now that hank is on a diet, we have been trying to step up our exercise routine and we made an amazing discovery… COOT LAKE! coot lake is the perfect kind of nature for us… there is always parking across the street, the paths are flat and well maintained and we can circle the lake in converse or even low boots. there are lots of nice dogs for hank to romp around with (he can go off leash!) and there are benches for me to sit on, as well as little poems posted on signs here and there. and of course, there is the pretty water to look at. one of the hardest things for me about living in boulder is that there is no ocean. i have never lived anywhere before that wasn’t bumped up against a big body of water and sometimes i feel a bit panicky about being landlocked. certainly, a lake isn’t the same thing as an ocean, but it is still blue and has movement and reflection and alleviates the dry, dusty feel of the relentless colorado sun.
i first saw coot lake on a friend’s instagram post and i just assumed it was in tahoe because she goes there a lot. i was beside myself when i figured out it is only fifteen minutes from my house. BOULDERS - help a water-deprived girl out! i can’t believe i’ve lived here for nearly eight years and didn’t know there was a lake. and now that i have the google maps lady, i can always find it. i know i am not the first person to come to mind when thinking about a nature hike, but i have a waist-challenged pup now and we have some walking to do.
also, if you have a dog who likes to swim, coot lake is perfect. loads of dogs go in the lake and paddle around. hank doesn’t do this because he can’t swim. i think half of his body weight is in his head and he would just sink like an anchor. he really doesn’t care for water or baths or even sprinklers (he IS french and tends toward the louis XIV approach to bathing - i.e. NOT bathing, rather than my preference - the germanic, marie antoinette method of bathing all the time. this is one area where hank and i disagree. i’ve tried several bathing venues - the kitchen sink, the shower and the big bathtub in hopes of hank viewing it as a “spa treatment” to no avail. he doesn’t appreciate the “spring fresh” shampoo i ordered specially or the nose butter and he REALLY doesn’t like it when i clean his ears. frankly, it is heartbreaking to bathe him - he starts to shake and hides under the bed as soon as he can escape. so now we just go to the groomer… i can’t bear to see him so distressed.) but hank DOES like to stand on the banks of the water with me and look at coot lake. we both find it soothing.
this delightful lake discovery reminds me of when i first learned about the cheese importers in longmont (which is only about twenty minutes from boulder.) i had been living here for at least fours years then and was always whining and pining away for the kaaskamer, the cheese shop that was right around the corner from our apartment in amsterdam. NONE of my boulders told me about this incredible family-owned cheese emporium that also has a super yummy cafe and a darling back garden. finally, i met a kind soul who clued me in and i’ve been forever grateful. while it’s not in amsterdam, it IS a real destination. after brunch you can put on these heavy jackets and go into the refrigerated stock room to peruse and sample the cheeses they import from near and far (including the netherlands.) hank can’t really partake in the sampling because of the diet, but we’ll always have coot lake… now that we know about it!
our first visit to the cheese importers