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 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.