Greetings from Rocky Mountain National Park

Thirty years ago we took our first grader and preschooler to Estes Park, Colorado on July 4th. We watched the fireworks in the valley below. The next day we were among the first vehicles to go up the one lane road to the top. The day before the rotary plows had cut their way through the last of the snow blocking the path to the top. Our Ranger allowed us to tip toe along a very narrow path on top, so we could use macro-zoom camera to take our first photos of the only meadow of alpine flowers in the lower 48. He explained how fragile this alpine meadow was, and pointed out two tire tracks of where a vehicle had driven across the alpine meadow some twenty+ years before our arrival. The damaged plants had not recovered from this incident. The day before, I had explained to the children how elevation effected the weather. “To the West the sun would evaporate water in the valleys, and clouds would be created and drift Eastward over the Mts. Here it would snow on the peaks and would be covered with deep snow late into the Spring or early Summer. The snow would melt, run down the mountain sides creating creeks that joined together to make large waterfalls, as the water fell to the warmer valley below, where we would see beaver meadows below. Then the cycle would start all over again.” The next day as we drove through the valley and up to the peak, our pre-schooler screamed: “There it is!” She had seen a snow capped peak and a waterfall and the valley below. She was excited to see it all come together in the wilderness. Today the preschooler has a degree in marine biology and freshwater fisheries, working for the government protecting our environment, and the whole family loves the wilderness and the solitude of kayaking in the wilds. I now have a new career as a fine art photographer of landscapes and wildlife, with repeat clients in five galleries and I give naturalist lectures with instructions on how to keep our parks forever wild, and as beautiful as they see nature in the Giclee canvas images they have just purchased. P.S. We went on to visit six National Parks on our trip that Summer.


Rocky Mountain National Park

Rocky Mountain National park offers breathtaking views of the spectacular Rocky Mountain range, with 60 peaks over 12,000 feet, small permanent glaciers, lakes, waterfalls, and historic and cultural treasures including ancient trails, game drives, cattle ranches and lodges. This park’s rugged landscapes harbor hundreds of high-elevation plant and animal species — some that are increasingly rare outside the park or are found nowhere else. Some of the park’s human-made structures speak to the boom-and-bust cycles and neverending search for adequate water supplies that characterized the nation’s westward expansion.

State(s): Colorado

Established: 1915

“our family wants, all people to see and experience the natural landscapes of our country. We want the wilds to remain forever wild and not be destroyed for profit by interests who do not understand the value of these treasures. Our national parks are treasures to be preserved and should be used to educate all people who want to visit them or people who just appreciate their beauty through art and photography.”

National parks represent the best of America. Why do you care about protecting and preserving them? Tell us why parks matter to you!

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