Eldorado Canyon, Boulder, CO – 5/10/14

Naropa Commencement morning – headed to Eldorado Canyon State Park, just a few minutes outside Boulder. The park is famous for its 700-ft sheer sandstone cliffs, a favorite rock-climbing destination. Lots of busy hiking trails along the way. It’s in the little town of Eldorado Springs, population 585! Entertaining history – the place was a resort town in 1910, with the biggest swimming pool in the USA, hence the nickname “Coney Island of the West.” All deeply-rutted dirt roads, with a sturdy bridge across South Boulder Creek. The park and town took a lot of damage during the September floods. Many of the trails are closed due to the flooding, including our destination Rattlesnake Gulch Trail. So we headed to Eldorado Canyon Trail instead. Steep uphill, lot of switchbacks. We sea-level “flat-landers” huffed and puffed our way slowly up the trail, frequently passed by ultra-fit Boulderites who were RUNNING up and down the trail. Passed the Rincon Trail which leads to a technical-climbing wall, closed till mid-summer since the bald eagles are currently nesting there.

Then off to the afternoon Commencement ceremony for Naropa University – with ordained American Buddhist nun Pema Chodron quoting Samuel Beckett as she urged the graduates not to be afraid to “Fail. Fail again. Fail well.” She was followed by a delightful musical interlude, then the bowing and awarding of diplomas. Followed by bubbles.

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