Above: Royal Arch in Boulder, Colo. The Escape Artists have been dwelling on travel negatives lately (and it can’t be denied there are a lot of them these days). But the title of the blog implies that against long odds we can still find ways to get where we want to go. A case in point was this weekend’s trip to Boulder, Colo. My spouse and I are moving there in August for a nine-month sabbatical (me at CU in environmental journalism, she at some yogic institution of higher learning yet to be determined) and we wanted to scout the territory. The tickets to Denver on Frontier, procured four weeks ago, cost $250 each. The hotel, a Residence Inn, was about $145 a night. (All the cheaper digs were booked. As it turned out, this was the weekend of the Boulder Creek Festival and the Bolder Boulder 10K, in which 53,000 runners from across the globe descend on the town). The rental car for three days, a steal at $84 bucks (a rate snared through a new site: rentalcarmagic.com, which compares quotes and finds coupons. it’s offering trials fee at the moment). We fell in love with the place. The town is very walkable and bikeable, with designated paths crisscrossing the town, and lots of traffic calming measures (landscaping, raised crosswalks, turnabouts). To save money on food we shopped at the farmer’s market, which was incredible. Organic greens, tomatoes, fresh bread, homemade granola, cheese. There seems to be a Whole Foods or Wild Oats every three or four blocks, and we supplemented our cache there. And we went on some incredible hikes. The City of Boulder, with about 100,000 people, has 40,000 acres of open space, mostly along the Flatirons — the dramatic peaks that rise just west of town. The town ends abruptly at the parklands, and within minutes you can be in the wilderness (with a lot of other people, granted.)Our favorite hike was a 1,100 foot climb to Royal Arch, with a spectacular overview of what will be our new home. It was a four-day trip. The airfare was reasonable. Frontier’s service was polite, helpful and the planes were on time. The town was drunken with spring (and I get the feeling that Boulderites may always feel a little giddy, just being where they are). So, all in all, a successful escape. Anyone else have good news to share? I’m also welcoming any and all advice on food, hikes or other ins and outs of life in Boulder. Below: The view of Boulder from Royal Arch.