Friday, October 23, 2009

Rocky Mountain National Park

Views through the windshield:

Our "bonus" day, because of early delivery, is sunny & warm as we head north and west to Estes Park. A stop at the Visitor center where our questions are answered concerning what is open in the park and a highlighted map of the area is received.

  • A small herd of elk were grazing on the lawns in an area of the city of Estes Park.
  • Miles of motels, cabins & lodges along the Fall River.
  • Again our National Park Pass allowed us in for free. (Thank-you, VR's)
  • Snow-capped peaks ahead of us as we wind & climb our way into the mountains.
  • A stop to view Horseshoe Park--a grassy area that once had an Inn for overnight guests before area motels were built outside the Park.
  • Winter coats needed today because of the gusty winds blowing down the valley!
  • The Sheep Lakes grassy area with Fall River flowing through is an area for the wildlife to graze. Nothing spotted that day!
  • We noticed fenced in areas, wondering what was contained inside. Discovered that the fences are to keep the elk out and away from shrubs and small trees. They tend to break them off.
  • Climbing to Hidden Valley, driving on some snow-covered roads, pine trees, leaves on aspens have dropped, walked a short distance on trail beside a gurgling stream flowing over rocks. When the trail became snow-covered, we knew we had to turn back. It needed boots that we did not have with us!
  • A large herd of elk grazing & loafing among the pine trees along the road.
  • Three antelope grazing beside the road.
  • Each mile brings another vista of mountain, our personal scenery movie!
  • Clouds of snow were coming over the peaks. We felt the snow in the air.

  • Sprague Lake offers a nice walking path all the way around. Fantastic view of Hallett Peak located on the Continental Divide. The Lake offers trout fishing. The trout have black backs, red bellies and a white line on the bottom of their fins. The ones we saw were very small. Catch & Release trout fishing is available on the Fall River and the Big Thompson River in the Park. Ate our last sandwich in the picnic area watching a black & white magpie and a beautiful blue bird flit through the branches of the pine trees.
  • Highway #34 along the Big Thompson River is full of sharp curves through a rocky mountain canyon. The Aspens yellow leaves were brilliant against the rocks. Three big-horn sheep were grazing along the road stopping traffic!
Coming out of the mountains and into an Agriculture and Ranching area. Spent the night in Stirling, CO before continuing east.

A WOW day as we viewed God's creativity! We could definitely tell that we were "flat landers!"

Prairie Schooners

No comments: