Greetings from Rocky Mountain National Park

 I am blessed to live only 45 minutes from Rocky Mountain National Park.  This means I can experience the park many times and in different seasons.  Each time is a new experience, even if the trail is the same.  The weather can change from a gentle breeze to a gale force wind to snow to sunshine in just a few moments.  Elk, black bears, moose, big horn sheep, deer, marmots, pikas, and snowshoe hares have crossed my paths in the park over the years.  
 My most unusual encounter while in Rocky was on a hike to Mills Lake in the winter, one of my favorites.  Mountains, waterfalls, lakes, views - what more could a person want?  This time though, I did a double take when looking across the frozen lake.  A couple who looked to be in their late 70’s were ice skating!   They were obviously skilled but were skating gingerly, gliding across the thick ice doing slow spins and tiny bunny hops.  Another younger lady was taking photos of the pair.  I wondered if the skating was for a special occasion, not a regular routine.  I never talked to them, just watched for a while.  Musing on the hike back to the car, I wondered, was this something they did when they were younger?  Was it for a big anniversary photo or to cross off a bucket list item?  I’ll likely never know but will cherish this memory that reminds me that each visit to a National Park is special. 


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

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