Thursday, July 23, 2009

Back from the Mountains!

Kayla & Cole being goofy
Mule deer we saw on one of our hikes

My son Cole (up on the tree trunk) ~ always adventurous!

Me & Craig on the River Walk

Cute little Marmot by our condo! Cole, Shelby & Kayla (Kayla had just found 40 dollars!)

Fall River behind our condo

Wish I were still here!

Mountain Majesty

Estes Park was wonderful! I was NOT ready to come home. We had the neatest condo on Fall River & our 360-degree view was gorgeous mountains! It was so relaxing sitting on our deck with the view & the sound of the river. The weather was perfect ~ nice & cool, even chilly in the evenings. There were cute little marmots (a mama & her little ones I believe) running around the grounds by the river behind our condo & we had fun watching them tumble & play! They reminded me of kittens.

Our first full day we took a drive up Old Fall River Road ~ a one way, 11 mile dirt road up to Fall River Pass. It was windy & full of switchbacks & terrifying at times! I don't know about you but I don't much like driving along the edge of a cliff with no guardrail! I had my eyes closed & cringed a good portion of the drive but I have to admit it was beautiful & at least we didn't have to worry about any oncoming traffic & you get to take the paved road on the way down. At the top you're above the treeline in the tundra up where the snow is! We did some serious hiking every day, drove into downtown Estes Park for dinner each night, took a 2-hour horseback ride early one morning & enjoyed family time at the condo playing cards & reading. The only disappointment was not seeing much wildlife. We saw tons of elk the last time we were there (years ago) but this time we only saw a few & that was way up at Fall River Pass. We did see several deer here & there but not a single big horn sheep. The locals told us it's been so warm this summer that they've all gone up higher in the mountains. Well, we were up high in the mountains & still didn't see much so I don't know where they were all hiding! We decided we just need to come back in the fall sometime when they're more sociable!

We did see a few scary things too. A man slipped on a rock by a big waterfall, got his foot stuck under a log & it took a while before his friends could free him. Why oh why do people do such dangerous, stupid things! He of course wasn't supposed to be off the trail next to a rushing waterfall! Ugh. The other thing we saw was a helicopter airlifting a man in a basket down from the mountains. We heard later that he'd had a heart attack & died while climbing up Longs Peak. Very sad.

It looks like it'll be next week before I get to any painting. We have friends visiting from Chicago arriving on Sunday & I'm trying to get some house projects finished before they get here. I've been jumping from one trip to another all month & now having guests. I'm going to be ready for things to calm down. I miss my art studio!


snippetgirl said...

Such gorgeous photos!!!! Sounded like a wonderful trip! Isn't it SO hard to return and get back into the swing of things??!
Have a lovely weekend!

Janine said...

Dear Jil, that sounds like lovely holidays. They are allways to short, aren´t they.
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