Sunday, October 14, 2018

October 4, 2018 A Day Of Driving with a Few Interesting Stops

Since we have to drop Chrissy off at her conference in Denver. This delicious Creole breakfast at Lucile's in Boulder is our last meal together until next Tuesday. It will be me and my nephew, Kennedy on our own for the next 4 days. 

Our day started out looking good until we drove into the mountains. The fog and rain combined to limit visibility at times to less than 10 feet at the highest elevations. Since I am a flatlander, the drive to Golden Gate State Park took much longer than I thought it would.

By the time we got to the lower elevations of Golden Gate State Park, it was blue skies and sunshine. And all of us were happy to be alive and out of the car.

We only had time to stop at a few places. But the sun and the fall colors were a joy to see.




We walked around the Slough Pond area.



Because I am a history geek, I checked out this old and non functional roadside pump style water fountain. It was made by Baker MFG in Evansville, WI. The company is still in business.




We always stop at the visitor center if the park has one...

...unfortunately this is the only black bear Chrissy has seen so far.


I had to take this picture on the way out of the park.
We dropped Christy off in Denver. Then Kennedy and I drove out to Steamboat Springs.

We saw a roadside herd of bison along the way.




Dark clouds moving in...we gotta go.

We drove through snow on I-70 before Silverthorne. But we were driving under blue skies by the time we reached the Blue River State Wildlife Area.
 



After a quick visit here...

...we drove to Steamboat Springs and drove over Rabbit Ears Pass.

A couple of pictures taken while walking around Steamboat Springs looking for a place to eat.

Colorful pigs...maybe we had too much to drink...maybe not since it wasn't flying. Good Night from Steamboat. 






Thursday, October 11, 2018

October 3, 2018 RMNP Sunrise, Hiking at Wild Basin and Eldorado Canyon State Park


An early morning drive in Rocky Mountain National Park so we could see the sunrise. We drove in through the Beaver Meadows entrance. Somewhere along Rt 36, the sun broke through the clouds. 

As we drove along Beaver Meadows Road, the colors kept changing...

...and I kept shooting...

...and shooting. 

We stopped here to look for moose and elk...

...but only found great early morning sunlight firing up the fall colors across the meadows and mountains.




At a stop sign, this elk was standing next to us.

Then he walked in front of our car and across the road. We took a lot of pictures. Here are just a few of them.




"OK, Jesus Christ how many pictures do you two morons need. Here I am looking right at you, take your picture and move on...I'm looking for some females, so please move along." So we did...
...somewhere near West Horseshoe Park, we saw this rainbow. You can see where the rainbow hits the ground in this photo. 

As we drove along Rt 34, this rainbow was visible for over 30 minutes.

It was one of the most amazing rainbows that I have ever seen.

This is the same rainbow but now we are in the valley getting a new view of the incredible rainbow.

The fun never ends. This young elk walked right past us on the road.

Then we saw these two male elks in the meadow.

As these two began play fighting, an older male elk joined them.

It was pretty cool to watch these guys practicing for the day when they will challenge an older bull elk for his harem.

Apparently that day is not today because this huge bull elk was lurking near his female companions.
This big guy, he is grazing on the right side, had an impressive number of female friends...

...so he let the nearby youngsters know he was ready to take on any challengers.

After no one challenged him, he lead his harem back into the forest.

We stopped at the Stanley Hotel on our way back into town. We were just having fun riding big wheels up and down the hallways yelling "REDRUM". The hotel security officers were not smiling as they removed us from the hotel. 
The impressive lobby at the Stanley Hotel

  We are on our way to Boulder. But we stopped at the Wild Basin area of RMNP for a short hike to Copeland Falls.

Chrissy & Kennedy hiking through the tall pines.

The Lower Copeland Falls

More scary black & white tree roots photos.

The lower falls on St. Vrain Creek

The Upper Copeland Falls


We sat on the rocks along side the falls.

Looking down St. Vrain Creek

Relaxing on the rocks.

Water flowing down a mountain makes the most soothing sound to me.


I could have spent the rest of the day relaxing on this rock listening to the waterfalls.




Chrissy relaxing on the rocks above me.

Having fun with the tall trees and blue sky.

Looking straight up along the trail.



After leaving here...

We took the scenic route along the Peak to Peak highway to Boulder. This was a really good decision.



It was a beautiful day for this incredible drive.

This little state park is found at the end of a dirt road past Eldorado Springs.

 
After a stop at the visitor center, we hiked the Rattlesnake Gulch Trail.

Here's the views from our hike.




If you look closely at the bottom of this photo, you will see some goofy old lady trying to remove the legs from her convertible hiking pants.


I heard a train high above us and Kennedy spotted it.


This trail was originally a dirt road up the mountain to the Crags Hotel.
There is hardly anything left of the hotel, except a few foundation bricks.

It's easy to forget when you are high up in the mountains, but this area is also a high desert plateau. There were yucca plants along this trail.

The view toward the entrance of the canyon.

The view from the Continental Divide Overlook.



We could hear the voices across the canyon. If you look very closely at the center high point of this picture...

...you will see this rock climber who was talking to his friends below him.

There is a small but vibrant artist community in Eldorado Springs.

We drove back to Boulder and searched for a place to eat along the outdoor
 Pearl Street Mall


That's where I saw this sign painted on the sidewalk. It made me laugh.

We had a tasty Eastern European dinner at the Bohemian Biergarten. Then we walked to the Boulder Farmer's Market and bought some apples for the rest of our trip. We headed back to our hotel on the edge of town. We have Cabin 13 and there is a Ouiji Board in the room. I started making slasher movie jokes and Kennedy says he is going to sleep in the car. I told Kennedy we gave him the bed by the door so when the crazed slasher breaks in, we can escape while he kills Kennedy. FYI, we all lived through the night.