Estes Park, CO
On Friday we drove to the Denver Airport to pick up our daughter, Jessica. She teaches fifth grade back in York, PA and Wednesday was the last day of school for the year. Someone decided she deserved a trip to Colorado as a reward, so here she is, eighty pounds lighter than she was a couple of years ago!
Saturday we decided to drive through the national park and take a couple short hikes. This would give Jessica a chance to adjust a bit from going from an elevation of under a thousand feet back home to elevations of over twelve thousand feet in the park.
After stopping at a couple overlooks to check out the views, we pulled into the parking area for the Tundra Communities Trail.
This is a short trail, only a half mile long, but it is at a high altitude on the Alpine Tundra, where the wind blows very strong all the time and the temperature dropped into the high thirties.
We bundled up and headed up the snow covered trail.
About half way up the trail there are some interesting rock formations (did you think we forgot about rock pictures?). Can you tell that we are shivering in the picture below? It was very cold up there and the wind was very strong!
At the end of the trail, we came upon a group of skiers preparing to go down the snow bank. They strapped on their cross country skis and headed down the hill and out of sight. We don’t think there is a road on the other side of the hill, so who knows where they went.
We drove down the other side of the mountain until we came to a parking area where the Continental Divide crosses the road.
As we returned back toward Estes Park, we passed numerous groups of Elk. Bucks, with their large antlers, are always fun to see as they are very stately animals.
After a day for altitude acclimation for Jessica, tomorrow we head out for a bit more hiking. More on that later . . .