Day 52

Saturday, July 16 2005Estes Park, CO
Miles: 5613You've got to be kidding
Today was our first real day in the Rockies and we headed into the park fairly early, around 8:30 or so. We were told at the visitors center that we were early enough to avoid a lot of the crowds, but that it would still be a good idea to take the shuttle bus that was available to get to the Bear Lake area of the park. This area is particularly scenic and therefore crowded. We later discovered that the woman who gave us this information had a very western idea of crowded. The little path right around Bear Lake was jam packed, but the trails we hit were not very crowded at all. Coming from the east, we have a very different idea of what constitutes crowded than those out in the huge vastness.

We took the information guide’s advice on a hike and got treated to some beautiful scenery. We made a loop by connecting several smaller trails, so we got to see some of the cooler things in the area. Great views were everywhere and almost every time we came around the corner, one or both of us said “You’ve got to be kidding me. It cannot be this beautiful.” We hiked by a waterfall and several lakes and hiked along Glacier Gorge for awhile. The whole trip was about 6 miles and went from 9500 feet to close to 11,000. We felt a little out of breath and Ceridwen felt a little wonky, but it wasn’t too bad. We were certainly tired when we were done, but it was a good kind of tired. The downside was that we pretty much did nothing else after our hike. Oh, we did go to the lodge at our campground to try to connect to the internet, but all we got was some bad karaoke.