Saturday, December 13, 2014

Longmont Lights 2014

Annual lights event in Roosevelt Park.  The skydivers were back although Santa didn't suit up for the jump this year.  Mild weather again.

Previous years.  I seem to attend on even years (?!)
  • Skydiving Santa first year 2007, which predated this night event.
  • 2008, still a daytime event.
  • 2010
  • 2012



 

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Missouri Avenue Pedestrian Bridge Open Again

It's been 450 days since the pedestrian bridge over Lefthand Creek, connecting Missouri Avenue and Kanemoto Park, was last open, due to the September 2013 flood.  Quietly, the bridge was opened again this past week.


On the early morning of September 12, the bridge was open but not for long:


A few hours later, it was blocked off.  Who knew at this point that it would be fifteen months until it was open again?



 The aftermath was ugly:




Repair work started in May 2014, when a crane was brought in to move the bridge aside while the foundation could be rebuilt:




Bridge moved successfully along Missouri Avenue, a few days later:





Two months later, on August 3, the new foundation is complete and the crane is back in the neighborhood to move the bridge back over the creek:





August 7:  the bridge is back in place.





September 8: a lot of earthwork has been done.  Bridge still closed though.



October 14:  getting closer but not open yet.



Today, December 6.   The bridge is open again!  You'd hardly know that anything happened.  The city and their contractors did a fine job in the total restoration effort.



Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Golf 12 Months a Year in Longmont

I'm not a golfer but I know it's often stated that you can play golf twelve months a year in Longmont.  Locals likely know this to be true but it may be surprising to visitors and newcomers who have visions of a long and snowy Siberian winter here on the Front Range of Colorado.

In the spirit of what the kids say these days, "pics or it didn't happen", I've started this in January 2014 to prove the statement, with pictures. The 9-hole Sunset Golf Course will be the designated proving ground and I'll hopefully log a monthly report from there showing a golf ball being smacked around.  No-brainer prediction:  April through November will be trivial, we'll see if the other months provide some excitement.




January:

January is traditionally the driest month of the year on the Front Range.  We had some snow earlier in the month but there are only traces of it now, in shady places. 

On MLK day (January 20), it was in the lower 50's when I spotted this group playing around 1 PM.   Two of the golfers were in shorts.   The day before (noted for the spectacular weather for the AFC Championship football game in Denver), the temperatures were in the mid-60's:




February:

February is also a typical dry month in these parts.  It started this year with some decent snow on the ground followed by a wicked and lingering arctic front, condemning the golfers to a dreaded spell of cabin fever and perhaps indoor putting practice. The big warmup started at the end of Valentine's Day week and I caught a few of them out on a warm and dry but blustery February 18, temperature in the low 50s:





March:

The coldest months are behind us but March is usually the snowiest month of the year, with the snow being wetter than the powdery stuff we get during the previous months. Right on schedule, the view from my neighborhood shows that no golf would be played on Saturday morning, March 1:



A week later, it was calm Spring-like conditions when this group and several others were on the course, Saturday afternoon, March 8:



There was a light cover of snow from yesterday covering the course this morning but you'd never know now:



On to the easier months of the year.

April:


Beautiful warm Spring evening, Monday, April 21.






May:

Another nice summer-like evening on May 19.  Eight days ago, golfing Moms were denied their special day on the course for Mother's Day because of snow and rain.




June:

Evening of June 16, the day after Father's Day.







July:

Tuesday, July 8 evening.  Yesterday, it was near 100 degrees at the Longmont Airport but today we received a welcome cool-down, in the 80s.  It's high summer in Longmont.




August:

Monday, August 11 in the evening.  




The world was saddened with the news about Robin Williams just a few hours ago. 


September:

Early afternoon on Sunday, September 7.  Pro golfing enthusiasts may remember this as the last day of the PGA BMW Championship Tournament at Cherry Hills in Denver.  And for NFL football fans, this is the first Sunday of the season.  

It's still summer although the lonely, closed-for-the-season Sunset Pool next to the golf course is a good sign that it's almost over.





October:

 It's officially fall since I was here last.  Sunday, October 5 was a gorgeous autumn day with temperatures in the low 70s around noon, with a hint of yellow in some of the trees, and a light covering of snow to the west on the Continental Divide.




November:

It's the morning of Sunday, November 2.  This is the historically the second snowiest month of the year but no sign of that yet except on the peaks.  







December:

The final chapter to prove the opening statement.  On a late breezy afternoon, December 2, the temperature was in the low 60's and there were a few golfers getting in a round before the 4:36 PM sunset.  Since I was here last, we were slammed with a bone-chilling polar vortex in mid-November but all is back to normal now. 







Epilogue - A few wrap-up comments:

  • Most of the pictures above were taken from my favorite place on the course, near the green for the 8th hole (see camera position on map below) where the trees are lined up, north-south.  From here on a clear day, you can get a good view of Pikes Peak 90 miles to the south.
  • A worthy refinement of this exercise could be "Can golf be played in shorts twelve months a year in Longmont?".  I believe the answer is "yes" and I wasn't too far from capturing this in 2014. It would also be interesting to see the actual number of Longmont days per year that are golf'able.  330+?
  • Of course, golf is just one of many outdoor recreational activities that can be done year-round here. 
  • Wow, 2014 went by fast.