Weekends go by too quickly, but weekends away go by even faster. Still, this was a much needed and very welcome change of scenery for me. Just what I needed. I was in Estes Park, Colorado and the weather was perfect and view incredible. We stayed in a cabin that sat on the Fall River, so this is what I had to look at outside the window. I wish I had recorded the sound of the rushing water so I could share it with you. This view and the peacefulness is tucked securely away in my mind and will hopefully help get me through the more stressful moments of life.
I have loads of photos, but I will just share the highlights today and tomorrow and save the (ahem) books I bought for the day after, so I can stretch out my vacation just a little bit more.
The highlight of the trip (one of them anyway) was visiting the Rocky Mountain National Park, which is celebrating its Centennial right now. There is so much to explore there you could easily spend a week and still not see everything. This time around we drove the Trail Ridge Road to Fall River Pass. This is Horseshoe Park, which was covered by a glacier at one time.
And now, looking down, here we are at over 10,000 feet at Rainbow Curve. Don't worry, I wasn't at the edge--there are guardrails or rather a rocky wall to keep viewers safe. The weather was really perfect, though the higher we climbed the cooler it got. The haze you see is due to the wildfires burning on the west coast.
My sister was the daring one to drive and she seemed pretty cool and collected (especially here where the trees formed a sort of gorge hiding the sheer drops), but I think it was actually pretty nerve-wracking.
Almost at the top. This is where the Alpine Visitor Center is located (imagine working there and having to go up every day!), but you can still hike to the very top. I was the only one to take the challenge.
It looks sunny and calm but it was quite cold and windy.
The top of the world! At least that's what it feels like.
The Alpine tundra! My little guide book says "here on the roof of the Rockies, the climate is rigorous." It truly takes your breath away (literally and figuratively!).
My other favorite place (and new find) in the park is Sprague Lake. It was named for a "local pioneer", Abner E. Sprague who owned a resort there in the 1910s-20s. It was a lakeside retreat providing trout fishing for its guests. It is fascinating to think what it must have been like--what did the lodge look like and what were the guests like? I tried to find more information on it, but so far have not had much luck. I can easily imagine a book set there, maybe even a murder mystery. Maybe someday a writer will visit and be inspired to tell a story. It is a place I could happily spend an afternoon--picnic lunch and book in hand just listening to the water lap.
I didn't see any wildlife per se, but this little fellow quite boldly scampered up onto the bench where I was sitting eating an apple and was ready to climb into my bag looking for a treat of his own! I was a little shocked by how close he got, but I'm afraid I didn't share (heeding the signs in the park not to feed the wildlife). I think he is a ground squirrel, and my guide did mention they might come begging . . .