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2013 – Rocky Mountain National Park – Part 2a

On on second day we head into an area know as Bear Lake and with our early morning start we catch one of the reasons for this name…

RMNP - Black Bear

We will reach the trail head at ~7:30AM and take the left path where most that travel here go right to Bear Lake itself and then turn back.

RMNP - Bear Lake Trail Head

Our first planned photo stop is Nymph Lake which takes us about 20 minute to reach since do stop to enjoy the views and take photos along the way,

Nymph Lake

About an hour into our morning hike, we reach a point on this path where you can split off toward Lake Haiyaha as well as Bear Lake but we are not headed toward either on this hike.

RMNP - Trail Route

We will reach Dream Lake a few minutes later…

RMNP - Dream Lake

Onto Emerald Lake next which puts us about 2 hours into the hike now.  Yea, a slow pace but we enjoy the journey as much as the destination…

RMNP - Emerald Lake

Time to head back but we will also enjoy the hike down as well as the light change changes the views.  So, here we are back at Dream Lake around 10AM.

RMNP - Dream Lake

Around 10:30 we get back to Nymph Lake

RMNP - Nymph LakeRMNP - Nymph Lake

We are back to the Trail Head at 10:45 and the parking lot is “Packed”; sure glad we started early.

Now you might ask what views between the lakes was there to see; who about this one…

RMNP - Bear Lake Trail

Time to go enjoy more of the park in others areas which will be covered in our next post…

 
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Posted by on 08/19/2013 in Trip Reports

 

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2013 – Rocky Mountain National Park – Part 1c

To complete the day we still need to get down from the pass; especially with the clouds rolling in…

Trail RidgeTrail Ridge

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Spot some wildlife just off the roadway but no good place to stop so a shot out the window and keep going…

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Time to stop at an Overlook and enjoy some of the views of the park…

Trail RidgeTrail Ridge

As we get to the lower altitudes we get into Moose territory and bingo we see one…

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We reach the point along the route were we cross over the Continental Divide at 10,759ft above Sea Level

IMG_5916

Just enough time left in the day for a short hike along the Ute Trail…

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Day one over but we still have two more days to share with you still to come…

 
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Posted by on 08/18/2013 in Trip Reports

 

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2013 – Rocky Mountain National Park – Part 1b

As we continued our drive on Old Fall River Road, we will enjoy nearly every turn-out we find and then some…

Old Fall River Road

Old Fall River RoadOld Fall River RoadOld Fall River Road

Old Fall River RoadOld Fall River Road

Find another local going about it’s daily tasks as if not to care we were taking photos…

Old Fall River Road

Old Fall River RoadIMG_5896

We then reach the top of Trail Ridge behind the Store and Cafe at an elevation of 11,796 feet…

Trail Ridge - Store and Cafe

Well, we are at the top so it’s Lunch and then more stops along the way down but that’s the next post…

 
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Posted by on 08/18/2013 in Trip Reports

 

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2013 – Rocky Mountain National Park – Part 1a

On August 18 we head to our “Back Yard” to enjoy a mini three (3) day vacation in Estes Park

We will head into the park via US 34 in the Big Thompson Canyon and stop to take some photos along the way.  One of those stops is at the Big Thompson Canyon Flood Memorial located at 40 25.787N 105 18.956W.

In Memory Of Sgt. W. Hugh Purdy / Michel O. Conley Colorado State Patrol / Estes Park Patrolman

In Memory Of
Sgt. W. Hugh Purdy / Michel O. Conley
Colorado State Patrol / Estes Park Patrolman

They Gave Their Lives To Save The Lives Of Others
The Night Of July 31, 1976 When More Than 140 Persons
Died In The Great Flash Flood of Big Thompson Canyon.

After entering the park, we will take the “Old Fall River Road” which today is a One-Way route with wonderful views all along the route.  Here is just a small sample of the beautiful scenes long the initial section plus a friend we found at one stop.

Old Fall River Road

Old Fall River RoadOld Fall River Road

Old Fall River RoadOld Fall River Road

We will reach Chapin Pass at 40 26.089N 105 43.821W with an elevation of ~11,000 feet.  Here too we see another friend in the distance enjoy the morning sun on a rock face…

Chapin Pass

Chapin PassChapin PassChapin Pass

We will continue on up the road in the next post…

 
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Posted by on 08/18/2013 in Trip Reports

 

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2012 – A Lyons Catch

On November 4th, we decided to head up to Estes Park for do a little shopping and have lunch at one of our favorite local restaurants.  After lunch we headed up into Rocky Mountain Nation Park as a nice afternoon drive.  We stopped at the Visitor Center to pick up some information for next year…

I would also stop to take a photo of the memorial to Ranger Jeff Christensen who was killed in a fall on the Mummy Range here in the park

As we head back for home I will catch three (3) Railroad Cars in Lyons, Colorado.  All three are now static displays that are on private property and one of them (BN Caboose) is currently “For Rent” for a very small business along the highway.  All three could sure use some TLC if they are survive as historical cars…

40.224972° N 105.272095° W

40.216458° N 105.257742° W

40.212708° N 105.249994° W

 

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2012 – Fall Vacation – Part 3

On our third day we plan a small morning hike in the Curecanti National Recreation Area at Neversink.  The trail was a bit in rough shape from erosion and fallen trees but it was still a nice level hike to get the day started.

