beyondboulder.com

about us

 The author on Father's Day with Long's Peak in the background.

The author on Father's Day with Long's Peak in the background.

 Snowshoeing on the Front Range

Snowshoeing on the Front Range

Linda and I visited Boulder for the first time in the fall of 2011.  Between discovering all the wonder of downtown Boulder we also wanted to start exploring  some of the fantastic mountain trails Boulder County has to offer.  Oh foolish us, as you are about to discover.  Before we left for Colorado I purchased a couple of guide books on easy day hiking around Boulder, planning an initial hike of the Chautauqua Trail.  Let me repeat, they said "easy".  At 52, we'd spent the vast majority of our lives as 'flatlanders' and 'lowlanders', meaning we walked primarily in two dimensions and not far from sea level.  We were definitely not ready for what we found in Boulder.  As we struggled for oxygen and fought leg cramps on the popular Chautauqua trail from Chautauqua Park up toward the base of the Flatirons we realized, as the saying goes, we weren't in Kansas anymore.  What was supposed to be one of the easiest mountain hikes in Boulder was too much for us.  We turned around before making it to the top.  We left Chautauqua that day not feeling renewed and excited, but downcast.  

Of course we know now that much of our challenge that day was a lack of altitude adjustment, and not having the experience of hiking, oh, how do you say it, up.  Additionally, we've also learned that hiking guides for Boulder don't always take into account that many people who visit this beautiful area are here for just a few special days and often come from lower, flatter geographies.  Like us on that day in 2011, visitors want to experience the best of the mountains, but minimize the negative effects of altitude and vertical climbing.  Thus was born the idea for Beyond Boulder.

About the authors: Kevin and Linda Kinnamon are not Colorado natives, but as the saying goes they got here as soon as they could. That was in 2011 after Kevin came to Colorado on a business trip in September and made a side trip to Boulder one afternoon.  Two weeks later he and Linda returned to Boulder together, purchasing a home on Broadway where they live today.  It was most definitely love at first sight. They have two grown children, one grandson and a rescue Kelpie named Jack.  They consider themselves outdoor dogs, which is why they chose to start the next phase of their lives in Boulder, Colorado.

why we have such a passion for beyond boulder...

We love hiking the trails around Boulder, Colorado.  There is nothing that will set us right after a stressful week working more than getting out in the foothills and front range in Boulder County for a long walk.  Listening to the sounds of birds, the trees swaying in the wind, spying deer, moose or bear we feel far removed from civilization and can almost imagine ourselves walking in the footsteps of such great Rocky Mountain explorers as Zebulon Pike, John Wesley Powell, Stephen Long, and Rufus Sage.  At those times we're a few days journey from the nearest outpost instead of an hour's walk to the nearest microbrewery in town.  To be clear though, we're not conquerers of mountains.  We don't have the desire, or ability, to trail run or see how many fourteeners we can summit in a season.  For us, the best part of hiking is being able to slow down, to find a hike that just slightly pushes our abilities, that lets the imagination wander, and which leaves us feeling renewed and more attune to nature.  Nature is an amazing healer.  

The author feeling small and in awe

Columbine at about 11,500' near Chasm Lake

Often, when we venture out to discover something about nature on a new hike in the mountains we often end up discovering more about ourselves.  We believe there is something very vital to humans in reconnecting with nature.  In the years since we've moved to Boulder we've had many visitors stay with us.  We've strived to take each person or group in our home on at least one hike.  A hike that we felt would provide the most mountain wonder, yet not tax the ability of our visitors.  Some embraced the idea at once, and others not so much.  I remember our daughter setting out with me one morning commenting she was sure she was headed for the equivalent of the Bataan Death March.  Yet, remarkably, most visitors have commented that their hikes were the most fun they had on their visit.  While we'd like to take some credit for their enjoyment, most likely it was the mountains calling to them, the recalled memory of a youthful hike from years gone by, the feeling of accomplishing something worthwhile, or the sheer beauty of the trail that was transformative to them.  Regardless, we love not only feeling that sense of wonder on the trail ourselves, but the joy of sharing it with others.

We've since taken our beginner guide books on Boulder hiking and put them on my reference shelf with other hiking and biking guides.  Now that we've acclimated to the altitude and geography and learned many of the trailheads we do more impromptu exploration than trip planning.  I won't go so far as to say the popular trail guides are not useful, but they are trying to play to a broader audience, and many times those of us not native to the higher altitudes, thinner air, rougher terrain, and steeper climbs typically found in the front range are lured into hikes for which we are sorely unprepared.  Been there, done that as they say.

Beyond Boulder was born out of a passion to provide visitors new to, or unfamiliar with, hiking in the Front Range centralized, guided assistance in enjoying all the beauty of Boulder and Boulder County, at a comfortable pace and with the knowledge that really anyone with a desire to experience the natural beauty of a peaceful hike can go... Beyond Boulder. 

Hike on!