Weekend in Rocky Mountain National Park, CO

What were my initial plans versus what actually happened… If you have been following my blog, you’d know that my in my life unexpected changes lurk around every corner (and mountain roads tend to be quite windy ). Well, I guess the same applies to my weekend plans.

I had a work training to attend in Boulder on Monday so I decided to pair it up with a weekend in Rocky Mountain National Park. And since I was driving that direction anyways, why not stop and see a client in Granby on Friday afternoon. #threebirdswithonestone I left Carbondale, CO at 1pm on Friday and the trip to Granby was supposed to take me ONLY 2.5hrs via the shortest route (read back roads). Little did I know that stretch between Wolcott and Kremmling was dirt road, all 30 miles of it…

Driving on it with 60 mph (because I don’t have the time or patience to do 35 mph) looked like an off road race. My vehicle is neither dirt road proof nor rally build πŸš— First 20 miles gravel was flying in all directions, next 10 miles mud was splashing all the way up to the windows. Car color now is #shadesofbrown and tires need air πŸ˜’πŸš—πŸŒ¬ In addition to driving for an hour on a dirt road, I ran into inclement weather and a vicious Colorado thunderstorm rolled in. Lightening falling left and right, VERY picturesque indeed…but I’d rather watch it from indoors and not drive through it. β›ˆβ˜‡β˜ˆ

 

I had planned to stop by the Farmers Market in Granby on Friday, it looked cool, but since the 2.5 hrs trip took 3 hrs instead I quickly ran into the Big Shooter Coffee in Kremmling for java and restroom. I had dressed up for a client meeting, hair all done, jewelry, fancy sandals…you should have seen the looks the local ranchers in Kremmling gave me. #notcowgirltoday Double take got nothing on me, glad no one suffered a heart attack or a sudden seizure. An alien landing from space would have attracted less attention. πŸ‘½πŸ‘ΎπŸ‘»πŸ‘±

The goal for the weekend was to do a strenuous hike each day (minimum 10 miles above 10,000 ft), explore local coffee shops, and drive thru Rocky Mountain National Park. #becomingcoloradical Saturday was meant to be dedicated to Lake Verna, Spirit Lake and Timber Lake on the West side of the park and Sunday to the Loch, Timberline Falls, Lake of Glass, and Sky Pond on the East side. Unfortunately, it was very stormy and the vicious weather returned every day around 1pm #bewareofafternoonstorms #coloradicalweather

In addition to that, one of the trails that was recommended to me, was destroyed during an avalanche and a following landslide in spring and the reroute was too steep and challenging to pass. Also, due to above normal snowfall this past winter a lot of the trails still had snowfields on them at higher elevation and we didn’t bring micro spikes or ice axes. There go my strenuous, long hikes… Change in plans again, hikes were plentiful but short and we got to see most of Rocky Mountain National Park and the surrounding towns (Grand Lake, Estes Park, Lyons). And we took pictures to prove it πŸ“·

 

#butfirstcoffee – The Lion Head tiny coffee shack in Granby is to DIE FOR! Ask for their single origin espresso over local ice cream πŸ™‚ #thankmelater #eatdessertfirst

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Grand Lake is the largest natural lake in Colorado! It was formed by glaciation some 30,000 years ago and has an estimated depth of 265 feet. Find out more about paddle boarding and kayaking on the lake here – Paddle boarding in Colorado. Grand Lake Yacht Club claims to be world’s highest registered yacht anchorage, in case you wondered πŸ™‚

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First things first, within 5 min of driving in the park got to see a Mama Moose and Baby Moose peacefully grazing in the meadows and shortly thereafter Mr Moose pranced alongside the road. #mylifeiscomplete

West side of the park:

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Never Summer Mountains – I always thought is was JUST a name of a snowboard company πŸ™‚

 

Next stop – the Continental Divide at Milner Pass and Poudre Lake #dontpeeoneachside

Slightly obsessed with elk photo sequence…

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Elf on a shelf or elk on a ridge?!

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A whole herd of them up on the pass.

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These cliffs have formed millions of years ago when a neighboring volcano erupted lava and rocks and deposited (read: spewed) some of the molten stones kilometers away.

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East side of the park:

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View of RMNP from Lily Lake

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The storm that brewed over Longs Peak (14er) that day made me feel deeply sorry for all the hikers/climbers that got caught in it above tree line…we were below tree line and we were plenty miserable – torrential downpour with hail and wind for 30min. No place to hunker down.

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Rope walker / slack lining – first you need to climb those cliffs, then you set the rope. They are secured with harnesses but that doesn’t make balancing or walking on thin air easier…

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Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, CO where the movie “The Shining” with Jack Nicolson was filmed. Claimed to be a very haunted venue, did not take the haunted tour (summer season, crowds, sold out for days).

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