So, I had a date with my camera today. We went to Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado for an afternoon of hiking. I forgot the book with the trail descriptions so we had to wing it. I swear I’m losing my mind or getting lazy, or both.
Sean couldn’t come. He had a work shift to learn some search and rescue techniques for his part time winter job. He had to wear an ugly sweater,,,,since we didn’t have one, I lent him my cats drinking wine/martinis flannel pajama top to wear. My one regret in life: I did not take a picture of him actually in the pajama top.
Not bringing the book ended up being a godsend…only because I stopped at the first trailhead parking lot I came across. There were plenty of parking spots available. Of course the parking lot was an ice-skating rink with a glassy coat of ice from the recent snowstorm we had. Not my favorite.
It was the Bierstadt parking lot at the trailhead that takes you to Bierstadt Lake – I had never been there so this was a treat. My goal is to learn as much about this park as I can, while I can. I’d like to hike as many trails the park has to offer in the next 12 months. Lofty goal, but we all need goals to keep us focused right?
Backpacking next summer is on the agenda….I always feel to really enjoy a National Park, you have to get DEEP inside the park. Like hike more than 2 miles in; spend the night in the woods with all the bear and moose, marmots and porcupines.
I’m also looking forward to weekends full of snowshoeing this winter. Maybe next time I’ll stop at the Stanley Hotel for a cocktail. The Stanley Hotel was the inspiration for the movie the Shining, though I don’t believe any of the filming was done there. Somehow, in 18 years, I have not made it there. They have fantastic Halloween parties every year and I hear are some of the best.
The hike was only about 4 miles round trip to Bierstadt Lake and back…and would say it’s on the easy side. Not a whole lot of huffing and puffing. I liked it though, because it was well marked and groomed. It was a gorgeous day, but the winds were a tad bit gusty.. gusty enough to blow an old (er) woman off the trail.
I saw a few people coming down the path while I was going up – 2 single young-women by themselves. That made me happy – I highly respect independent women who will get out and do things on their own.
Once I passed all the mushy, muddy switchbacks to the maze of trails at the top, it was completely peaceful, I did not see another person for the next hour. The snow was packed – no snowshoes were needed – just a good set of kahtoola Microspikes to keep my feet from slipping.
I thought to myself, I have just been given a gift. Since when is this park not a zoo? I decided to take the time to reflect on the tragic events of the past few weeks. It was a good cleansing of thoughts and emotions – a much needed afternoon of solitude away from the blog, facebook and instagram.
“Nature is my church. The wind in the trees and the bugs and the frogs. All those things are comfort to me.“
Once I made it to Lake Bierstadat, I thought FOR SURE I would see a human…and also hoped to see a gigantic moose. Thankfully, I didn’t see a person, but sadly, I didn’t see a Moose either.
All in all, it was a great day. I ended it by walking up and down the main-street through the town of Estes Park – essentially the gateway to RMNP. Back in the day, Estes Park was full of taffy candy stores and “Mexican jewelry”. Today, there are even more taffy candy stores and Mexican Jewelry, but I also found at least 3 shops that were not filled with old, thread bare carpet and tchotchkes.
I think Estes Park may be heading in the right direction to attract a different kind of tourist. The only thing sort of concerning was the lack of restaurants that looked appealing. I’ll have to do some research next time I go. Now that I have a National Park Pass, I’ll be able to go anytime I feel like it. The 90 minute drive makes it an easy day trip from Boulder.
If anyone has any questions about the park, I am happy to try and answer!
This post is part of the 30-day November blogging challenge known as NanoPoblano2019. Our challenge is to write for 10 days, read others’ posts for 10 days, and share our posts for 10 days – could be to other social media accounts like Facebook, Twitter or Instagram or simply sharing with friends with a text link.
Check out this NanoPoblano2019 link and read some talented writers/bloggers posts! Don’t worry, they are way better than me 🙂