This page has moved to a new address.

Colorado Discoveries: Part 4 -- Rocky Mountain National Park

You're About to be Redirected to the New Home of Ground Control to Major Mom: Colorado Discoveries: Part 4 -- Rocky Mountain National Park

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Colorado Discoveries: Part 4 -- Rocky Mountain National Park

The reason we went up to Estes Park was to visit Rocky Mountain National Park. We spent 2 days at the park enjoying hikes and scenic drives.

We took a somewhat advanced trail near the Bear Lake trailhead on the first day, I think some of the rangers were surprised that we were considering taking our young boys, but they did really well. Yep, we were going way up there!

From 2010 08 09 Rocky Mtn Natl Park Day 1
From 2010 08 09 Rocky Mtn Natl Park Day 1

The boys chatted with the ranger about trail safety and etiquette:
From 2010 08 09 Rocky Mtn Natl Park Day 1

Timmy was being rather slow in the parking lot and a feeling of dread had come over me that it would be a LONG hike. But we designated him "leader" and suddenly he took off like a rocket!
From 2010 08 09 Rocky Mtn Natl Park Day 1

There were so many pretty flowers on the trail, I think it's worth another blog post by itself:
From 2010 08 09 Rocky Mtn Natl Park Day 1

The trail we were taking consisted of traveling around 3 lakes, each about 0.6 miles from the previous one (the first one was 0.6 miles from the trailhead). So it was a 1.8 mile trail in each direction. Here's the first of the lakes, Nymph Lake:
From 2010 08 09 Rocky Mtn Natl Park Day 1

Assorted shots along the trail:
From 2010 08 09 Rocky Mtn Natl Park Day 1
From 2010 08 09 Rocky Mtn Natl Park Day 1

Pretty waterfall through some brush.
From 2010 08 09 Rocky Mtn Natl Park Day 1

We had to step off the marked trail to see this, we could hear it and wanted to see where it was coming from:
From 2010 08 09 Rocky Mtn Natl Park Day 1

From 2010 08 09 Rocky Mtn Natl Park Day 1
From 2010 08 09 Rocky Mtn Natl Park Day 1
From 2010 08 09 Rocky Mtn Natl Park Day 1

Dream Lake, the 2nd of the 3 lakes:
From 2010 08 09 Rocky Mtn Natl Park Day 1

Timmy really enjoys waterfalls:
From 2010 08 09 Rocky Mtn Natl Park Day 1

At the 3rd lake, Emerald Lake, the trail ended, and there was an area of boulders where folks were hanging out. We staked out a good spot, but it took some fancy maneuvering around some boulders to get there:
From 2010 08 09 Rocky Mtn Natl Park Day 1
From 2010 08 09 Rocky Mtn Natl Park Day 1
From 2010 08 09 Rocky Mtn Natl Park Day 1
From 2010 08 09 Rocky Mtn Natl Park Day 1

The ground squirrels and birds here were FEARLESS! They'd come right up for the crumbs!
From 2010 08 09 Rocky Mtn Natl Park Day 1
From 2010 08 09 Rocky Mtn Natl Park Day 1

From 2010 08 09 Rocky Mtn Natl Park Day 1

Time to head back down to the trailhead!
From 2010 08 09 Rocky Mtn Natl Park Day 1

After lunch we drove over to the Continental Divide. At the scenic overlooks, these birds were so fearless!
From 2010 08 09 Rocky Mtn Natl Park Day 1

You can see Jacob photographing the bird behind Dave, with my old iPhone (the phone is disabled).
From 2010 08 09 Rocky Mtn Natl Park Day 1
From 2010 08 09 Rocky Mtn Natl Park Day 1

They mark when you go above the treeline (about 11,500') and the plants start getting squat. We were there in August, which was among the 8 weeks per year there it isn't a wintry tundra.
From 2010 08 09 Rocky Mtn Natl Park Day 1

From 2010 08 09 Rocky Mtn Natl Park Day 1

Very little can grow up this high, we're near 12,000':
From 2010 08 09 Rocky Mtn Natl Park Day 1

For my weather weenie friends, this is a mercury barometer showing that the station pressure is a mere 19.65".
From 2010 08 09 Rocky Mtn Natl Park Day 1

From 2010 08 09 Rocky Mtn Natl Park Day 1

And here we are! The Continental Divide! The sign is self-explanatory:
From 2010 08 09 Rocky Mtn Natl Park Day 1

Love the sky reflection!
From 2010 08 09 Rocky Mtn Natl Park Day 1

A short tundra hike. Didn't really look like what I picture was "tundra", but this was the warmest time of the year, so perhaps I should come back in a couple months? The lichen was particularly intriguing to me, though.
From 2010 08 09 Rocky Mtn Natl Park Day 1
From 2010 08 09 Rocky Mtn Natl Park Day 1

The following day, the boys asked "Can we take a flatter hike?" so we went to an area of Rocky Mountain park called "Moraine Park" and found an easy trail that meandered between a moraine area and a treeline. At the Moraine Park visitor's center, the boys made plaster castings of animal pawprints:
From 2010 08 11 Colorado Trip Last 2 days
From 2010 08 11 Colorado Trip Last 2 days

Then we hiked. This was approximately 3 miles, but we lost the trail towards the end and somehow had to make our way back to a bus stop to make our way back to the truck. Needless to say, at lower elevations and in sunnier spots, the boys got pretty hot and weren't quite as happy on this hike.
From 2010 08 11 Colorado Trip Last 2 days
From 2010 08 11 Colorado Trip Last 2 days

We decided to spend the afternoon back at the Y and see what activities there were. Dave and Jacob enjoyed the pool while Timmy and I hit the arts and crafts center. Timmy and I tied dyed some clothing and did some mosaic art:
From 2010 08 11 Colorado Trip Last 2 days
From 2010 08 11 Colorado Trip Last 2 days

Timmy's finished shirt:
From 2010 08 11 Colorado Trip Last 2 days

And my finished skirt:
From 2010 08 11 Colorado Trip Last 2 days

On the drive home we went through Big Thompson Canyon, where the winding roads really got to Jacob. The poor baby got sick while in the truck but was such a champ, NOTHING got on his clothes or the truck upholstery! Just before we drove off the Y property, we saw a pair of elk grazing:
From 2010 08 11 Colorado Trip Last 2 days
From 2010 08 11 Colorado Trip Last 2 days
From 2010 08 11 Colorado Trip Last 2 days
From 2010 08 11 Colorado Trip Last 2 days

And then suddenly, we were out of the rockiness and back into the plains!
From 2010 08 11 Colorado Trip Last 2 days
From 2010 08 11 Colorado Trip Last 2 days

And 8 hours later:
From 2010 08 11 Colorado Trip Last 2 days

Labels: , ,

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home