Into the Forest I Go...

This past weekend I got to head out of town with a girlfriend of mine, Elise, and up into the mountains. Its hard to believe, but this was really a first for me... a trip into the woods for a bit of nature time with just a friend and no child in tow!

We headed into Rocky Mountain National Park, another first for me, and it blew us away!

We got there Friday afternoon, got set up in our camping cabin, and headed to just take a spin around the park. Just a little hiking that day, but it was quite snowy, so just a mile or so felt like a lot more!

Saturday was our first real day in the park. We stopped so I could stamp my passport, and grab some other small things, then it was up into the park. We headed up, and up, and up, to 9500ft and the start of the Bear Lake Trail. We hiked about 4.5 miles round trip, over almost 4' of snow, gaining about 750ft!

It was so much fun... hard work, but gorgeous and so worth it!

I need to buy some YakTraxs, but I made do pretty damn well without. I did change my method of descent in a few extra steep/slick place... 😆

We then changed things completely, heading back down to the Meadows near Moraine Park, and took I think a combination of the Cub Lake Trail and something else! Ha! Whatever it was, it was absolutely gorgeous!!

This hike was easier, in that it stayed relatively "flat", and there was no snow! 

We met some friendly locals (don't worry we kept as much distance as possible!), as we hiked another 4-5 miles, bringing our day's total to around 10.

We headed into Estes Park for a little after that, just to check out the town, then it was back to cook some dinner over the fire and happily take off our hiking boots.

In true Colorado form, this lovely surprise swung in to grace us with its presence...

But it passed in about 15 minutes, and we were able to return to our fire and spend the rest of the evening outdoors.

Our last day we headed way further South in the Park, coming into the Wild Basin Ranger Station, and hiking about 5m round trip to Calypso Cascades, gaining 715 ft along the way.

It was such a beautiful end to our trip... the rushing waters, the evergreens, it all made us East Coast gals feel right at home.

After dropping Elise at the airport, it was time to head home and visit with my loves for a little bit before heading to teach.

Even with all these words, its hard to explain how much this trip meant to me, how gorgeous this park is, and how fulling this weekend was. We managed to get in some very diverse hikes, with some very Colorado weather (snow! hail! beautiful sun! insane winds!), and while I can't wait to go back, I'm so pleased with what we did.

Fingers crossed, Elise and I would love to make this an annual event; and I can't wait to take my family to this amazing National Park. 

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