In my years of exploration I have found the best days are the unplanned ones. The days where you get lost in laughter and conversation with friends, the days where you lose track of time and end up in weird places, doing weird things that you never intended. That is exactly how Saturday unfolded.
Initially Meredith, Chris, and myself wanted to hike to Sky Pond, a 9 mile round trip adventure in Rocky Mountain National Park but a spring storm system decided to dump four feet of snow in the mountains. The weather for the past several days in Colorado has been its typical wacky self. Spring time in this state is always crazy.
Still that did not deter us from trying. Saturday was a National Park free entrance day so we headed to the Glacier Gorge trail head. Apple maps/GPS is a steaming pile of garbage so we ended up touring the YMCA facility near the park which pushed our start time to 11 a.m. This was fabulous since we all woke up at 5:45 a.m. in order to start by 9 a.m. The last time I used apple maps I found myself on private property trying to cross the Sangre de Cristo mountain range in a 2WD car. You could say I have officially learned my lesson, real maps, always.
We really did not want to use snowshoes but it took Meredith and I about five steps on the “trail” to realize we needed them. Chris opted to post hole which was incredibly entertaining to watch.
With some effort we made it to Alberta Falls. I really wanted to work on photographing water but there was so much snow the falls was reduced to peanut size.
We continued on until we could take no more. The returning downhill bothered my ankle but I was overly grateful for some mileage and vert at altitude.
We headed to Estes Park and had lunch and beers at The Local Grill. I had eaten there eight years ago when I first moved to Colorado. That is the only other time I’ve visited Estes park or gone through the main entrance of Rocky Mountain National Park. The food is okay, the beer is delicious.
On the way out of town we stumbled upon a curious sight, the Stanley Hotel. Chris and I had never been so…detour. The Stanley hotel is where Stephen King wrote the shining and it served as his inspiration for the Overlook Hotel. How have I never explored this place?
After being tourists we headed to Lily Lake (off CO 7), also annihilated by snow.
Then things got a little weird, as they usually do with us.
On my way home from Chris’s apartment the sky did some crazy things and I stood outside in the middle of four storms and took photos. I LOVE these moments.
Was a great day! Until next time my friends….
“And at the end of the day, your feet should be dirty, your hair messy, and your eyes sparkling.”