Sunday, August 30, 2009

Vacation Day #3-the park

We woke up the third morning with plans to head to Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park. Shawn had vacationed in the Estes Park area while growing up and loves the area. I had been there once while pregnant with Reagan and was not able to do much. Probably because of that, I was not impressed at all with the whole town. I was willing to give it another try though.

For the day.

That's it.

The trip started off with a much needed car wash. Dad's gravel road is not good for keeping a clean car. How cute is the soap?

It was quite a long trip with lots of winding but when the snow capped mountains came into view I forgot that I wanted to throw up my socks. Can you say hairpin turn?While we were on the trip in 2001 we walked around Bear Lake and took this picture. Of course, Reagan is in it....but not visible.We had to go back and capture this.Bear Lake is a really easy hike. Almost flat and great views along the way. We decided we were up to another challenge. I had read about Alberta Falls on the local hike website and Shawn had seen the sign leading to it. We, well, everyone but Kennedy, was up to it. That's a story for a whole 'nother post. It was hard, I won't lie. We took some breaks while old people with canes passed us. We didn't let it bother us. We were conserving our energy. Yes, that's it.

Can I just say that it was worth the hike, the waiting, and the panting? It's not Bridal Falls or anything, but it was spectacular.After drinking in all the beauty, and watching my children get a little closer than I'd like, we headed back to the parking lot. Along the way we saw so many beautiful places. I loved the waterfall, but the smaller, relaxing creek areas are my favorite.That sound just relaxes me. And makes me feel the need to go to the bathroom.

Wait, what?

Moving on.

Next we started the climb up Trail Ridge Road. When we were there in 2001 Shawn's brother had wanted to take the Old Trail Ridge Road. Can we just say, old is not the only word that should be in that title. It should also say, scary, rocky, unpaved, sharp drop off, terrifying...but it didn't. Being on that drive while 4 months pregnant was not a good thing. I wanted to kill Steve and whoever had decided that road should stay open for the adventurous driver.

This time I made Shawn promise we'd take the new one.

Nicely paved+not pregnant=much happier Stephanie. And I think we all know that's a good thing.

And hello view! We would soon be in those. I couldn't wait.As we sat in the gift shop/restaurant and looked at the view, all was right with the world.But always being up for a challenge...we decided to do this. Why not? We were there.Can you believe at over 11,000 feet dandelions will still grow? Good grief.164 stairs later, we had made it.Look at that view!Hoping the walk on the way down would be easier, we set off.It wasn't. But it was nice to be headed back to the car! We were surprised to see the temperature because we were all sweating.The trip down was spectacular and I wasn't the only one taking pictures.More windy roads. I was actually missing Oklahoma at this point.But hello gas savings! Wish we could coast every where we go.My word. How beautiful is this? It made up for all the curves. And that's saying a lot.


sportzmom said...

Gorgeous--hate those hair pin turns though. I would have been throwing up for sure!

Jennifer said...

All that hiking has made ME tired! LOL!

Stacey said...

It is so beautiful there. I have never been there, but I wanted to get married in Estes park.