It was a leisurely 271 miles from Casper to Estes Park. We did have to feed the Mothership on the way – another $300 donated to the oil barons. We didn’t really leave the rolling hills of Wyoming until just before we turned west towards Estes Park. Estes Park is similar to West Yellowstone except much larger and more spread out. The downtown area is very touristy but the not so much in the outlying areas of the town.
Friday, the 19th, Doris got her hair clipped as she was complaining of it being too long and pulling her perm out. She was much happier this time than the last at an Air Force base – I guess she doesn't like military haircuts‼ We also went to the Visitor Center just west of Estes Park to get the lay of the land and maps to plan our stay with. Then we went to a Smokin’ Dave’s Bar-B-Q
place that was very good.
Saturday we just stayed around the Mothership, relaxed and planned what we were going to do in the park. Sunday we wound up staying at the fairgrounds all day long – from 10:30 til’ almost 5:00. They had the annual Draft Horse Show going on and it was very interesting. The draft horses are the work horses on a farm and are very large animals. Most are Percherons
, or Shires
. They are all very beautiful animals and the show was a competition to put them through their paces, many of the competitions duplicated work they would do in the field. A good bit of it was based on how well the drivers could control and direct the horses but a large part of it was also based on how well the horse looked and a good part of that is based on their breeding. All in all it was a fun day.
Monday we finally went into the park. We had waited until after the weekend to let some of the crowd go down and was glad we did as it was still crowded but not overly so. We first drove the Old Fall River Road up to the Alpine Visitor Center. This is a nine mile gravel road which is in pretty good shape and was a nice way to start the day. We visited the Chasm Falls on the way and then stopped at the Visitor Center to stamp my passport and take a couple of shots of the peaks around us.
We then drove down to the Colorado River trail and hiked it back in the valley to near its beginning. It’s amazing how a trickle this small can become the earth changer it was in earlier times. We had to hurry back from the Colorado River as it was starting to storm and you don’t want to be in the open when that happens. We then went into Grand Lake and found the trail to Adam’s Falls. As we drove through Grand Lake, it started to hail. It was only about the size of BBs but it still made a racket. It kept raining so once we got to the trail head, we ate our peanut butter crackers and waited about thirty minutes for the weather to clear. Just as we started up the trail we noticed a doe and her two fawns and we played peek-a-boo with them almost all the way to the falls. We would be walking the switchbacks and they would just be going straight up the mountain so that we would catch sight of them at almost every turn.
Tuesday we went back into the park via two different entrances. This is a large park. Yesterday we took the Western road and saw that part of the park. On Tuesday we saw two different parts of the Eastern side. We started with a trip to the Bear Lake trail head and hiked to Alberta Falls. This was about two miles round trip and the trail map said it only had an elevation change of 175 feet – no sweat! Well, I guess they meant from the trail head to the falls there was an elevation change of 175 feet. I know went down at least 150 feet and then back up 325 feet; and then back down 325 feet and back up 150 feet. All I know is my shins knew we did more than 175 feet when I woke up the next day‼
We then came back out of the park and re-entered a little further East and went to the Wild Basin trail head where we took a short hike to Copeland Falls. This consisted of the lower falls and then a shorter hike to the upper falls. It was actually not a falls but a cascade but we are not sure we don’t prefer the cascades to the falls. They are much prettier with several drops instead of just the one.
Wednesday we just stayed around the Mothership and I spent most of it getting the pictures ready for upload, uploading them and then writing this blog. I think I may need to break these longer stops up into more than one entry!
Tomorrow we head for ???? We think we are going to Golden, CO but if they are full at the campground we want we will go into Morrison and pray that campground isn't full. Both of these are first come and you cannot make reservations. We may be in a Wal-Mart parking lot tomorrow night! Wherever we are we will only be there four nights as we don’t have much planned for the Denver area.