Rocky Mountain High, Part Two

As promised, here is the rest of our fantastic trip to Colorado. Would that I could do justice to the beauty around us with these pictures. It truly is one of the most magnificent places I’ve ever seen. 
Jill attempting to capture every beautiful moment
On Thursday, we headed north to Estes Park. The drive itself was gorgeous, through winding mountain roads, and the destination was just superb. Our campground was located across the street from Lake Estes and there is a lovely bike/jogging path that goes all the way around it. We jumped on the opportunity to enjoy the scenery and the setting sun on that trail. What a great way to do a little exploring! 
Not a bad shot for riding a bike and taking a picture with my phone simultaneously!
Sunset from our campground. Yes, please!
Friday was our day in Rocky Mountain National Park. We are big fans of America’s National Parks and were very anxious to finally see one of its crown jewels. She did not disappoint. The splendor and majesty of this park will take your breath away. Seriously. It’s stunning. I took hundreds of pictures and then had to come home and try to decide which were the best. It’s a rough life, but someone has to do it.  Here are a few of the winners!
Near the top of Trail Ridge Rd., somewhere around 12,000 feet in elevation
I don’t know what he’s pointing at, but he sure is cute!
Purple mountain majesties 
Magnificent view, wish it hadn’t been so hazy
I dream of swimming in those remote alpine lakes on a hot, summer day
Lovely little stream
One of our favorite places in the park was Bear Lake. We went there in late afternoon and the light was so lovely and it was quiet (except for James, of course), and we just walked all the way around the lake. There are trails that leave from there and go up to other lakes, so here’s hoping we make our way back there someday. 
Family picture just off the road to Bear Lake. Couldn’t resist the backdrop.
Bear Lake, in all its glory
James and Chris being silly on our walk
Love those sweet, smiling faces!
The last bit of sun lights up the trees along the lake 
We were lucky enough to see a variety of local wildlife while we were in the park. They seem quite used to the people and were not remotely fazed by the crowds and cameras. 
Golden eagle in flight
Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep
Look at the rack on that elk! Do you think he wishes people would look him in the face? 
An entire herd of elk.
A mother elk nursing her baby

So… maybe not a large variety, maybe it was mostly elk. But still, elk are cool!

There was also this bird, a Steller’s Jay. Loud and proud on the tree.

While we were only there for a day, it was a wonderful day! We look forward to going back and spending a lot more time exploring.

A beautiful farewell to a beautiful day
Saturday, we left Estes Park and headed west on Highway 40 through northern Colorado. It gave us a change from I-70 and allowed us to see some new places. We stopped for lunch in Steamboat Springs at a great little place called the Sweet Pea Market & Restaurant (, where we ate outside along the Yampa River. There are no pictures because we were too busy devouring the delicious food, but it is wonderful if you are ever in that area. We spent our last night camping in Vernal, Utah so that we could spend the next morning at Dinosaur National Monument. What a wonderful exhibit! They have taken a giant slab of rock with hundreds of fossils in it and put it on display so that you may see the fossils exactly as they were found. It is a really interesting place and James was so excited to be there and get to touch the bones and ask the rangers all kinds of questions. Chris and I were just happy to have someone else to answer them, and with far more knowledge than us!
Chris and James on the second level overlooking the wall of fossils
James describing to the ranger the way that a T-Rex chomps (as if he didn’t know)
Sunday afternoon, we headed home. It was a really fantastic trip, with beautiful scenery, great family time, and some nice relaxing parts as well. 
Almost home!
James is great on road trips; thank you, iPad!