Saturday, October 2, 2010
Day 20: Rocky Mountain NP (#11)
Day 20: Rocky Mountain NP (#11)
I look just like the girls next door... if you happen to live next door to an amusement park.
Pics: Sunrise (not much of one), shots from the hike (please help with bird identification), dogs (WOLVES!) up for adoption, and the largest utility box in 6 states.
Breakfast in the Holiday Inn dining room, we have $20 discount. There cannot be a more depressing thought than trying to spend $20 here. Awful.
We decide to do the Cub Lake hike; it is relatively flat and about 5 miles roundtrip. Here are some comments about the hike and RM NP:
• There are very few loop hikes in this park, not exactly sure why.
• All the distances for hikes are given as one-way, not exactly sure why.
• The park is jammed, this is Saturday and only couple hours from Denver. They have a shuttle service and few people use it, this is as crowded as the Great Smokies NP loop drive.
• THB has emptied the car because we are doing our final sort of hike vs art trip stuff. THB has also emptied his head, since he forgets to bring his hiking socks for the hike.
• THB walks five miles in DB’s shoes, or rather her Tevas. Other choices: flip flops or hiking boots without socks.
• It is in the 60s when we get to the trailhead (and find out how little parking there is in the park). Very nice temp, the best since Great Basin. Great Basin? When was that, 2004?
• It doesn’t take long to realize that this is a hike for all ages: we see kids from 3 on walking the trail, and lots of infants in backpacks. And older people, some older than us. The kids are a shock; we have basically been free of anyone between 5 and 18 since we hit Great Basin, 4 years ago.
• Well, it may be “flat,” however if you start at 8,200 ft and climb to 8,800 feet, somehow there is a new norm for flat. Still, we do well on the way in and fly out. Except for getting tangled up in groups of 7 or 8 with kids ranging from 5 to 10. Then we sort of meld in with the scenery.
• While picnicking on leftover BBQ, we are visited by some birds (see pics). THB is sending out a request: if you know what these birds are, please let me know, THANKS!
• The fall aspen foliage is very pretty, and part of the hike is through a grove, a special treat.
• Foreigners are not allowed in CO, as we see nor hear hardly a hint of an accent (other than Georgian Southern). Guess RMNP is not on the “must see” list.
• Finally, back to the car. As we attempt to leave the park, several times there is a huge traffic jam: people are pulling over to get close to and photograph clumps of elk, basically an antlered male and females and calves. Clumps? What does THB know about the name of elk families?
Finally, around 2:30 or so we get back to hotel, THB switches to sneakers (ahhhhh), and we walk into Estes Park for the Elk Festival. See the pics, those are NOT dogs up for adoption! One note: the stats say that people held off having babies in the last few years because of the great recession. Let us just say that Colorado is doing its best to reverse this trend. THB (with DB’s counting help) would say that the Chinese one child policy does not apply here in UT or CO: more like the three child policy, and four if you don’t mind having them around.
A softee and a Snapple to snack us up, then over to Safeway for dinner. THB knows, this is a bit early for dinner! We’ve decided that we’ll dine en suite, on all the stuff that is left in the cooler: wine, cheese, apples; now supplemented by crackers and trail mix. Total: $3.