Sunday, September 10, 2006

Rocky Mountain National Park

This is a bad omen for a Texas boy yearning for the high country. I just spent 2 days at RMNP and the road across the continental divide was closed the whole time due to snow and icy conditions. So, I was unable to see the high areas of the park, and in fact could not practically get to the western half of the park. Not only that, but it has been raining almost continually since I left Texas. And a few minutes ago I had hail for the third time on the trip. Fortunately all pea to marble size, so no damage done.

I am getting the opportunity to get my feet wet (literally) hiking in the 8-10,000 ft range. I camped in Aspin Glen, a small walk-in campground with just 5 sites. This area is near a meadow about 8,000 ft elevation which is very popular for elk sighting, and in fact each evening I saw and heard several. This is the rut season, so it was very interesting watching the big bulls fighting, smashing their antlers against trees and running about bugling to protect their herd.

The river photo is taken from my campsite on Saturday morning. I rushed to take this picture, since it was the first time I’d seen the sun since leaving Texas. This raised my spirits considerably, although it was raining again an hour later. Oh well, the scenery was great despite the weather.

The other pictures are of Alberta Falls, Bear Lake(with the yellow aspin just starting to change colors in the background) and Dream lake. I left out the pictures of Nymph Lake, since she was more beautiful in my dreams!!

Oh, and a picture of a snow covered peak. It was rare to catch a good picture of the snow covered mountains, because they were mostly hidden behind the clouds.

Finally, a picture of a bull Elk from up close. I was driving down the road and came upon a female elk crossing the road. I came to a stop just a few feet away. Then, moments later, this bull came strolling across. I was busy getting my camera out, and just as I did, he turned and looked at me as if to say, “What are you looking at?” Obviously, I snapped the picture through the windshield of my car.

The scenery was great, although I would have liked to have had better conditions and more opportunity to see the whole park. Meanwhile the scenery approaching the park from Lyons and leaving toward Loveland was almost as good. And, all together, they make the bed and shower here look even better. I’m bedding down at the Stage Coach Inn in Cheyenne, Wyoming tonight.

I went to services in Estes Park this morning. I met the Cox’s, a couple from Katy, who spoke very fondly of Phil Bailey, Danny Clancy and Cecil Rix. You are always at home in the Church.

Well, I said Wyoming or bust, so now I’m here. I’m off to see what there is to see.


Earl said...

Hi Max,

I am new at this blog stuff, so posted a comment today that is one one of your first days. So thought I would repeat it closer to "real time."
I appreciate you keeping us up to date with your adventure.

What is that wood looking bar just outside the windshield in the picture with the elk?

And, while you are having fun, be careful.

nemattox said...

Wow, these pictures are amazing; they look like postcards - especially the one right from your campsite.

I can't believe all the way up there you ran into people that know Danny and Phil and Cecil. I am constantly surprised at how small the world of the church is.

Miss you, Nicole

Ryan J. Mattox said...

Hey Man! It looks like you are rolling through some beautiful country! I hope to see all the many sights you’re taking in someday in much the same way you are experiencing them.

I hope the rain doesn’t dampen your spirits too much. If it doesn’t clear up and stay that way for a while perhaps you could look into some inside adventures to engage in while you wait out the storms. As much as you are missed back home I’m sure we’d all like to see you live these adventures to the fullest and for as long as you feel like enjoying the wild.

Back here on our home-front things are going well. I’m enjoying all my little projects around the house and frequently finding myself needing sound advice from a good source on some engineering issues that pop up from time to time. I look forward to showing you our progress when you are in this neck of the woods again. Nicole has made herself very useful and has become an expert with a miter saw and trenching shovels. I’m very proud of her carpentry skills.

I check your blog daily to watch out for new sightings and always enjoy reading your lore. I pray that you have a blast and stay concerned with the adventure more than its safety. After all, you’re David Max Moreland…and if the Grand Cannon should happen to start collapsing in on you, you’d know exactly what to do and even have the cannon in top shape by the time you were done!

Mike said...

Hey Max! Your pictures are incredible. I wish I was out there with you. I am sure that rain will stop eventually. I never minded it too much unless it was cold out. Enjoy and keep posting those pictures! You are in our daily prayers. - Mike

max said...

That bar is the guardrail on the side of the road. I was taking the picture from the driver's seat thru the windshield on the passenger side.

max said...
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