Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado, U.S.A[img src=http://www.ttlphoto.com/wp-content/flagallery/04_27_2012-rmnp/thumbs/thumbs_big_horned_sheep-rmnp-001-04272012.jpg]A Young Male Big Horned Sheep
Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado, U.S.A[img src=http://www.ttlphoto.com/wp-content/flagallery/04_27_2012-rmnp/thumbs/thumbs_big_horned_sheep-rmnp-002-04272012.jpg]Big Horned Sheep
Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado, U.S.A[img src=http://www.ttlphoto.com/wp-content/flagallery/04_27_2012-rmnp/thumbs/thumbs_big_horned_sheep-rmnp-003-04272012.jpg]Big Horned Sheep
Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado, U.S.A[img src=http://www.ttlphoto.com/wp-content/flagallery/04_27_2012-rmnp/thumbs/thumbs_big_horned_sheep_rmnp002_04282012.jpg]Big Horned Sheep
Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado, U.S.A[img src=http://www.ttlphoto.com/wp-content/flagallery/04_27_2012-rmnp/thumbs/thumbs_big_horned_sheep_rmnp008_04282012.jpg]Big Horned Sheep
Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado, U.S.A[img src=http://www.ttlphoto.com/wp-content/flagallery/04_27_2012-rmnp/thumbs/thumbs_clarks_nutcracker-005-rmnp_04282012.jpg]Clarks Nuthatch
Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado, U.S.A[img src=http://www.ttlphoto.com/wp-content/flagallery/04_27_2012-rmnp/thumbs/thumbs_clarks_nuthatch-rmnp-001-04272012.jpg]Clarks Nuthatch
Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado, U.S.A[img src=http://www.ttlphoto.com/wp-content/flagallery/04_27_2012-rmnp/thumbs/thumbs_clarks_nuthatch-rmnp-003-04272012.jpg]Clarks Nuthatch wanted to take the easy way down
Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado[img src=http://www.ttlphoto.com/wp-content/flagallery/04_27_2012-rmnp/thumbs/thumbs_elk_rmnp-001-04272012.jpg]Elk near the Beaver Gate
Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado, U.S.A[img src=http://www.ttlphoto.com/wp-content/flagallery/04_27_2012-rmnp/thumbs/thumbs_elk_rmnp-002-04272012.jpg]Elk
Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado, U.S.A[img src=http://www.ttlphoto.com/wp-content/flagallery/04_27_2012-rmnp/thumbs/thumbs_horseshoe_park-rmnp-001-04272012.jpg]View down to Horseshoe Park
Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado[img src=http://www.ttlphoto.com/wp-content/flagallery/04_27_2012-rmnp/thumbs/thumbs_katherine_dogs_rmnp013_04282012.jpg]Katherine and Zelda at 11,000 feet
Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado, U.S.A[img src=http://www.ttlphoto.com/wp-content/flagallery/04_27_2012-rmnp/thumbs/thumbs_katherine_dogs_rmnp021_04282012.jpg]Katherine and Zindzi at 11,000 feet
Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado, U.S.A[img src=http://www.ttlphoto.com/wp-content/flagallery/04_27_2012-rmnp/thumbs/thumbs_katherine_elk-rmnp001_04282012.jpg]Katherine photographing Elk from a safe distance
Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado, U.S.A[img src=http://www.ttlphoto.com/wp-content/flagallery/04_27_2012-rmnp/thumbs/thumbs_mountain_bluebird-rmnp001_04282012.jpg]Mountain Bluebird
Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado, U.S.A[img src=http://www.ttlphoto.com/wp-content/flagallery/04_27_2012-rmnp/thumbs/thumbs_pica-rmnp-001-04272012.jpg]Pica
Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado, U.S.A[img src=http://www.ttlphoto.com/wp-content/flagallery/04_27_2012-rmnp/thumbs/thumbs_stellers_jay_rmnp010_04282012.jpg]Stellers Jay
Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado, U.S.A
Our first adventure to Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado
Katherine and I headed to Longmont, Colorado on April 23 for her to attend a certification workshop for Canine Fitness and Conditioning presented by FitPAWS Conditioning Equipment. Of course we took a few of the dogs along for the drive and hopefully would find time to hike them in Rock Mountain National Park.
After a quick 2,500 km 2 day drive we arrived at our hotel destination in Louisville, CO, home for the next several days. Louisville, has an elevation of 5338′ which is about 5,000′ higher then home in Barrie, Ontario. I did not notice the elevation change until I went for my first 30km scouting bike ride, I find it’s always a good idea to orient myself for any longer rides that might take me away from our home base for a few hours.
The view driving from Louisville to Bolder is amazing as you head into the foothills and see the Rockies looming in the background. Each morning we headed in Bolder to pick up breakfast and coffee at Panera Bread, nothing beats the Power Sandwhich and coffee to get you going in the morning. With sandwich’s and coffee on board we head to Longmont, where Katherine departs at the workshop and I with the dogs continue to Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP), via Estes Park. The 45 minute drive to Estes Park reminded me a little of Yellowstone’s East entrance road, with twist and turns that have you on the breaks and really paying attention… until you have drove it a few times it can be a little nerve racking, especially the return, which is more of a downhill grade. I am sure this road is very popular with the “sports car” enthusiast in their Mini’s, Porches and Vettes, having a little extra traction and performance control over the Dodge Caravan sure would be a blast! Of course the bikers, motor and cyclist where grinning from ear to ear too
On route to RMNP and coffee nearing a refill I found a small shop in Lyons, CO named The Stone Cup. This is one cool little coffee shop, it use to be the town post office, so maybe all the people are there by habit or the coffee and pastries are just that good? I stopped here 3 days in a row for coffee and a pastry (banana bread with chocolate chips…. heaven!). The 3rd time was with Katherine and she found the sweetest coffee mug (with a frog on it) make by local artist Sherry Laurienti of Pottery Perfection LLC, of course we picked up more pastries and coffee refills, yes, darn good coffee too!
After arriving in Estes, taking a quick look around (it’s a small town, not a “park” it’s just named park) I did not know this! On and upward, follow the signs to RMNP, which is just several minutes away through the very touristy downtown of Estes Park. The Beaver Meadows visitors centre just east of RMNP was a worthwhile stop for maps and several questions for the park rangers, they where very helpful in knowledge of Elk, Birds and Big Horn Sheep viewing areas. After a short potty walk for the dogs, off towards the main park gates we went. Less then 100 yards from the park gate was my first encounter with Elk (first image), always a great sign when your goal is photography . There was very little traffic on this Thursday in the park so I pulled over and snapped a few dozen images before the Elk headed across the road and into the meadow to join several others.
At the main gate I was created by a very friendly park ranger who informed me it was free week at RMNP, sweet! An Elk and free admission in the first 10 minutes on my first day in RMNP, this is going to be a great few days! And what a few great days it was, so it’s time for the photos to take over, enjoy
3 days at Rocky Mountain National Park was not enough of the beauty and the majestic views. Definitely a return here is on the things to do list