The people who choose to call this place home are of a tribe that stretches back thousands of years and although not all related by blood, their spirit thrives here with the same reverence and passion. Their brilliance is mirrored by daily rhythm of the desert; it begins cool and refreshing and becomes warn and welcoming.
“I know what they tell you about the desert but you mustn’t believe them. This is no deathbed. Dig down, the earth is moist. You can hear a man breathe at a distance of twenty yards. You can see out there to the edge where the desert stops and the mountains begin. You think it is perhaps ten miles. It is more than a hundred. Just before the sun sets all the colors will changes. Green will turn to blue, red to gold…” – Barry Lopez, Desert Notes
Nearly 1000 years ago, Ancestral Puebloan people were the first to be captivated by this ancient and rugged landscape and its allure stretches to today. Boulder, Utah is a town so spectacularly remote, its residents still received their mail by mule-train until the late 1940’s. In Boulder, I find a bit of refuge. I find it in a pastoral familiarity amongst a sea of sandstone. I find it in the sounds of migrating waterfowl emanating from a tiny wetland. I find it in the first taste of a cold craft beer and the spicy kick of a warm bowl of Posole. Most of all, I find it in the people there.
At the tail end of a five-hour drive, you crest a ridgeline high above Calf Creek. Below, deep gouges split ancient petrified sand dunes forming massive canyons. Not a powerline, building or person in sight. Other than the road you’re on, it’s a landscape devoid of human impact. At the top of the hill, look out the right side windows of the van to the distance and get your first glimpse of Boulder. Pivot irrigation in the middle of a green hayfield. A red barn. Cattle and a few solitary horses. These things look out of place. Anomalies on this naked stretch of earth.
We begin this trip here–maybe six or seven times a year and regardless of what’s required to get things rolling, I always make an effort to spend at least a few short moments with the folks that bring my Boulder to life. Maybe I’ll sneak away for two minutes between lunch and our Day 1 bike fitting session to say hello to Jen Castle while she roasts fresh chilies behind Hell’s Backbone kitchen or hang around after dinner for a glass of wine and farm happenings update with restaurant owner Blake Spalding. Sometimes, I’ll crawl out of bed a few minutes before my co-guide to watch the fist shooting light of the sun bounce across the cliffs along the Burr Trail. Maybe attempt to give Jezebel, resident queen kitty of the Boulder Mountain Lodge, a good morning head-scratch (when she lets me get close enough). My community is in Lander, Wyoming but when I’m here, this place sure feels like home. There is a special energy that is manifested in this community. It’s magnetic and unique. You’ll see it first in their easy smiles. Then their wholesome gratitude. Soon, you’ll become friends. It’s a given.
The people who choose to call this place home are of a tribe that stretches back 1000 years and although not all related by blood, their spirit thrives here with the same reverence and passion. Their brilliance is mirrored by daily rhythm of the desert; it begins cool and refreshing and comes warm and welcoming. Tucked away in this magical landscape of pinion and juniper, dark canyons and crystalline creeks, towering rock spires and golden sandstone domes, lives a community bound by a dynamic love of these things. They’re ready to share them with those who choose to travel here. They’re ready to share these things with those who can pause and surrender to the raw and uncompromising power of this beautiful desert. Far beyond the world-class cycling to be had on these lonely desert highways, the spirit of the community here shows its undeniable and unwavering character. We might only get brief glimpses of life in Boulder, Utah (a short 18 hours over the span of six days), but those snapshots will call you back.
EXPERIENCE BOULDER ON TREK TRAVEL’S BRYCE AND ZION VACATION»