Friday, June 18, 2010

Back from Colorado

We left last Saturday for our trip to Colorado. We were more than ready to escape the Texas heat and we were not disappointed. In fact, we were welcomed by snowfall as we drove over the mountain towards Winter Park.

We got settled into the Rocky Mountain Inn and Hostel and awoke the next morning to a very cold rain and gray skies. Undaunted, we headed up to the western side of Rocky Mountain National Park. The Trail Ridge Road, which follows a stunning path along the ridge of the Continental Divide to the eastern side of the park, was closed due to icy conditions. So we explored the western side. We ate a picnic lunch and then walked to the nearby historic cabin, built by a would-be farmer in 1903.

We did some hiking.

This was Tevis' first time to see mountains and he thought they were pretty cool!

We were on the lookout for wildlife and were thrilled to see moose grazing in a thicket near the Colorado River.

The next day we drove the LOOOOOONG way around to the east side of the park, not realizing that the Trail Ridge Road had been opened at noon. But there was some spectacular scenery on the long detour route.

We stopped in Estes Park for a late lunch. I was surprised that it was such a tourist trap...I much prefer sleepy little Winter Park!

And then we began the drive along the Trail Ridge Road. Since I don't like heights, I missed a lot of the spectacular views, since my heart leapt up in my throat when I looked off in the direction of the precipice. We stopped at several of the scenic turnouts.

But sometimes a still photo can't do justice to a spectacular vista.

The last day of our stay dawned with brilliant sunshine...perfect weather for the guys' rafting trip, organized by the National Sports Center for the Disabled. They took off for a great adventure, while I returned to the national park. (Sure wish I had photos of the rafting trip, but of course everyone was too busy paddling to worry about a camera.) I did some more hiking and took some photos in the sunshine. First, Grand Lake was on the way.

I hiked along the beginning of the Colorado River.

The elk seemed to be enjoying the sunshine as well.

And then it was time to return to Texas and 95 degree weather...sigh.