21 August 2008

hiking in the Rockies

Thursday, 7.50am

As I write, I am killing some time before our last day of hiking in Rocky
Mountain National Park. We flew out here on Sunday (after a wonderful
wedding on Saturday night) to meet Sarah's folks and her brother. On
Monday, Chris, Ben, and I hiked to Ypsilon Lake, which, according to the
ranger, was 4.5 miles out (and another 4.5 back), with about 2000 feet of
elevation change. I had my altimeter with me, and we deduced that the
ranger was wrong. It was more like 2600 feet, roughly from 8200 to 10,600.
Highlights was eating lunch on a mountain lake and almost sliding down a
steep hill into a bunch of trees.

On Tuesday, the whole clan pretty much stuck together. Ben's fiancee came
in Monday night, and the group of us drove up a dirt road to a lodge on top
of a mountain. From there, we climbed to 12,500 to the top of a mountain
and hiked through an alpine meadow. When we started to get sleeted on, we
hightailed it back to the car.

Yesterday, we started what was initially a short hike. The six of us
started down a 2.8 mile (one way) trail, but when Sarah and Dianne turned
back, the remaining four of us decided to push on further. We ended up
hiking about 1800 feet of vertical, past a beautiful lock, up a mountain,
across a stream, and up a waterfall to a stunning lake nestled deep in the
mountain. I looked across the lake and saw snowpack feeding the lake.

After the long hike down, we came back to the cabin and cooked dinner.
Fresh trout stuffed with herbs and asparagus on the grill, and roasted red
potatos. Mmmm...

It's now almost 8am. Dianne left an hour ago to drive Chris to the airport,
and Ben, Anne, and I are getting ready to go out for a long hike.

Photos to follow!


Thursday, 9.25pm

Ben, Anne, and I had a long hike today. We started at Bear Lake and headed
uphill to Lake Helene. From there, we hit Lake Odessa, Fern Lake, a couple
of waterfalls, and The Pond before ending at the Fern Lake Trailhead. After
getting back to the cabin, Sarah and I headed into town, where we shopped
for a bit. Estes Park is a nice little town, but as it isn't a ski town,
the shopping isn't aimed at ski town budgets. We found some neat stuff, but
the expensive stores were nestled in a lot of crappy tshirt stores. Our
favorite store was a little Irish store that had a whole wing of musical
instruments. I bought a bodrhan beater, and Sarah bought a penny whistle.

After shopping, we returned to the cabin where we grilled bacon-wrapped
shrimp and veggies. Afterwards, smores!

We're all in for the night. Dianne has just finished packing the kitchen,
Sarah's packing her stuff, Anne has written some postcards (which I must
sign), Ben is watching TV, and I'm blogging. Gotta go write some postcards

We leave tomorrow, sorry to see RMNP go. So long!

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