Rocky Mountain High

blog, photography, pnw & travel

So this weekend, Jim and I stayed at a cabin in the YMCA of the Rockies, of all places. Jim’s old business partner and his family live in Denver, and arranged the whole thing. It was a bit of an odd experience, but fun! I’d never have thought to stay someplace like that, but the kids had fun doing crafts and roller skating and renting games to play.

We grownups had fun making fires in the fireplace, drinking whiskey and coffee, and going on a couple hikes. We did a very tiny hike with the kids around Bear Lake – man was it crowded! Jim and I waited about 20 minutes just for a parking spot to open up. It was more of a stroll, really, about .7 miles around this little lake. After puddle-jumping around the lake, the kids’ feet were wet and cold, so they went back to the cabin, and Jim and I continued up from Bear Lake past Nymph Lake, Dream Lake, and Emerald Lake. That was more of a climb – 3 miles and about 1000 feet in elevation (already at 7,000 or so) through plenty of packed snow. There were still a lot of people there. At the top of our climb I got about two minutes to myself while Jim went to take photos somewhere up further, and it seemed quiet… at first. But then I could hear jets up above, cars in the distance, and people talking and laughing, faintly, at the other lakes. Not quite serenity. But still very pretty.

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We got someone to take our photo at Dream Lake. It seemed to be the code that someone took your photo, then you took the next person’s, then they took the next person’s… and this all took place just past the “please stay off the restoration area” sign. Go figure. We saw plenty of birds up here – the grey jays in particular were not very shy at all. Some people were eating a snack, and the jays were hovering just above them, waiting for a crumb.

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The way back down was quite a rush! I didn’t slip much, since I kept one foot planted in the snow bank on the side the whole way down, but Jim did some ice surfing, and plenty of other people were swept off their feet. I guess the temperature dropped enough in the late afternoon to turn the slushy downhills into icy slip n’ slides.

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So today we left. The road Jim was planning on taking out of the park to the Grand Tetons was – surprise, surprise – closed! So we had to take a long way around. The interstate wasn’t going to be any faster, so we took the scenic route, back east to Fort Collins, then west again, on 14 out past Steamboat Springs and on up to Wyoming, again. I never thought I would be in Wyoming so much!

Our roadtrip playlist is evolving – here’s some of what we listened to across Nebraska, Colorado, and Wyoming:

Simon & Garfunkel’s Greatest Hits

Larkin Poe – Kin

The Essential John Denver

John Doyle & Liz Carroll – Double Play

Mark O’Connor – Heroes

Fleetwood Mac – Greatest Hits

Gypsy Kings – Greatest Hits

Chris Stapleton – Traveller

Steeldrivers

Gillian Welch – Revival

We had lunch at a scenic overlook at the end of the Rockies. It took the grey jays all of about 2 minutes to figure out where we were. Oh, yeah, and Jim continued his smoking across America.

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So now we are in the Grand Tetons. More later.

Anna

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