Monday, July 9, 2012

Day 12 - Estes Park, CO (Rocky Mountain National Park)

Good morning, Robin.  Good day for a bike ride?

Greg needed to have a working day so the kids and I took off to go see a ranger program on Big Horn Sheep.  Two years ago, in Badlands, we were fortunate enough to see a Desert Big Horn along side the road in the park.  I made the mistake of saying to the kids, “You may never see another one of these . . . They are so hard to find!”  Not 10 minutes later, we saw one sitting alongside the road . . . They have never let me forget it.  The Desert Big Horns are easy to see at Zion, too.  They like to hang out at the eastern end of the tunnel.  
The Rocky Mountain Big Horns proved more elusive.  We didn’t see any but we did get to attend a great presentation by a ranger about them.  We learned a lot!  
After that, we hit another visitor’s center (RMNP is loaded with them!) and then went back to the FMC for lunch.  We pretty much veged the rest of the day -- napping and hanging out by the creek while poor Greg worked.  

The ranger talk on Rocky Mountain Big Horn Sheep was fascinating!
 At 4pm, we took a drive back into the park to see Bear Lake.  There is major construction on the road and you can’t drive in there until after 4pm.  Dealing with the construction was not fun but once we were past it . . . Wow, it was beautiful.  The goal was a small mountain lake with a great trail around it.  Gage ran that trail . . . Twice.  Ruth walked it . . . Once.  Greg and I sat in the sunshine and enjoyed the day. 
The kids walked around Bear Lake - well, Ruth walked.  Gage ran it -- twice.

Ruth walked and thought deep thoughts.

We imagined the conversation when something like "Hi Ruth!"  "Go away!" 
 On the way back down the mountain, Greg spotted a beaver dam so Gage and I got out to take pictures.  Well, as is the nature of the beast in national parks, one car stopping in the side of the road to take pictures must mean there is wildlife.  By the time, Gage and I were done looking at the dam . . . There were about 6 cars stopped, people getting out, and coming to look and see what we were excited about.  Gosh, given that it was me, it could have been a bird or a wildflower that I was stopping for . . . I’m sure many of them were disappointed.  

We headed back to camp to enjoy our last evening in Estes Park!

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