Today was the last day of the conference, after which we headed to the west of Boulder and up to NCAR (National Centre for Atmospheric Research) which is the sister organisation of NCAS (National Centre of Atmospheric Science – to which Zoe belongs). NCAR is situated perched up on top of a large hill overlooking the entirety of Boulder. In fact from the viewpoint at NCAR we could even see Denver cos of the clear sky.
NCAR has a visitor centre with lots of interactive outreach toys in it [i will upload some pictures soon either here on on the photos page!]. After learning all about properties of the atmosphere we walked the NCAR weather trail which was a gentle stroll with information points telling us about weather and atmospheric conditions of the region.
After our walk we headed north towards Rocky Mountain National Park and stopped off at Allenspark Lodge, Allenspark. It is a breathtakingly beautiful cozy log lodge. Apparnetly it was built approx 75 years ago from reclaimed wood after a nearby forest fire (by American standards it is probably classed as a historical building!!!). The owners are extremely welcoming and make you feel quite at home. The lodge is fairly large, there are three floors, a hot tub, dining room/kitchen with complimentary tea/coffee/hot chocolate, a cozy living room with a fire and a stove and a tv/games room. I have never stayed anywhere so homely before and would highly recommend it to anyone!
We headed out to the Baldpate Inn for dinner. The Baldpate Inn is named after the book ” 7 keys to Baldpate” written by Earl Derr Biggers. It is about some people that each think they hold the key to the mythical Baldpate Inn. The original owners built the building in 1917 and named it after the book, the film was just out too. They planned to give each guest a key as a souvenir of their stay at the Inn. This proved too costly for them, in the end guests started leaving their own keys as a memento! There are tens of thousands of keys in the collection now, including things like the key to Hitler’s writing desk, the key to the gate of Sherwood forest etc. Each key has been donated with a message or letter from the sender.