The weather really turned yucky...again. Temperatures hovered around 34 with very wet snow. We pulled into the Boulder Elks Lodge #366 and much to my dismay the dry camping was on mud....lots of it. Now, I love dry camping, but I'm not thrilled when it is combined with wet, heavy, slushy, snow and rain with the "jacks down" on mud. I dug out the shop towels, which barely had time to dry out from Colorado Springs, and three them on the floors to catch the mud from Tara's paws and our shoes.
The Boulder Elks club is adjacent to a really nice Elks Park which has lot of grass and paved sidewalks where I could walk Tara, which helped some, but it was still cold and wet. Boulder is a very bicycle friendly town and I wished the weather had been better, because I would have taken advantages of all of the neat bike paths.
We attempted to visit the old down town mall but it was so cold and wet we didn't spend much time. (Think snow so wet you need an umbrella). The mall is beautiful with lots of color coordinated tulips which were not happy due to the cold. We stopped at Sun Mountain Brewery for a quick beer tasting and then headed back to the lodge. I will say, the Boulder Elks is one of the more friendly lodges and seemed to enjoy us "RVers". When we were in Colorado Springs we briefly met Ed who travels the country staying at as many Elks Lodges as he can. I think he said he was up to 62. Well, our paths crossed in Boulder and we sat with him as his wife Mary for dinner. This is one of the perks of full time RVing....crossing paths with folks you previously met.
The next morning the weather wasn't very nice again. Lots of cold, cold, very wet snow which didn't stick but made for miserable conditions. We returned to Sun Mountain Brewery for lunch and then headed over to the visitor center. What to do on a yucky day? The docent suggested a few things including a tour of the Celestial Seasonings facility.
If you are an herbal tea drinker you probably have heard of Celestial Seasonings. The company was started in Boulder around 1969 with two guys putting together wild herbs and flowers in muslin bags to brew. Technically herbal teas are not tea because there are no true tea leaves in the brew, but are really an herbal infusion. "Herbal tea" proved to be more consumer friendly and accepted which is why it is used today.
Unfortunately, photos were not allowed on the tour. The plant is fully automated and can produce up to 10,000 tea bags a minute. Spices and herbs are from all over the world and are organic and the company has strict quality control and visits growers regularly. The tea bags still do not have the traditional tag and strings in order to save waste. I forget how much landfill is saved by not having the strings and tags, but it was substantial. (I should learn to take notes).Celestial Seasonings ships tea all over the world including Japan. Over 50% of the herbal teas produced at Celestial Seasonings goes to Canada..of all places.
One of the highlights of the tour was the Peppermint Room. Tons (literally 100s of 100# bags) of peppermint are stored in an enclosed room. The smell will really clear your sinuses!
Next, a quick stop at an experimental brewery called the Upslope. This was a very small neighborhood brewery which offers daft beer in their tap rooms but also offers canned beer instead of bottled beer to take out.
Boulder is one of those places I would like to revisit someday...in better weather.