Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Loveland, CO

23 miles from the entrance of Rocky Mountain National Park.  I can see the snow-capped peaks directly to the west. 

It's been another magnificent day that started with a hike up Scotts Bluff.  The only difficulty was looking out for rattlers while admiring the scenery. 











No snakes of any kind .... but I did see this.  Can you identify?  About the size of a large cat. 



How about these beautiful little flowers?  They are everywhere.



The morning even smelled heavenly.  No doubt due to the magnificent pines.



It was a leisurely 180 miles from Scottsbluff to Loveland through the high plains with an elevation change of about 1550 ft. 

I'll be using my time tonight parked here at Sam's to formulate a loose plan for RMNP.  Getting here always seemed like it was so far down the road ... and now I'm here!

I've discovered that there are free shuttles available.  I had planned to take the GDB up Trail Ridge Road (photo op!) but .... having someone else drive - and pay for the gas - sounds like a better idea.   

There are several first-come-first-served campgrounds for people like me who have allergies to reservations.  I can be in the park early enough to snag a spot, surely.  No hook-ups but, hey, you  are in the park which means, in the evening,  you may hear Elk bugling. 

Any campground suggestions?





12 comments:

  1. Your critter looks like a mangy fox or coyote.

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    1. Weird, huh? At first I thought fox - the face is very sharp like that - but now I'm not so sure. Much smaller than a coyote.

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  2. My friend Jamie, who knows about this kind of stuff, tells me:

    "The flowers are definitely part of the aster family, sickle-leaved golden asters, perhaps. Chrysopsis falcata.

    The cat creature is Wombat, Wombaticus Americana Pullin Your Leggus".

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  3. Welcome to Colorado. I live in Estes Park and can give you a little information about Rocky Mountain National Park. There are no shuttles that take you over Trail Ridge Road, just along Bear Lake Road.

    Moraine Park Campground would be your best bed if you'd like to catch the shuttle up to Bear Lake (it's the only campground on a shuttle route). Bear Lake a beautiful area, but there will be lots of snow on the ground. You may wish to find a hike at a lower elevation along Bear Lake Road. The visitor center (Moraine Park Visitor Center is closed, but the main one at Beaver Meadows is open) can help you pick out trails without snow.

    Trail Ridge Road just opened last Friday, so there is tons of snow up there, but it's quite a sight to see, even if you can't hike on the tundra.

    You will most surely see elk everywhere, but the bugling won't happen until Fall!

    Let me know if you have any questions and I'll try to help.

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    1. Excellent - thanks so much! Just waiting for the rain to clear out this AM.

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  4. All of your photos are beautiful, but I get lost in the last one. Wow! And the flowers look like a living bouquet.

    So glad you missed the snakes. :D

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    1. Me too! There was a group coming back from the hike that reported bowl (?) snakes on the trail ahead. Apparently they look similar to rattlers but aren't venomous. And they eat the rattlers so we like them. Glad you like the photos!

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  5. If you stay at the campground in the park, then it is easier to attend the Ranger's talks if one is scheduled while you are there.

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    1. All the more reason to stay! I'm looking forward to the talks.

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  6. A Wombat! Quite a photo catch! Unless your friend is really pulling your leg? Either way, a very different looking critter. ;)

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  7. RMNP. One of our favorite places. Not sure you're gonna hear any elk bugling, though.

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  8. Pretty sure it is a fox that is shedding. I had no idea the tail could be that bare during shedding, though.

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