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Old 1 Nov 16, 08:54 PM  
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CrispyA
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Join Date: Oct 11
Rocking in the Rockies: Day 20 Rocky Mountain High!

Sunday 14 August - Climbing the Rocky Mountains

After a good night's sleep, we made an early start as we wanted to go hiking and we knew the park would be really busy on a Sunday. We had some cinnamon roll and bananas in the room and some coffee from the front desk that was very tasty.

Then we got in the car and headed for the park. Our route took us to the Beaver Meadows entrance which was much quieter than where we had come out the previous day. We were at the trailhead by 8.20 am and there were already plenty of cars there. Good thing we were early or we wouldn't have been able to park.

It was a lovely walk up Deer Mountain and came out as the favourite hike for all of us. The trail was interesting, with lots of switchbacks and we were able to go at a good pace without getting out of breath now we were more used to the altitude. The incline is quite gradual and there was plenty of shade so we all really enjoyed the walk. The weather was just right as well - warm but not too hot.

We did pause to be fabulous on the way up . . .



We met a few people on the trail and had a quick chat with a family from Texas. Up at the top, we met a group of ladies who had been working at the YMCA of the Rockies for the summer and were enjoying a last walk before they finished. What a fantastic place to spend your summer!

There were wonderful views from the top






And our new friends took this photo for us. (Evan is actually smiling!)



We spent a while up there, having snacks and drinks and enjoying the view.







If you look at the mountain, you can make out a "Y" shape in the rock - the miners who came here called it Upsilon and the founder of the YMCA took it as a sign that they should build a camp here.



There were some cute little squirrels running around as well.





Eventually we decided to head back down. We were all really glad to have got here early enough to do the walk and although it was tiring by the end, it was a really good way to spend a couple of hours.

We formed a boy band on the way down. Not sure whether to go "street" or "cheeky" for our image . . .






On the descent, a bird of prey flew really close by us which was great. Not sure what it was, but it was pretty cool anyway.

Continued . . .

Edited at 08:47 PM.
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Old 1 Nov 16, 09:11 PM  
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CrispyA
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Join Date: Oct 11
After the walk, we were all pretty hungry, so were looking out for a picnic spot to stop at. We saw one but someone beat us to it - curses!

We stopped for a comfort break at a ranger station and filled up our water, planning to head to Bear Lake and stop off on the way. Unfortunately, everyone else was heading for Bear Lake and the road was closed due to congestion. We decided to head down a nearby road and soon found a rock we could have our picnic on.

We had a good view of the traffic control as we got back in the car and spotted that cars were now heading to Bear Lake - so, quick as a flash, we got on the road, taking advantage of the break in the traffic control. It's a good thing we did, as the road was closed again when we came out. RMNP is one of the most visited National Parks, partly because it is so lovely and partly because it is so close to major cities like Denver and Boulder, so you really do need to get out and about early.


Arriving at Bear Lake, we were lucky and got a parking spot straight away. It is popular as it is beautiful, and also an easy flat walk, so lots of people do it.

We strolled around the lake, taking our time and enjoying it all. We spotted this butterfly and took about a gazillion (well, 4) pictures before we caught it with its wings open!



The boy band reformed.



While the boys became catalogue models



It really is a lovely spot and well worth the drive out there.



After Bear Lake, we headed out of the park, hitting the traffic in Estes Park again while Paul and me talked about becoming park rangers after we retire! Back at the hotel, we all went for a swim in the pool and there was high drama as Hannah lost one of her stud earrings in the water. I was convinced it was gone forever, but Paul requested the goggles and dived down in search of it. Amazingly, he found it and then found the tiny butterfly back on his next dive and we were all mightily impressed. Superdad to the rescue!

For tea we headed to Smokin Dave's BBQ which was great. There was a 40 minute wait for a table (we told Paul it would be 30 minutes . . .) but that was fine and we had gone early as we were expecting this.



We were amused by "Jason" who kept asking the wait staff when his table would be ready and getting stroppy. When they called his name, he was nowhere to be seen, so we got quite excited and thought we were next. But then Jason came in about 5 minutes later, huffing and puffing that they had missed him. So he got his table and we carried on waiting.

We were called about 2 minutes later and shown to a lovely big booth, while Jason and family were crammed onto a tiny table. That's karma!

We shared a platter with some extra sides for the veggie and had a great meal. We finished up and paid, while Jason and family were still waiting for their food as they had ordered something strange that takes ages to cook. Why go to a Barbecue restaurant and not order barbecue? Jason clearly has a lot to learn!

We stopped off in Estes Park for some souvenirs, and caught the end of a show by Cowboy Brad, who does a John Denver tribute act. He finished with Rocky Mountain High, which me and Hannah sang along to and we wished we'd seen a bit more of his act.



Back at the hotel we watched Usain Bolt win 100 metres gold before falling asleep. A great day.

Edited at 10:36 PM.
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Old 2 Nov 16, 04:28 PM  
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Melbatb
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You did well to be up and out so early this late in a holiday with two teenagers

Another great day - fab wildlife photos!

The Jasontale is funny!
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2016 Quebec - Kuala Lumpar - New York City 2017 Dubai - Eurocamps France - Ontario and Quebec - So-Cal 2018 Montreal - Bangkok - New England 2019 Argentina - Quebec City - Hong Kong
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Old 2 Nov 16, 09:16 PM  
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CrispyA
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Originally Posted by Melbatb View Post
You did well to be up and out so early this late in a holiday with two teenagers

Another great day - fab wildlife photos!

The Jasontale is funny!
Everyone can learn a lesson from Jason! Still can't believe we got the kids to be up so early on a regular basis - no chance at home!
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Old 6 Nov 16, 04:33 PM  
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katiebaz
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Another great day and we loved Bear Lake too, loved your Jason take and let's hope he has learned from it 😀 Well done on superdad too
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Old 6 Nov 16, 06:12 PM  
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CrispyA
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Originally Posted by katiebaz View Post
Another great day and we loved Bear Lake too, loved your Jason take and let's hope he has learned from it 😀 Well done on superdad too
Bear Lake was gorgeous - glad we got a chance to go. Lets hope Jason has learned!
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Old 1 Apr 20, 11:01 AM  
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toffeeman0
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That was a stroke of luck Usain Bolt being in the hotel ! haha
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Old 9 Apr 20, 04:16 PM  
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CrispyA
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Join Date: Oct 11
Originally Posted by toffeeman0 View Post
That was a stroke of luck Usain Bolt being in the hotel ! haha
I know! Who’d have thought it? .
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