NATIONAL PARK -
July 14, 2009
spent the 4th of July weekend in Rocky
Mountain National Park, which
was great. But the weather did not cooperate much ... a disappointment
I have learnt to live with, thanks to all the mountain visits I have
been making in the recent months. Two out of my three planned days in
the Rockies were a washout due to heavy rains. The third day was
thankfully everything I could have wished for and more. The true
splendor of these mountains was indeed inescapable, as my photos
On day one, the plan was to make it up to the Continental Divide, on
foot, by hiking up to the summits of Flattop and Hallett Peaks. That
had to be canceled because of imminent thunderstorms and reports of
more than a couple of feet of snow on the trail and on the summits.
Fortunately, no time was lost in putting together a just-in-time plan B
of sorts, and we headed to The Loch and Emerald Lake instead.
better part of the next day was spent rafting down Cache La Poudre
in Roosevelt National Forest, somewhere northwest of Fort Collins. This
was a fun ride with mostly class 3 rapids, which we were able to
negotiate well, thanks to our very capable guide from Rapid
last day was the best, in more ways than one. We took it easy and
mostly drove around the park looking for wildlife, which was aplenty.
Driving around also gave us a chance to make it to the Continental
Divide the easy way at Milner Pass. If you are out to spot wildlife
take my advice and you will save lots of time. Head all the way up to
the Alpine Visitor Center for Elk. Don't try too hard to spot them in
lower areas. In summer, they hang out at the very highest elevations of
Trail Ridge Rd. around the Alpine Visitor Center. The same applies for
Marmots as well. The Moose can be spootted only west of the divide. So
drive beyond Milner pass to stretches of road along the Colorado River.
Forget the the Bighorns. I get the impression that they are not all
that easy to spot anyway.
this trip, we stayed at the Peak to Peak Lodge on South St. Vrain
Street in Estes Park. It turned out to be a no fuss, no
frills place ... just what I had wanted and expected. Among
the food places ... Mountaineer Restaurant, Egg and I were great for
breakfast. Estes Park Brewery and Smoking Dave's were good for the
local brews. Nepal's Cafe serves good Chai
but wasn't all that great otherwise.