Play Day with DH

The DH and I have agreed to take one day away from working on the house, going to meetings, working on things from the “To Do” list, to get away together and play.  This week it was making our fall trip to Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park.  It was chilly, but sunny.  And, I was able to take advantage of getting older.  At age 62, you can purchase a lifetime park pass for $10.  This will get me and who ever is in my car into any national park for free.  What a deal!!

Before we left the house, there was a heavy frost.  We have one rose bush still blooming.  I loved the frost on the rosebud.

Frosty morning in November
Frosty morning in November

We then drove up the Big Thompson Canyon on the way to Estes Park.  The road is in good shape after last years floods.  However, much of the road has been rebuilt and there is still construction on houses that were destroyed or damaged.  Imagining that much water in the canyon is really daunting.

Heading through Estes Park, started looking for elk.  Thinking it too late for the rutting season, we were not surprised to see none.

Once we were in the RMNP, we drove our favorite drive up into the mountains – Trail Ridge Road.  We found it closed (not surprising) at Many Parks Curve.  The snow was along the side of the road.  We been up on top as they were closing the road for the season, and will not push it that far again.  It was an awful drive down; through a blizzard on a narrow, twisting road covered with ice.  Not fun.

Many Parks Curve on the road to Trail Ridge Road, RMNP.
Many Parks Curve on the road to Trail Ridge Road, RMNP.
Trail Ridge Road closed for the winter at Many Parks Curve.
Trail Ridge Road closed for the winter at Many Parks Curve.

But, from the vantage point at Many Parks Curve, the views of the mountains are awesome.

One of my favorite views in RMNP
One of my favorite views in RMNP

In RMNP, meadows are considered parks using an older meaning of the word.  You can see several large meadows from the observation point on the curve.  We came down the mountain and drove through the meadows on the way to Bear Lake.

Moraine Park
Moraine Park

There are trails through the some of the meadows.  They will wait for a future trip.

Bear Lake, RMNP, about 9,200 feet altitude
Bear Lake, RMNP, about 9,200 feet altitude

Bear Lake was beautiful as always.  The trail around the lake was pretty icy.  We only walked the 256 feet to the overlook point.  The wind was blowing fairly hard, so we didn’t stay long.  We did see a pair of Gray Jays – a bird I had never seen before.  They are a beautiful soft gray with white and black.

We then returned to Estes Park and had a wonderful lunch at the Nepal’s Restaurant.  Yummy, authentic food.

Then, as we were leaving town, we found the elk.  Where do the elk winter?

Elk on the Golf Course
Elk on the Golf Course

Great way to end the day.  I also came away with lots of quilt ideas.

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