Mountain Adventures Photo Dump

If you’ve read my blog long (or if you know me in real life), you know that I’m a mountain girl to the core. This summer, unfortunately, has had a serious dearth of mountain time — selling and buying houses and getting ready for new jobs is time-consuming — especially for Jordan. His new job is at a brand-new school, so his summer has been full of meetings and trainings. Finally, last week we got in some mountain time. I took a lot of pictures.

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I need more quaky trees in my life. 

I went to the Western slope for Fourth of July weekend; J couldn’t come because of the aforementioned working, but I knew that if I didn’t go, I wouldn’t see my grandparents until Thanksgiving (my parents will come see me, but my grandparents don’t travel anymore). While I was there, the weather refused to cooperate, but we hiked a little anyway.

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Super rainy, but super green!
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The wildflowers were gorgeous!
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The rain made a cute little waterfall. We were soaked by the time we finished, but it was fun! Thank goodness my mom had an extra pair of waterproof pants; all I packed were running skirts, and I would’ve been freeeeezing. 

The Thursday after the 4th, Jordan and I went camping in Rocky Mountain National Park. A few weeks prior, we had looked at the calendar and realized that if we wanted to camp at all this summer, it had to be that day. So we booked a campsite in RMNP’s Glacier Basin campground (the last site available!), and we headed up bright and early Thursday morning.

We started our day at Lumpy Ridge. It was really ugly.

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Hello down there, Estes Park!

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This is Gem Lake, not quite 2 miles up the trail. So pretty. So filled with tourists. We didn’t get a very early start on our hike, since we had to drive from Fort Morgan, so we got to hike with all the tourists who do things like sit in the middle of the trail to take breaks and feed the ground squirrels. Too bad there are no “Don’t feed the wildlife” signs in Rocky. Oh wait, yes there are. EVERYWHERE. 
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Around 3 miles in, the tourists tend to disappear. Ah, peace!

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We didn’t do the whole Lumpy Ridge loop because of our late start, but we loved the part we did. I’d like to run the whole loop (about 8.5 miles) sometime. (I didn’t do any trail running this trip, because I’ve been fighting piriformis syndrome, which is stupid. But at least I  could hike!)

After our hike, we headed down into town, ate the lunches we had packed, and did the tourist thing for a while — wandering into shops, stopping at a new-to-us brewery, etc.– before we headed back into the park to set up camp.

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This pretty lady was our dinner entertainment. She obviously had a fawn somewhere, but the baby didn’t make an appearance. 

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Not a bad view from the campground, right?

The next morning, we were able to start our hike earlier, of course, so it was quiet and peaceful most of the way. Our campground was just across the road from the first big park ‘n ride in the park, and a trail to Bierstadt Lake starts from that lot, so that’s where we began our day.

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Beirstadt Lake. No, I’m not wearing white knee socks. That’s my natural skin tone. 
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Mill Creek

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We were walking along and heard a noise behind us on the trail, and here came this fat bird (grouse?) waddling down the trail, clucking softly. Pretty sure he was saying “Pardon me, humans. Just passing by.”

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We went up to Bierstadt, along Mill Creek, and back down through Hollowell Park, where we caught the shuttle back up to the campground. We had originally planned to go up to Cub Lake, but were afraid that we wouldn’t make it back in time to break down camp before we had to be checked out of the campground. Sometime, when my butt is completely better, I’d like to start at Hollowell Park, run up to Cub Lake, and catch the shuttle back from Moraine Park. Any of my trail running friends want to come along?

Once we were back at camp, we cleaned up a bit (another baby-wipe bath. This seems to be a theme on my blog lately…), broke down camp, and headed back into town — just in time, as a typical Colorado afternoon thunderstorm rumbled through not long after we got to town. Before we knew it, our mini-vacation was over and we were driving back to the plains (and getting excited that soon, our drive will be less than half as long).

What’s your favorite hike/trail run? Bonus points if it’s close-ish to my new home.

When was your last mini-vacation?

 

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4 thoughts on “Mountain Adventures Photo Dump”

  1. Does close to your old home count? I enjoyed my time camping this last weekend and seeing my mountains again. Glad you guys got some time away.

  2. We hiked up to Gem Lake on our vaycay a couple weeks ago. It was so beautiful. There were a couple people at the lake but not too many. Everyone was quiet so it was tranquil and peaceful. 🙂 I wanted to keep going but we had to head back because we had reservations for a tour at The Stanley. I have a friend who lives in Loveland and I was so glad she suggested Lumpy Ridge because I hadn’t read anything about it in my research so I would not have known about it!

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