2011 Southwestern USA travel blog

Estes Park, CO - Estes Park Campground at Mary's Lake - Site...

Estes Park, CO - Estes Park Campground at Mary's Lake - Site...

Casper, WY to Estes Park, CO 0 - our route - 271...

Casper, WY to Estes Park, CO 1 - a wind farm in...

Casper, WY to Estes Park, CO 2 - drilling for oil

Casper, WY to Estes Park, CO 3

Casper, WY to Estes Park, CO 4 - cattle, cattle everywhere and...

Casper, WY to Estes Park, CO 5 - a newly baled hay...

Casper, WY to Estes Park, CO 6

Casper, WY to Estes Park, CO 7 - cutting in preparation for...

Casper, WY to Estes Park, CO 8

Casper, WY to Estes Park, CO 9

Casper, WY to Estes Park, CO 10

Casper, WY to Estes Park, CO 11 - the Marlboro man -...

Casper, WY to Estes Park, CO 12 - we saw many wind...

Casper, WY to Estes Park, CO 13 - an Air Force transport...

Casper, WY to Estes Park, CO 14 - a pretty overpass

Casper, WY to Estes Park, CO 15 - lots of sunflowers along...

Casper, WY to Estes Park, CO 16 - approaching the Rockies

Casper, WY to Estes Park, CO 17 - I think we are...

Casper, WY to Estes Park, CO 18

Casper, WY to Estes Park, CO 19

Casper, WY to Estes Park, CO 20 - the Thompson River that...

Casper, WY to Estes Park, CO 21

Casper, WY to Estes Park, CO 22

Casper, WY to Estes Park, CO 23 - coming into Estes Park

Casper, WY to Estes Park, CO 24 - downtown Estes Park

Casper, WY to Estes Park, CO 25

Casper, WY to Estes Park, CO 26

Casper, WY to Estes Park, CO 27

Draft Horse Show 1 - Dressage Competition we watched a little of...

Draft Horse Show 2

Draft Horse Show 3

Draft Horse Show 4 - how about some fancy coats for a...

Draft Horse Show 5 - getting ready to hook up a couple...

Draft Horse Show 6 - almost ready - they are some pretty...

Draft Horse Show 7 - a couple of Percherons starting the obstacle...

Draft Horse Show 8 - don't hit that cone!!!

Draft Horse Show 9 - a couple of Belgians going around the...

Draft Horse Show 10 - a couple of Clydesdales straddling the rail...

Draft Horse Show 11 - this tight turn was the most difficult...

Draft Horse Show 12 - a Belgian in the Single Cart competition

Draft Horse Show 13 - only one competitor brought Shire horses to...

Draft Horse Show 14 - a beautiful Percheron

Draft Horse Show 15 - it's time for the 2-4 year old...

Draft Horse Show 16 - on the backstretch

Draft Horse Show 17 - the 5-7 year olds start out

Draft Horse Show 18 - a little spill going around the first...

Draft Horse Show 19 - now it's time for the 8-10 year...

Draft Horse Show 20 - the girls out here are very competitive!

Draft Horse Show 21 - how's that for a pretty set of...

Draft Horse Show 22 - and a couple of Percherons

Draft Horse Show 23 - four miniature horses and two miniature donkeys...

Draft Horse Show 24 - that's the draft horse yoke that's almost...

Draft Horse Show 25 - that is a 10 year-old driving this...

Draft Horse Show 26 - a Shire in the Log pulling competition

Draft Horse Show 27 - the driver has to do some pretty...

Draft Horse Show 28

Draft Horse Show 29 - one of the Percheron teams in the...

Draft Horse Show 30 - one team of Belgians

Draft Horse Show 31 - and another

Draft Horse Show 32 - a team of Clydesdales in the Feed...

Draft Horse Show 33 - a pair of Shires and a pair...

Draft Horse Show 34 - the Percheron team in the Six Hitch...

Draft Horse Show 35 - the Belgians team

Draft Horse Show 36 - the Percheron team won - it takes...

