Monday, August 08, 2011

Boulder, Colorado

The move has been made! I am no longer living in Iceland and I've moved out west, about 1700 miles west of my hometown, to the town of Boulder, Colorado. For those of you who read the blog for the Iceland posts, you may be disappointed that I won't be posting much more about glaciers or Icelandic grammar. But for those of you who like landscapes, pictures of travels, observations about silly hippies and elk and pine forests and weather patterns and my random comics, then you will be delighted to know that I intend to keep up with all of this.

Colorado has the most different feeling of anywhere that I've ever been in the continental United States. Today I went to the Center for Atmospheric Research (fabulous!) and there were cacti growing out in the wild. There have been heat-lightning and thunderstorms in the distance almost every night. And on a short trip up to the Rocky Mountains, I saw my first moose.

The landscapes here share a bit in common with Iceland, strangely. But the culture does not, that's for sure. Up in the highest altitudes of the mountains, above the treeline, the plant life looks remarkably similar to Iceland, with its windswept and snow-covered peaks, a fragile alpine ecosystem. The air is crisp, and both places are surprisingly arid. There are even hot springs in Colorado, just like Iceland. But up on the top of the Rockies the air is noticeably thinner! I have to drink a lot more water here, and cook with high-altitude rules. And while Iceland was full of mostly families and fashionable worldly types, in Boulder the town seems to be filled with earth-loving types, from startup company execs to hangers-on anarchist hippies and street performers, along with the 30 thousand students from the university (I suppose me included) all vying for the least rat-infested affordable apartment. While Iceland, everything happened word of mouth, Boulder happens via Craigslist. Both places are unsurprisingly exorbitantly expensive, but then you also get a lot of what you pay for in terms of stunning backyard views. I think it will be a good place for me to be, to keep working and thinking.


Erin said...

Yay! You're like 2 hours from us. Let me know if you ever wanna meet up or whatever. I'm also trying to find a job in Denver, which would make us neighbors.

And yeah, as I've been looking at your photos of Iceland, I was sometimes struck by some similarities.

-Erin (and Shaun)

Sarah said...

Hello, Nathan! I stumbled across your blog through Facebook, as I'm friends with your sister over there. I'm not at all surprised you have landed in Boulder - I hear nothing but wonderful things about it. I live in Albuquerque now and I too am still trying to get used to cooking and baking at high altitudes.