National Recreation Area

Our next stop was at Wilson’s Landing in Curecanti the National Recreation Area.  You can kind of tell the water levels are low from the color of the rock that would normally be underwater.  The high water line you can see the clearest on the rock on the left side of the photo.  The gray color on the bottom half show where the water levels normally get too and you can see that gray color as you scan across the photo to the right.

National Recreation Area

To really see how low the water levels are is when we stopped at the Dry Creek boat ramp.  As you can see on our GPS we should be in the water.  The next photo shows our 4×4 at the bottom of the boat ramp sitting in the sand.  We have walked down from there to reach the current water levels.  Looking over the water you can see the rocks and the line where the water levels are at normally.  If you had been watching the news about all the Fires we had out this way because of drought conditions this should give you an idea how little water has falled in recent years

National Recreation Area

From there we planned another hike at the Dillon Pinnacles here in the Curecanti National Recreation Area.  I took a photo of the sign that explains how this geological formation occurred.  The best photos (to me) are from a distance as once you get closer you can see allot of details but cant see the entire structure.

We will stop for lunch at a picnic area in this same area.  Somewhere now underwater is a town know as Iola, CO that once was a stop for the railroad.  When the dam was built that town, railroad and bridges all went to their watery end.  I had hoped with the low water levels maybe something would be visible but no luck.  The weather was also turning on us.

It was the Denver & Rio Grande Western (Lake Fork Spur) that was once here so our next section of this days trip was to travel down the old Right-of-Way from the higher ground into the canyon that is now flooded by the dam.  Along the route there are various places to stop as well as information signs.  Ruins of the old Railroad Camps use to build the railroad here can still be found.  I will also take video while we drove the drivable sections to capture the route.

Also in this are where various small mines.  We spotted one that was gated took a photo through the gate

We will reach a dead-end soon afterwards and hike the old D&RGW route…

With the low water levels we hiked allot farther then planned because some of the old ROW is currently above water so we could go father then the map said we could.  As we got deeper in, dead tree logs that once were floating on the water are now scattered which made the hike more and more difficult.  We never did get to a point where the water once again covered to old roadbed of the railroad before we decided to turn back.  When hiking these old railroad location don’t forget to look up as often you will spot the old telegraph poles.

When we stopped by the Visitor Center earlier in the day a Ranger suggested scenic drive that is not commonly taken via Highway 149to see Aspen Colors and wonderful Mountain vistas.  He did us good as the drive was wonderful.  These photos I took near 38 10.847N / 107 17.396W based on the GPS we had with us.

Our travel took u also over what was called Soldier Summit (38 10.553 / 107 20.897W)

We would also find the Darrel Duncan Memorial Forest (38 15.290N / 107 22.002W) along this ranger suggested route.

Well, time to call it a day and head back for the hotel but will see more Aspen Color on our way back too…

 

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2012 – Wichita Kansas – Part 1

We head to Wichita Kansas to attend my nieces college graduation and add some time before/after to make a mini vacation out of it.

Well our flight out turned out to be a Turbo-Prop but at least we sat far enough back to be away from most the noise.

We get in to our hotel close to midnight and then get up early to start our next RRAdventures of 2012 by heading for Hutchinson, Kansas to track down some depots; including the Arkansas Valley Interurban Depot.

From there we head for Fort Larned National Historic Site near Larned, KS

We then head down the road a bit to the Santa Fe Trail Center that has lots of historical stuff but not as much on the Santa Fe Trail as we had hoped but still very much worth the stop; especially since they have a depot there!  The depot is from Frizell, KS and is AT&SF

With the major outside activities done (to avoid the heat) we head back into Larned itself to track down another depot

From there we head for Pawnee Rock, KS to track down their historical depot

Our next stop in Pawnee Rock is Pawnee Rock itself which was a geologic structure that mark the midpoint of the Santa Fe Trail.  We also find a lone grave to Nehemiah Carson (PVT Mexican War) who died here from an unknown illness.

We don’t have much time left but we quickly pass through Great Bend, KS to track down AT&SF Steam Engine #3416

Time to head back to Wichita, Kansas to call it a night

 

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