June 1, 2009

Mountain Time

Yesterday Esperando and I went for a drive through the mountains. First we drove to Golden, Colorado, home of the Colorado School of Mines and Coors Brewery. It is a cute little mountain town, the main street lined with interesting shops and places to eat. Last summer they had a great farmer’s market in the park and an antique car show that incorporated five city blocks. We stopped to have a cup of Starbucks, and in talking to our barista I discovered she had just taken her sling off last week from the same surgery I just had. I could see she wasn’t using her arm much. They told her 5 months before she would be mountain climbing and doing scuba. She said her arm was sore from the physical therapy. I don’t have any such athletic ambitions, but I hope I my arm is much improved in 5 months—that’s a long time. After enjoying our coffee outside in the sunshine we set off for our next part of the trip.

Our plan was to drive to Longmont through the mountains in a somewhat circuitous route. Along the way we saw mountains covered with snow, a raft of parapont gilders on the hilltop in Golden that sports the big painted ‘M’ for School of Mines; bicyclers and motorcyclists en masse on the windy mountain roads; lots of guys out fishing with bobbers and fly rods; and as we drove through Boulder Canyon, quite a few rock climbers up there in the nether reaches. In what other state than Colorado could you drive around and see such diversity of physical activity within 40 minutes? Everybody wanted a piece of the warm sunny weather, even though dark clouds threatened thunderstorms on the horizon. The high mountains are still crowned snow, but the aspens have greened up, lots of wildflowers were blooming, and the snow melt fills the rushing streams.

In Longmont we went to dine at one of Sunset Magazine’s June 2009 picks for the ten top barbeque spots in the West, The Rib House at Prospect. It is an unassuming but commodious facility with inside and outside dining and takeout. The ambience of the Propect Development in which the restaurant nestles is very inviting, tree-lined streets and neighborhoods that are quite cute with a blend of modern urban design and nouveau Victorian houses sprinkled with southern architectural and farmhouse themes, i.e., antebellum and New Orleans wrought iron trim, big porches, hanging flower baskets and varied bright paints.

We enjoyed our meal outside. So many people were out doing mountain activities that we didn’t encounter the big long line I feared. Between the two of us, we chowed down the baby back ribs, boneless short ribs, medium sauce (spicy) and sides of beans, corn in special cheddar sauce, and the Chipotle potato salad. It was all delicious and spicy, even the beans. They have just opened a new location in Boulder, and are selling their BBQ sauces at King Soopers.

After that we headed back home to avoid the predicted big thunderstorm that didn’t materialized until the evening when we started to barbeque scallops with prosciutto and fresh thyme and tarragon.

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