Estes Park, Colorado

We left early this morning to visit Estes Park, Colorado, with HIGH hopes of seeing a Moose.

I have never seen a moose in my entire life, and we have been full-time camp hosts in Utah, Wyoming, and Oregon, over the past three years. In addition, we have been visiting, for a month at a time this summer, in Questa, New Mexico, Antonito, Colorado, South Fork, Colorado, and now we are spending a month in Kremmling, Colorado. We have fished all the lakes and streams in all the back roads and high country, hiked all the mountain trails, and have never once seen a moose, until today!!

The very first thing we saw on our trip today was this group of Elk grazing on the side of the road.

A little further down the road we saw this lone Elk grazing all by itself.

We climbed higher, and higher, on the mountain road that took us way above the tree-line to a Forest Canyon Overlook that is a Tundra Protection Zone. When we read the sign we learned that “here, above the treeline, winds often exceed 100 miles per hour, and temperatures remain below freezing for at least five months each year. Decades are required for the tundra to recover once it’s been trampled. Each year, millions of visitors travel Trail Ridge Road to experience this high-elevation ecosystem. Help preserve this slow-growing resource by walking only on marked trails in the Tundra Protection Zone”. I can’t tell you how many people blew past this sign, walked right out on the grass area, put down a blanket, and sat down to take in the views… All I could think was SHAME on them for not making themselves aware of what their responsibility is when visiting areas like this. We are all responsible to take care of the areas we love to visit, and do our part to not make the experience all about ourselves, but more about leaving it better than we found it so future generations can enjoy the same views we are enjoying today. The next four pictures are of that Tundra Protection Zone.

We stopped at the Visitor Center to check it out, and use the facilities. On the way out we noticed this memorial to one of their fallen Rangers. The next three pictures speak for themselves, but for our daughter,Shantel, there is a Ranger hat on a big rock, and under that is a sign that reads, “On July 29, 2005 US Park Ranger Jeffrey Christensen was killed in a fall while patrolling in the Mummy Range of Rocky Mountain National Park. His service and sacrifice to the National Park Service and the people of this country will never be forgotten”.

Shantel, the next picture shows Jeff Christensen, and shows his date of birth and death 1974-2005 and a description of his career. But at the bottom of the picture it says “You know, if I ever die while at work in the mountains, do not cry for me because you will know that I died doing what I love. But if I die in a car accident on my way to an office job, then cry for me because you will know I was miserable and not doing what I loved.”

As we were leaving the Visitor Center, and walking back to our car, we saw two deer running and jumping past some picnic tables towards the parking lot. A teenager was sitting alone at one of the picnic tables, with her head in her phone, and even though the deer ran past her so close she could have touched them, she never even looked up… Now that was so sad for me to see… Get your head out of your phone people and notice what is happening all around you… (:

But, the absolute highlight of my day today was when we saw this big bull moose. It was hard to get a close picture of him because he was 50-75 yards away, and there were lots of other people in the way, all trying to get the same picture I was trying to get. Some of them had lenses on their camera’s so long, I’m sure they could capture a tick on a hummingbird… Ha 🙂 The next two pictures are of the moose, but you really have to look hard in the middle of the picture to see him…

After the excitement of seeing the Moose, we made our way on to Estes Park. The area around Estes Park is beautiful as shown in the next three pictures. Big beautiful rock formations,

A beautiful lake.

And of course, there are lots, and lots of shops to visit as well

So after a fun day exploring Estes Park, on our way out we came across this big Elk grazing right on the side of the road.

I mean he was so close, I could have reached out and patted his rear-end..

And, as we moved further down the road on our way home, we passed the exact same area where we saw the Moose. This was the Moose-Jam it was causing. I looked, and looked, but I didn’t see the moose anymore, but a Ranger was there directing traffic by this time…

It was another beautiful day, and an amazing experience, and I’m so HAPPY we finally found that elusive MOOSE!

Stay Tuned!

 

 

 

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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Ellen Kaufman
    Aug 07, 2018 @ 23:30:43

    What an exciting day you had indeed. Happy you got to see your Moose. The sights are beautiful and just so happy you have found your fun in retirement. It a great experience especially with the one you love and can share together.
    Love you
    Ellen

    Reply

    • beyondcinderella
      Aug 08, 2018 @ 12:09:11

      Thank you Aunt Ellen. Bill and I have found our fun in retirement. It is so nice to just go where we want, and do what we we love doing, whenever we want. We are truly living our retirement dream. Love you too, and hugs to all. XoXo

      Reply

  2. Robin
    Aug 07, 2018 @ 23:57:09

    I knew you would see your moose! Congrats! Such amazing sights to see the wild life up close and personal. Too bad people can’t get out of their phones…they miss so much! Another fabulous day in the neighborhood! Keep having fun! Love you!!

    Reply

    • beyondcinderella
      Aug 08, 2018 @ 12:17:20

      I told Bro if we didn’t see a moose yesterday, after driving all day in the high, low, and in between lands between Kremmling and Estes Park, then there just must not be any moose left to see. I’m thankful we saw the one we did, but people keep telling me that they saw so many moose in the Estes Park area that they lost track of the number they saw… I was hoping to get a better, more close-up picture of the moose, but at least I saw it and got a picture because you know “they” say, if you don’t get a picture, it didn’t happen. Ha! Love and miss you. XoXo

      Reply

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