.

Niwot is a small village of about 4,000 people located between Longmont and Boulder. The community is relatively affluent and seems close-knit. On Thursday evenings from 5pm to 9pm during the summer they have a two bands every Thursday for an event they call Rock & Rails.

We showed up around 5:15pm and found parking nearby. A band was playing as we entered the park. They also had food trucks and a beer tent.

A good crowd at Rock & Rails in Niwot

Three-man band onstage

Food vendors

Beer tent

We grabbed a pint of local beer at the beer tent – IPA for me and a stout for Donna. Then we ordered Vietnamese style savory crepes from a food vendor. We watched the band while we ate and enjoyed the beer. The temperature was in the upper 80s in the afternoon, but once the clouds came over the mountains, it quickly dropped to 70 degrees. The wind kicked up and was blowing at about 20mph. By 6pm we had all the fun we could take and decided to get out of the chilly wind.

Yesterday my daughter Jamie phoned from Texas. She lives there with Francisco and their family in Robstown – just outside of Corpus Christi. They’re bracing for the incoming hurricane Harvey to make landfall. They’re on relatively high ground and are well stocked with food and water. Hopefully the hurricane will lose some of its force before it hits Texas. If not, they may have to evacuate the area. Our thoughts are with them and we’re hoping the storm does minimal damage.

Today I plan to hang out. Donna made a reservation for us to tour Left Hand Brewing – a brewery less than a mile from here. Left Hand makes some outstanding beers. Donna is a big fan of their nitro milk stout. There are three well-known breweries in the area – Left Hand, Oskar Blues and Odell’s. There’s also a smaller brewery that I’m not familiar with called Skeye Brewing down the street from us. I’m looking forward to the tour at Left Hand.

Donna wants to get out on her bicycle and pre-run the route to the start of tomorrow’s women’s century ride – the Venus de Miles. She’ll need to ride her bicycle to the start tomorrow morning around 6:15am. High pressure has formed in the upper atmosphere here so we can expect temperatures near 90 degrees with little chance of rain.

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