Wednesday, October 07, 2009
Since I think the pictures are more interesting that my narrative, I'll sum up briefly and then get to the goods. After my science stuff ended on Tuesday, Hannah and I drove up to Estes Park outside Rocky Mountain National Park. After we arrived, we went for a short walk around town. On Wednesday, we went into the park and did a shorter day hike to the top of Deer Peak. At this point, it had started snowing in the mountains, so we ended up wearing every piece of clothing we had brought. We then drove around the park, although most of Trail Ridge Road was closed due to snow and ice.
Wednesday night we went to a ranger-led talk about elk, who were in their rutting season.
On Thursday, we wore some additional clothing that we hadn't originally brought on the trip and ventured out into the snow to the top of Flat Top Mountain. While tough with a few inches of snow to push through at the top, it was a good pick since it doesn't actually have an actual peak to summit (being a "flat top" and all). That afternoon we drove up to Ft. Collins.
We saw quite a lot of elk on our trip. These guys (and gals) had moved down from the mountains to the Estes Park golf course.
I suppose there was some science involved in the walking as well. Nature, etc.
On the way up Deer Peak Trail. You'll notice the puffy clothing.
Top of Deer Peak... looking at snow.
On the way up Flat Top. Beautiful overlooks.
The snow starting to get deep. You'll notice I made Hannah break trail. I'm polite that way.
Me at the top. Had Gordo not given us the EC beanies, I'm not sure what we would have done (...actually, we probably would have just bought hats. It was cold and we're not that dumb).
We made the mistake of stopping to eat at the top, which is our usual practice when we go for hikes. Of course, we rarely hike when windy and snowy, so even though we talked about not stopping at the top, we did anyway... and proceeded to get really cold. Once we realized what was going on, we booked it down the mountain to get warm. That meant we didn't pause for many photos even when the clouds started to clear up a little.
I'll wrap this up with the stoic rodent we came across on the way up. We found a copy of Watership Down up the trail a little. I think he had just read it and was emboldened.