Draft Horse Show 37 - the Draft Horse Barrel Race - this...

Draft Horse Show 38 - What, me go around that barrel? -...

Draft Horse Show 39 - but I can run straight!

Draft Horse Show 40 - Whoa big fellow - that barrel ain't...

Draft Horse Show 41 - let's get it to the finish line...

Rocky Mountain NP 1

Rocky Mountain NP 2 - the Old Falls River Road - nine...

Rocky Mountain NP 3

Rocky Mountain NP 4

Rocky Mountain NP 5

Rocky Mountain NP 6

Rocky Mountain NP 7 - Chasm Falls, off the Old Fall River...

Rocky Mountain NP 8 - the outflow of Chasm Falls

Rocky Mountain NP 9 - trying to stop the Spring slides

Rocky Mountain NP 10

Rocky Mountain NP 11 - the valley stretching all the way back...

Rocky Mountain NP 12

Rocky Mountain NP 13 - the Alpine Visitor Center, still a ways...

Rocky Mountain NP 14 - a snow stick to let them know...

Rocky Mountain NP 15 - what's left of a glacier near the...

Rocky Mountain NP 16 - a magnificent view from the top

Rocky Mountain NP 17 - the valley below the visitor center

Rocky Mountain NP 18

Rocky Mountain NP 19 - the mountains are starting to make their...

Rocky Mountain NP 20

Rocky Mountain NP 21 - the start of the Colorado River -...

Rocky Mountain NP 22

Rocky Mountain NP 23

Rocky Mountain NP 24

Rocky Mountain NP 25 - downtown Grand Lake in the hail

Rocky Mountain NP 26 - a doe and her two fawns on...

Rocky Mountain NP 27 - we played peek-a-boo most of the way...

Rocky Mountain NP 28

Rocky Mountain NP 29 -Adams Falls 1

Rocky Mountain NP 30 - Adams Falls 2

Rocky Mountain NP 31 - Adams Falls 3

Rocky Mountain NP 32 - a chipmunk on the way back down

Rocky Mountain NP 33

Rocky Mountain NP 34 - Grand Lake

Rocky Mountain NP 35

Rocky Mountain NP 36

Rocky Mountain NP 37

Rocky Mountain NP 38 - debris gathered for pick up or burning

Rocky Mountain NP 39

Rocky Mountain NP 40

Rocky Mountain NP 41

Rocky Mountain NP 42

Rocky Mountain NP 43

Rocky Mountain NP 44 - already in the tundra and headed higher

Rocky Mountain NP 45

Rocky Mountain NP 46 - this was on Aug 22 and still...

Rocky Mountain NP 47

Rocky Mountain NP 48

Rocky Mountain NP 49 - lava rocks

Rocky Mountain NP 50

Rocky Mountain NP 51

Rocky Mountain NP 52

Rocky Mountain NP 53

Rocky Mountain NP 54

Rocky Mountain NP 55

Rocky Mountain NP 56

Rocky Mountain NP 57

Rocky Mountain NP 58

Rocky Mountain NP 59 - the pine beetle is wreaking havoc on...

Rocky Mountain NP 60

Rocky Mountain NP 61

Rocky Mountain NP 62

Rocky Mountain NP 63 - one of the level parts of the...

Rocky Mountain NP 64 - this isn't the falls, just part of...

Rocky Mountain NP 65

Rocky Mountain NP 66 - Alberta Falls

Rocky Mountain NP 67 - the trail to Copeland Falls

Rocky Mountain NP 68 - lower Copeland Falls

Rocky Mountain NP 69 - upper Copeland Falls which is really a...

Rocky Mountain NP 70 - a very unique church on the way...

Rocky Mountain NP 71 - Mary's Lake near the campground

Rocky Mountain NP 72

Rocky Mountain NP 73

Movie Clips - Playback Requirements - Problems?

(MP4 - 2.21 MB)

Adams Falls

(MP4 - 3.07 MB)

Alberta Falls


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, Belgians, Clydesdales, 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.

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