Rocky Mountain Adventure: Day 5

A bright, mild Wednesday seemed an ideal time to visit Grand Lake, Colorado’s largest and deepest natural lake, situated at the park’s western entrance. The lake fills a valley formed by a glacier about 12,000 years ago, with one side dammed up by glacial sediment. It was originally named Spirit Lake by the Ute Tribe…

Rocky Mountain Adventure: Day 4

Today’s destination was Bear Lake, one of Rocky Mountain National Park’s most iconic spots. The alpine lake was formed by 500-foot-thick ice between 15,000 and 30,000 years ago. Flanked by the 12,720-foot Hallett Peak and the Continental Divide, Bear Lake sits at an elevation of 9,450 feet, providing a breathtaking view of Longs Peak, one…

Rocky Mountain Adventure: Day 3

Today we ventured into Rocky Mountain National Park, opting for a driving tour of Trail Ridge Road, the most heavily traveled highway in any national park. Covering 48 miles between Estes Park and Grand Lake, the highest continuous paved road in the United States leads to thrilling views, wildlife sightings and more than 200 species…

Rocky Mountain Adventure: Day 2

Our second day of travel found us driving from Amarillo to Estes Park, a route that took us through New Mexico’s Raton-Clayton Volcanic Field. The highlight was the Capulin Volcano, an extinct cinder cone volcano that was designated a national monument 101 years ago. Considered relatively young, the volcano was formed about 60,000 years ago…

Rocky Mountain Adventure: Day 1

The first day of our Rocky Mountain adventure was spent driving from Dallas to Amarillo. We added some time to our trip by avoiding the shorter route through Fort Worth, which includes some of the most treacherous construction traffic we’ve ever experienced. Driving west toward Abilene and then north to Amarillo requires plenty of caffeine…

Next Up: Rocky Mountain National Park

Yesterday, one of Jon’s colleagues said, “When are you ever going to take a vacation?” Answer: at the end of the month. Destination: Rocky Mountain National Park. We’ll be camping near Estes Park during our week-long stay, which will allow us time to acclimate to the altitude before hitting the trails. After traveling to Grand…

The Problem With Paradise

The American humorist Garrison Keillor once said, “The problem with paradise is that it’s temporary: You don’t belong here and the neighbors are nobody you care to know, so it’s only blissful for a week or so.” We lost count of how many blissful weeks we’ve spent camping at Loyd Park this season, but one…