Boulder Farmers Market, NCAR, Chautauqua – 10/22/16

Last day in Boulder. Visited the very busy Farmers Market with vendors, music, all kinds of produce, along Boulder Creek. Double-click any photo to enlarge:

This is a mandala pattern kids had made entirely with seeds and grains:

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Here’s the Gilbert White Flood Lever Marker – art as education – showing how high an 18′ flood-water rise is. It’s named in memory of the professor who led the efforts to study and prepare for flooding risks. Boulder is one of the most flood prone cities on the Eastern slope of the Rockies. The 1976 Big Thompson flash flood, caused by 12 inches of rainfall in 4 hours up at the top of the canyon, swept down with a 20 ft wall of water into Boulder, killing 143 people.

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On to our last hike in Boulder in 2016 – drove up to the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) up in the Flatiron slopes overlooking the city. The striking building was designed by I.M. Pei (JFK Library, and Hancock Tower with the falling glass panes in Boston, and the glass pyramid at the Louvre).

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Love this eagle sculpture carved out of a tree out front:

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The exhibits are fascinating – and easy to understand proof of the facts of global climate change, the shrinking polar ice caps, and rising/warming sea waters causing more and more frequent catastrophic weather events.

The grounds include a short nature walk, leading to more ambitious hiking trails. We kept it short:

View of the back of the building, from the trail:

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Along the trail, you get great views of the Flatirons and the valley:

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After NCAR, we headed over to Chautauqua Park, a National Historic Landmark, which was part of the Chautaqua adult education movement. This one was started as a summer retreat for Texas school teachers.  Now it has a performing arts venue, speaker series, cottages, and historic preservation as well hiking trails and recreational areas.

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