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Jim Dockery
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Joined: 12 Sep 2007
Posts: 3063 | TRs
Location: Lake Stevens
Jim Dockery
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PostWed Aug 05, 2009 7:35 pm 
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In mid July my wife and I went to Colorado for a reunion and spent a week afterwards in RMNP. We lucked out with the weather - not too hot or buggy - it wasn't until we got home that we found that!
Trail Ridge Road
Trail Ridge Road

Like all national parks this time of year it was crowded, but early morning starts to see the sunrise, a nap in the middle of the day, then evening sunset hikes, helped us find some solitude.
Elk graze, Trail Ridge Rd.
Elk graze, Trail Ridge Rd.
Marmot, Trail Ridge
Marmot, Trail Ridge

The proximity of Estes Park (a town, not a park) makes shopping, eating out, and camping easy. I recommend staying at one of the campgrounds in town - for a couple bucks more you get showers which are sorely lacking in national park campgrounds.

We did a variety of the standard easy day hikes. The highlight for me was an early morning jaunt up below Longs Peak (the highest in the park) to see sunrise on Chasm Lake. It was fun looking up at the steep wall of the Diamond and remembering back about 30 years ago when I climbed it. It was strange to be in this park with fantastic rock and not even rope up for a pitch.
Dawn at Chasm View Lake
Dawn at Chasm View Lake
Longs Peak Sunrise
Longs Peak Sunrise

The photo themes that developed through the week were . . .
Clouds:
Clouds over Longs Pk.
Clouds over Longs Pk.
Dragontail Spires, Flat Top Mt.
Dragontail Spires, Flat Top Mt.

Lakes:
Longs Pk. over Lily Lk.
Longs Pk. over Lily Lk.
Sprague Lk Sunset Fishermen
Sprague Lk Sunset Fishermen
Sprague Lk Sunset
Sprague Lk Sunset
Sprague Lk Sunrise
Sprague Lk Sunrise
Hallett Pk above Bear Lk
Hallett Pk above Bear Lk
Nymph Lk.
Nymph Lk.
Emerald Lk.
Emerald Lk.

My favorite evening was spent wandering alone among dead Limber Pines off of Trail Ridge rd. at dusk.
Limber Pine
Limber Pine

I'm not much for driving, but we enjoyed the trip home (thanks to AC) when we cut across CO over to UT, then up. I love the big sky feel in the desert.
NE UT
NE UT
ID Sunset
ID Sunset

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jimdockery.com
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ASBrauer
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Joined: 02 Feb 2006
Posts: 1469 | TRs
Location: Selah,WA
ASBrauer
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PostWed Aug 05, 2009 7:50 pm 
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Simply lovely!
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RodF
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Joined: 01 Sep 2007
Posts: 2212 | TRs
Location: Sequim WA
RodF
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PostWed Aug 05, 2009 9:05 pm 
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Absolutely gorgeous photos, Jim!  Thanks for sharing.

On March 30, Congress officially designated 94% of Rocky Mtn NP as wilderness.
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rhettlawrence
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Joined: 19 Jul 2004
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PostThu Aug 06, 2009 9:17 am 
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Incredible photos. I love RMNP.
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joker
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Joined: 12 Aug 2006
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PostThu Aug 06, 2009 9:56 am 
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As usual, you have great photos there, Jim!

I have only spent a few days in that park, on Memorial Day weekend back in '93, right after Trail Ridge Road opened. In addition to doing a little skiing (including a nice drop across a road switchback with a free ride back up  smile.gif ), we found a nice dry hike along the crest up there off the road - talk about high pleasure/grunt ratio! We kept stopping for lounging breaks at especially good viewpoints, and at each and every one, we'd see coyote poop. They clearly found value in great viewing positions as well - presumably more for the food, but who knows, perhaps they have aesthetic appreciation for the views too! One day I want to get back there to do more exploring.
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