Friday, August 22, 2014

Rocky Mountain National Park Day 3

I didn't think anything could top the wonderful day Barbara and I had yesterday but today was almost magical. From Adam's Falls up in the mountains (Grand Lake sets kind of in this bowl/valley) at the north end of the lake, a cascade sends rapids down into the town. In fact there is this really cool restaurant cleverly called The Rapids. Barbara is enamored with these waters and walked up to where they roar down the mountain (while I slept in-clear to 7:30). 

After that and breakfast overlooking a misty lake, we hiked the Shadow Mountain Lake trail. Shadow Mountain Lake is the next lake over from Grand Lake and you can actually canoe from one to the other. The trail skirts this lake for the entire length of it, through pine and aspen forests and up and down rocky hillsides. It had rained the night before and we expected mud but the trail was in good shape and we kicked its butt.

After lunch we headed into the park proper and went to Green Mountain Trail. A steep climb toward an area called Big Meadow (I have it on the best of authority this is a relatively large meadow). On the way back, we were coming down the path when not twenty feet away was a mama moose and her baby. Cool as this is to see, it is also crazy dangerous. Moose are nuts as it is. One long time resident has lost two friends to moose in the last 2 years - and these weren't the crazy tourist types (like me), these were just unlucky folks who stumbled upon a moose who took it into its head to trample them to death. The most dangerous of all is a mama with her baby. Last year we were parked up at a place called Beaver Ponds (which is a flat out misnomer since no beaver live there). While we were sitting in our car that evening, a mama moose came into the parking lot. For some reason we had a picked up a flyer at the ranger station called, 'Warning Signs a Moose is About to Attack'. While we ticked off the signs:

- Ears turned forward, check
-Nostrils flared, check 
-Walking slowly toward you, check

well you get the picture, the mama made it plain she was going to run at our car. Shoot we were in a car and figured the moose would get hurt more than we would so I honked. The mama startled and walked away. This year we had no car, just a ridiculous proximity to this pair of animals. We had no choice but to keep going and the mama ignored us and kept chomping on the wet grass. By the way both she and her offspring were magnificent.

After we came down off Green Mountain Trail, we saw a pair of deer, including a fawn all spotted and tiny. In fact, after seeing the moose, even the grown deer looked petite. We also saw a herd elk right along the roadside. They ran back and forth across the road like they had left their keys behind or something. They were so fun to see.

Spent the evening walking through town. Went over to the bandstand in the center of town where a fella was playing. I guess acts play there every Wednesday night. This guy even played one of my favorite songs, 'The Weight' by The Band. If you don't recognize the title it is the song that begins with "Pulled into Nazareth, was feeling about half past dead..."

Good night all.  

1 comment:

  1. Can't wait to get back to Grand Lake and Estes Park!!!