Getting Settled in Gunbarrel

I’ve lived here in Gunbarrel for a couple weeks now, and I think I’m starting to get more settled. Here are some photos I took of the house I’m living in back on the 3rd, the day I moved in:


I didn’t even make it a week before I got sick, though. I came down with a nasty case of what I strongly suspect to be food poisoning on Wednesday (the 8th) of my first week at NCAR. My money is on the egg salad sandwich at the NCAR Cafeteria as the culprit, because it wasn’t too long after lunch that I started feeling ill. I don’t think it was the flu because I don’t know anyone here who’s been sick, and I don’t think it was altitude sickness, because I’ve been out here for week-long stints before without any problem. Anyway, whatever the cause, I don’t even remember the last time I was that sick. I was very, very ill. I lost 13 pounds from Wednesday to Friday, and wasn’t back to normal until Sunday the 12th. What a welcome to Colorado.

Even though I was pretty weak while staying home from work, I felt like I needed some fresh air, so I did a little exploring, by foot and by car. My walk on Thursday the 9th took me up Lookout Rd to get a nice view (but totally exhausted me in the process, despite not being a long walk):


I was starting to feel a bit better on Saturday the 11th, so I took a drive up Boulder Creek Canyon on Hwy 119 to the town of Nederland. It wasn’t snowing in Boulder (5500 ft), but it was by the time I got up to Nederland (8300 ft), so at least I got to see some snow and pretty scenery along the way.


Nederland is known as a bit of a hippy town, and with the elevation being rather high, all sorts of shirts in gift shops say, “Nederland. This whole town is high.” Of course it has more than one meaning, especially with an MMJ shop right in the middle of town. It sure is a different culture out here.

I’m usually in the office still when sunset comes, but last weekend I was treated to a rather brilliant sunset. I took this panoramic from our front porch:


I’m starting to get settled at work, too. For the most part this past week was spent getting various programs installed and learning how to work on the NCAR supercomputers. Anyway, I still have some “decorating” to do (probably with some additional photos), but here are a couple photos of NCAR and my cubicle in FL-2 (Foothills Lab 2; FL-0, FL-1, FL-2, and FL-3 are all connected, with future FL-4 being renovated a short distance away).


My roommate Randy (who owns the house) is pretty cool too. He’s about five years older than me and owns a construction business (Handy Randy Renovations). He’s been very good about inviting me to his church (I went there my first Sunday in town), and various social events with his friends, including an “ugly pants party” this weekend. I didn’t feel like being a papparazzi around people I didn’t know very well, so I didn’t get photos at the party, but there were some very ugly pants that people wore. Randy even dressed up his dog Ollie in some really short jorts, haha. Ollie was pretty much the hit of the party!


I’ve checked out two churches here in Boulder, All Souls Reformed Church and Calvary Bible (E-Free) Church. I’ve liked both, but I’m probably going to go more often to Calvary. I’ve met quite a few people around my age from both churches though, so that’s good. I’m trying to keep my natural introvert from asserting control, because I know it’s very important that I get out and meet a lot of people. It’s probably not going to be until January before I really start getting to know people out there though, just because I’m so new and now it’s Christmas/New Years. Surprisingly, very few of the people I’ve met so far seem to go skiing/snowboarding very often. I didn’t know that class of people existed in Colorado!

After just two weeks in Boulder, I’ve completely furnished my room (except for maybe another bookcase, if I can find one that’s just the right size to fit in the remaining space). A week and a half ago I bought a bookcase and computer desk off Craigslist from a couple down in Lafayette. That was a good start. Then on Saturday this weekend I bought a handmade full-size wooden bed, box spring and mattress from a guy in Boulder (again from Craigslist), and a brand new dresser from Target (which I spent several hours assembling Saturday night), plus all brand new bedding from JC Penney (I had to leave all my bedding behind when I moved here, no room in my car). So I’ve spent a fair amount of money lately, but I think I’m done now with most of the typical moving-to-a-new-place expenses.



I still need to put some photos and posters and other stuff on the walls, but it feels so great to have been able to unpack so much of my stuff. That’s especially the case because most of it had been packed up in boxes since July when I moved out of my apartment in State College (I hardly unpacked anything at Isaac’s because I had no furniture and was only living there for three months). Anyway, it’s really starting to feel like home now, I think. Just in time for me to head back to Minnesota & Wisconsin for Christmas break for a couple weeks on Wednesday. 🙂

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