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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK

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July 28, 2015:   We left Ft. Collins, CO early in the morning, heading up Rt. 34 to Estes Park..gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park.  Once inside the park, the road switchbacks from meadows at 7,000 feet to Alpine Tundra at 12,000..breathtaking miles weaving among tremendous peaks up to what seems like the top of the world, then spiraling down the other side of the range.  Majestic.  Impossible to fully comprehend.

   We were ready, we thought.   Our cameras were ready..including our cell phones. 

    But a word of caution: we went through the park..to the peak and back down..in a single day.  It's not for everybody. The altitude can really get you if you're not already acclimated.  Even though we had been in the region several days..at about the five to seven thousand foot level..the altitude at the visitor's center, just under 12,000 feet above sea level, left us a bit light headed and winded.  That eased off as we descended the other side, but we were very tired at the end of the day. Try to give your body some adjustment time..and drink plenty of water before going up there and while you're there.   Just sayin'.

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Meanwhile..


    Keep your eyes open for wildlife.  These Elk were minding their own business when we came along.  I shot the picture out the window of my car.  You don't walk up to wild animals to say hello--they aren't interested in being sociable and can be dangerous if approached.

   Take a look at this guy:

  
   Mr. Moose was strolling through a meadow when we passed by.  Once again, I shot the picture through the car window.  Moose are always dangerous..but isn't he magnificent?   

  


   Mrs. Moose was working a tasty patch just up the road. 

  RMNP is also home to bear and mountain lion, I'm told.  I haven't seen any, but I haven't gotten too far off the beaten path there, either.  My assumption is that they will keep their own company so long as I keep mine.  Sounds fair.

  On previous visits, I followed trails to beautiful lakes.  Other hikers went deeper into the mountains with back packs.  The park, hundreds of square miles of it, is a great place to wander and explore..so long as you mind your manners around the permanent residents.


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   Amazing.


         Delicate.                                       Beautiful, but touchy.


The Rockies.   

Timeless.  

   


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JS.  7/28/2015