Living in Colorado by Design

© Fernando Caracena, 2018

A local farm near our house.


Many people dream of finding a nice home away from it all, perhaps in the country, by a cold trout stream. I did, and that is where we have lived for several decades. The place is colorfully named, Gunbarrel, Colorado. It is on the outskirts of Boulder, where the university of Colorado is located.

It seems like only yesterday that a friend, A J and I were discussing where would be the ideal place to live. I was a new graduate student at Western Reserve University. He was finishing up his physics degree at Case Institute of Technology. We were young and full of dreams. It was late at night. A J used to stay up past midnight waiting for his wife Jan, a nurse, to complete her shift at the University Hospital. Our ideal place would be near the mountains, where you could go camping, but near a metropolis, where you could enjoy the arts and all the great things a city has to offer. But then it would be nice if not far away, there was a nice country spot where you could escape the din and clatter of the city. There were few cities in the U S where, all our requirements could be satisfied. Denver was one of them. We both wound up here around the outskirts of Denver Colorado to raise our young families. I came as a bachelor and married a local girl. Our kids were both born in Colorado, grew up here, and my grandson was born here. But, I found that Denver was not the best choice. Boulder was better!

When we moved her, Boulder had just adopted what was called the Danish plan, which was a low growth or no growth plan. There would be a lot of green space, and hiking and bike trails.

Ther local farmers seem to spend more attention on their barns than on their houses.

The setting in our area is rural. We are an urbanized area of about 10,000 people several miles removed from the city of Boulder, Colorado, which has a population of about 100,000. The separation between city and urbanized Gunbarrel is green space, rural, and flood plain, so that it is not continuous city. Both are in the Boulder valley,which is drained by Boulder Creek, a tributary of the St. Vrain River that runs into the South Platte River system.

Broadway Street in Boulder, Colorado.

After a fifteen or twenty minute drive through a country road, we can be at the center of Boulder, Colorado, where the University of Colorado is located. This university was attended by the famous, composer and band leader, Glenn Miller. His life was portrayed by an old movie starring James Stewart and June Allyson, which contained scenes of the University of Colorado.








The Arapahoe glacier is visible from east of Boulder.


When we first moved into the Boulder area we faced the option of where to live in relation to the city. Colleagues of mine who lived in the mountains would sometimes be forced in the winter to miss days of work because of heavy snow. We did not like living down in the city. We decided to settle to the north east of the city where we could enjoy the view of the snow capped peaks, in  a place having access to hiking trails through game preserves. Our favorite walk is along the Boulder creek path, where I can check on trout fishing conditions. Locally, brown trout are plentiful in the creek, but occasionally someone pulls out a rainbow trout.

Boulder Creek

Boulder Creek originates at Arapahoe glacier. Here it is on its way to join other creeks which feed the South Platte River.


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