This is probably not news to most people who live in other parts of the country.  Of course, summer has arrived, the calendar says it is so.  But after one of the coolest and rainiest Mays on record, and a cold, rainy start to June, at times it looked in doubt whether we could get one of those clear, sunny days we are known forColorado is known for.  But this week, the sun came out, and the temperatures climbed to typical summer-like heat.  I have to admit that living in the mountains has spoiled me as far as my tolerance for hot weather.  Living back in the midwest and on the east coast, I thought it was a pretty nice day when the highs were merely in the 80s.  On Thursday, it broke 80 (81 was the high) for the first time this year in Nederland, and I was thinking, man, is it hot today.  Maybe it’s because I wasn’t used to it, maybe as I get older, I just don’t tolerate hot weather as well.

But today, through the grace of my job in the parks field, I got to spend the entire day outside, some of it in the mountains, and the end of the day near a popular mountain biking spot in Boulder.  It was an incredibly clear day, with blue skies all day long.  I got to experience four distinct parks of Boulder County in the span of one day, and talk to some really wonderful people who were enjoying being out on the trails, either on foot or on mountain bike.  There were views of the mountains along the way, both driving and hiking, and an array of wildflowers bloomed along the trails.  I finished my day talking to people while the sun set over the mountains in the background, and the temperatures started to drop.  A nice cool breeze was blowing, and despite temperatures still above 80, with the lack of humidity, it felt quite pleasant.  And I experienced something I rarely do…

My husband will be the first to tell you that I am a very judgy person, and frequently find things to complain about.  He should know, he’s heard about for almost ten years.  But as I ended my day, having spent the whole day outside in this beautiful area, and I drove up Boulder Canyon to return to our home in Nederland, I experienced contentment.  A feeling of noticing all the beauty around me, and feeling grateful and happy.  As I was thinking this, I came around a curve in the road, and there stood a young buck, a male mule deer with fuzzy antlers, standing on the center stripe of the highway.  I think because I was feeling so content, I wasn’t driving fast, not rushing to get anywhere, and just enjoying the drive.  I saw him in plenty of time and was able to brake, he turned his head around, looked at me for a moment, and then bounded up the hillside on the other side of the road.  As I continued up the canyon, I saw a tiny crescent moon hanging in the sky. This is what I know about having one of these days — you notice every single thing around you, and feel like something greater than yourself created it just for you.

A few years ago, a survey on happiness was conducted and declared Boulder, Colorado as one of the happiest places on earth.  We are so very lucky in Boulder County to have so many amazing parklands preserved by many different agencies, so that we enjoy the.  Today, I definitely felt like one of those happy people.