Saturday, July 1, 2017

Rocky Mountain National Park

For the past few weeks I have been exceptionally busy, plus wifi has been very spotty or just non-existent, so I am woefully behind again with the blog.  But readers, I have been having a wonderful time so here comes my last month's wanderings....

Sister, Mary and I decided to spend a few days camping in Rocky Mt. Natl. Park.  The tiny town of Estes Park is at the entrance to the park.

It must be cold here in the winter because many of the trees are wearing hand knit sweaters.

Somebody had a lot of time on their hands....

...and an abundance of yarn remnants.

As you can tell by the tree coverings, this is a Crafty little town and we arrived just in time for a craft fair.  Mary and Daisy are bonding.

Parking behind the library we spied something up on a rock face that borders the area.  If you look very closely you will see three baby horned owls.  They were so close to the color of the rocks we could barely make them out. They still had baby feathers but the horns were starting to develop.

As we headed toward the park we passed the Stanley Hotel; built in 1909 by F.O. Stanley of Stanley Steamer fame. Stephen King stayed here and because the hotel is haunted, it inspired him to write, "The Shining."

Deer were everywhere...


...and Daisy was getting very confused.  Big dogs? 

There was still a lot of snow on the mountain tops.

Moraine Park
 Centuries ago Arapaho Indians carved ceremonial pipes here from pipestone quarried from Big Thompson Canyon.
Abner Sprague arrived in 1875 to prospect for gold.  He soon found his true fortune was operating the guest ranch he built a mile up the valley.  Within five years the park held several lodges, stores, summer cabins and a post office.

The 600 acre ranch changed hands several times, then, in 1962 the National Park Service bought the property, removed the structures (including a golf course) and allowed the natural vegetation to return.  
The elk moved back in droves.

While we were camping here, Tucson reached 100 degrees.  (Just one more reason to be traveling).  The nights were cold enough for blankets and the air was crisp and fresh.

Daisy wasn't all that excited about snow but I was loving it.

Here stand the great mountains of the Continental Divide that form the core of Rocky Mountain National Park.  

 Towering above them all is Longs Peak at 14,259 ft.  It is not only the tallest mountain in the park, but the northernmost 14,000 ft peak in the Rocky Mountains.

For the umpteenth time I yearned for a fishing pole.  

Old, bent and gnarly.  (of course I mean the tree)

We learned there was a pay-shower in Estes Park so we opted to stop for a really long hot scrubbing.   It was after she showered that Mary discovered she had used the men's room by mistake.  Does Colorado have a law about checking one's sex on one's birth certificate before entering a bathroom?


  1. My mother, also named Mary Frances, was known for using the men's room "by mistake."