Our good Casita friends, Lynn & David of Casita in the Desert, Casita in the Mountains, stopped by Poudre Canyon Sunday evening to visit with us on their way home — after returning from Alaska. We’ve spent the whole time talking, talking, & talking some more. Monday, we took them to Fort Collins for a Wal-Mart run & ate at a local café. We just hung around here Tuesday, but finally took them with us Wednesday to visit Rocky Mountain National Park. WOW! We’d been waiting to visit there for all the snow to melt & the kids to go back to school, so this was the perfect time. Although it’s not far from us as the crow flies, it’s a good hour & a half drive, winding thru various canyons. On Stove Prairie Road, heading south toward Estes Park, an ingenious landowner has used lots of old skies to line along his driveway.
At the first overlook on the drive thru the Park (north entrance, west of Estes Park), here are views of the mountains to the northwest — with a bit of sunlight highlighting them. Most of day was pretty cloudy, threatening in fact.
You can click on any of these photos to go to my entire Picasa album of the photos taken on this visit.
These were some wildflowers against a huge rock outcropping.
On the way continuing up to & over the Continental Divide, we saw a couple of elk bulls along the road but there just wasn’t any safe place to pull off — & of course they both had their butts toward the road. So this is as good a picture as I could get of seeing my first live elk.
We took pictures of each other from another lookout higher up, but the wind was blowing so hard, they weren’t very complimentary. Hence — those pictures are for our private collections. LOL But here is the east valley view behind our individuals pictures.
This is a stop called Lava Rocks where this huge cliff is left overs from a volcanic eruptions eons ago. America’s only falcon (forgot the name) has nests in these cliffs. The snowmelt pond at the bottom still had snow around it’s edges.
This is a photo of one of the displays inside the Alpine Visitor’s Center. I love the saying at the bottom (part of which didn’t make it into my photo):
“Where the sky
is the size of forever
and the flowers are
the size of a
Before heading back the way we came in, we continued down the west side of the Park a little ways to Poudre Lake. Oh yeah, the originating water source of the Poudre River we’re parked next to this summer.
It heads north out of this little lake & winds it’s way down Poudre Canyon to Fort Collins CO, gathering lots more snow melt along the journey. Even at lower water volume now, lots of rafters still enjoy this river in the lower part of Poudre Canyon.
We drove back across the mountains & headed toward the eastern side of the Park to check out some of the campgrounds. Drove around Moraine Campground & actually had a 3G Verizon signal! It was pretty full for a Wednesday. Then we drove as far south as possible to Bear Lake. These are some wildflowers around the parking lot.
This is a (fuzzy) little ground squirrel at Bear Lake.
And this is Bear Lake.
On the way home, the late afternoon sun really showed off these red cliffs on the east well.
It was a really long day for all of us, but we really enjoyed the company & the scenery.
We just hung out Thursday & barely got supper eaten when a small rainstorm occurred. Lynn & David are camping at one of the many campgrounds along Poudre Canyon tonight, before visiting a friend in Denver & continuing the the Kansas Casita Rally after Labor Day. It was super fantastic visiting with them again. Kinda like finding a sister I never knew I had!
Although Lynn & I tweaked our blogs & photos, & I changed the layout a smidge (basically the same — only different. [What do you think, Lynn?]) , I’m not sure if this Google+ thing I switched to (reluctantly) is accepting comments correctly or not. If you haven’t joined Google+, it may not let you comment, so just shoot me an email. I don’t know, just can’t seem to get it all playing nice together so far.