Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Colorado Vacation: Day Two

Saturday, May 28, 2011

We woke around 8am hoping to find some decent weather on our first day. The forecast for our whole trip was less than pleasing (cool and rainy!), so we were glad when it was at least dry.

We put on our hiking gear (Joel and I were seriously unprepared for this whole thing: we didn't even bring water bottles or backpacks while Paul and Macy had real hiking pants and shoes!!), drove 20 minutes to Estes Park, and started driving the winding roads up the mountains. We stopped at the Moraine Visitors' Center to pick up a map and get some advice on where to hike on a cool, cloudy day. The lady who was working knew EVERYTHING about the park, and she let us know it! The only problem was, she used a highlighter to indicate everything she told us. Road closed: highlight. Recommended trail: highlight. Wildlife sightings: highlight....it was quite ineffective for us when she got done because none of us could remember what was what because the whole freakin' thing was a yellow mess! Well, she tried, right? We picked up a stuffed Eagle 'Bee' puppet for Brady, (he calls any large bird an "eagle bird"), and went on our way. We decided the Ypsilon Trail seemed promising, so we took our packed lunches and started hiking the trail.

It was a looooong trail, with medium ascent and not the greatest of views. We hiked along a river that created a huge gorge when a dam broke and washed out the ravine. The river was nice, but the thick trees prevented us from really seeing a lot as we hiked. Once we got to the river crossing, we got to witness some really beautiful scenery.

On the other side of the river, we kept hiking, but decided we weren't going to make it to Ypsilon Lake. It was a 4.8 mile hike one-way, so we turned around and drove upward instead.

We went as far as we could to the Rainbow Road pass, which was closed due to snow. SNOW! Oh my, the snow....these banks were what, 40 feet tall? It was surreal to imagine that kind of snow at the end of May. Although it was pretty, my mind was having trouble digesting the cold temperatures (below 40 degrees!) and massive amounts of snow I was seeing. Well, we still got some pretty great views and a few stops along the way.

After driving around the park for awhile, we decided to head back to the cabin for tacos, games, boys cheating at Monopoly Deal, a heated discussion about the definition of a light year, and another, slightly more roaring fire :) A great end to a pretty decent first day!

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