Days 14 & 15: Estes Park, Colorado

 

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We finally made it to our first destination, Estes Park, Colorado.  We are excited to be able to spend time with Scott’s dad and to help out around the house.

We found a county campground, Hermit Park, just around the corner from Mama and Papa’s house.  There were no hookups, so this is our first multiple day stay using the propane tank for the stove, hot water, and fridge.  The battery supplies electric for the lights and water pump.  This site does provide fresh water and a dump station, so we will get a feel for our water management.  It is a very spacious campground, and the sites are pretty private with hiking and mountain biking trails right from our campsite in Bobcat.

After we set up camp, we took a bike ride on a narrow and winding intermediate trail.  Scott was in his glory and I quickly began to lose my confidence.  I need some more practice on wider and less winding trails.

The following day, we headed to Rocky Mountain National Park and hiked Glacier Gorge.  It was ten miles out and back.  Beginning elevation was 9,240′ and we climbed 1,500′, to see two lakes (Mills and Black), several beautiful waterfalls, and snow covered trails.  It is always fun to walk through snow in your summer clothes in 70 degree weather.

In the picture to the left, look to the top left of the rock for a peak at the second elk we came upon.  The first one we spotted was on the trail, and I couldn’t get my camera out fast enough.  They were both very passive…just looking at us the same way that we looked at them.  Of course, we let the lady move off the trail first.  Then we continued on.

Most hikers stop at the first waterfall, Alberta Falls (left), which is a little over a half mile from the start of the trail.  Only the mighty continue on to higher elevations that features old, but real, snow and a chance to walk past Mills Lake (aka Gnatville).  How can so many annoying bugs be in one place at one time?

We finally made it to Black Lake and stopped for a light lunch before heading back down another five miles.

Glacier Gorge Black Lake

This is my favorite part of hiking where there are waterfalls…the beautiful sound of rushing water.  (Video coming…technical difficulties)

 

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