Rocky Mountain National Park
ContentsRearview Mirror - Summary of the past week
Headlights - Our schedule as to where we will be heading
Note: click on any photo for a larger image/slideshow)
Sprague Lake Hike
Early up and out as Jo and I left camp at sunrise and drove to the Sprague Lake trailhead inside RMNP (Rocky Mountain National Park). Beautiful morning as we first hiked a couple miles past the lake before taking the half-mile trek around the water. The air was fresh with the smell of high-country pines as we hiked by ourselves in the brisk 8,000-feet air. Along the way we saw deer and a Momma turkey with her young.
Trail Ridge Road Day Trip
Before 10:00 a.m., all of us (three adults and three Pups) were back in RMNP looking for critters and taking in the vistas. Soon we were on Trail Ridge Road, the scenic byway that goes up and up, and then over and around the park--a gorgeous drive with high mountain views of the snow-capped Rockies, mountain lakes, and deep green valleys. It was jacket weather at the top as we stopped and I took some photos of a herd of elk feasting on the newly sprouted wildflowers.
I had Jerry and Mitzy on the Lily Mountain Trail by 5:30 a.m. We watched the pre-dawn skies as we hiked the two miles up the steep trail toward the peak of Lily Mountain. The trail information called it “strenuous,” and they were quite accurate as it gained over 1,000 feet in elevation. It was a wonderful hike, but I was happiest when it was over.
Old Trail Ridge Road
Later in the morning we left the Pups to rest in BERT and headed back into RMNP. This time we took the Old Trail Ridge Road, a nine-mile, one-lane, bumpy, winding dirt road that weaved its way up to the Alpine Visitor Center--a nice and slow scenic trip that gave another perspective to RMNP. Right before the end of the trip we were rewarded with a group of a half-dozen mature male elk grazing right by the road. Naturally, I got out of the car and took a few pics.
Lake Gem Trail
Early morning we drove to the 1.7-mile Lake Gem Trail. Very nice hike through the forest surrounded by boulders with the Rocky Mountains in the distance. We were rewarded by viewing Gem Lake at the end of our uphill journey.
After a pleasant lunch outside at the Stanley, the world-famous historical site and hotel, we took the Ghost and History Tour. As you have guessed, not only was the Stanley the basis of the movie The Shining, it is haunted. If you are staying in the area (and not RVing), this is the choice for lodging.
Wednesday: Independence Day
Change of Plans
Janny’s Mom took a turn for the worse, so we decided to head to Michigan early. Hence, we drove to downtown Denver to drop Jo off and then continued on to Parker to drop off Charlie, the pug we had been babysitting. Then we returned back to Estes Park.
We were on the road by 6:00 a.m. taking 34 East along the Big Thompson River. We saw a couple bighorn sheep ewes along the way.
Across the Plains
After 80 miles or so, we picked up I-76 east then I-80 east as we rumbled through eastern Colorado, across Nebraska, and into Iowa.
Here are some old truck shots from this week.
July 13-14: McHenry, IL
July 15: Homer Glen, IL
July 16-17: Travel
July 18-?: Traverse City, MI
See you next week.