|View of the alpine tundra from Trail Ridge Road.
Morning came without incident other than our nocturnal
boys refusing to wake up. We again loaded up on Lucky Charms and fruit
for breakfast and decided that this would be a good day to go for a horse
back ride since it was sunny and clear.
After a quick clean up we made the short drive down
to the Moraine Park Stables and reserved seven spots for the 1:30 ride.
Now with about 4 hours to kill we decided to run up the Ridge Road and
check out the alpine scenery. The van still struggled with the steep grade
but we made it up to the Cut Rock pulloff. Just I remembered from my only
other visit here in 1976 the scenery was fantastic. We decided to hop
out of the van and hike the path leading to some odd rock formations.
We were at 12,000 feet and the short stroll upward was more difficult
than I had imagined---even worse than lugging 35 pounds at 10,000 in the
Bighorns. I once again to have concerns for my fitness level for my upcoming Glacier
Once to the rock formations we were treated to an even
better view. the kids climbed on the rocks while Yumi and I chatted with
a Larry Bird look-alike and his family. We would later meet them at the
Alpine Visitor Center. We spent a few hours up there then walked back
down to the van and went to the Visitor Center. We had no problems finding
a parking spot and entered the gift shop/snack bar. We ordered chili dogs
and sodas at a cost of nearly $70 and viewed a small herd of elk on the
|Yumi and the kids riding down to Moraine
Needing to get back to Moraine Park by 1:15 we descended
from the tundra to the riding stables. Our two hour ride was about an
hour too long for most of our butts. Near Beaver Creek we passed the staging
area used for the missing ranger search and rescue operations. All of
the horses performed well except for Nick's lame-ass "Irish"
who insisted on lagging behind.
After dismounting we hopped in the van and made a short
stop at the banks of the Big Thompson River so the kids could splash around
a bit. I spent most of my time carrying the girls from rock to rock as
the water was a bit too deep for them to make it across the river. Yumi,
Todd and Matt decided to relax in the van. What party poopers!
Not feeling like cooking dinner, we decided to run
over to Estes Park and grab some subs at Subway for a mere $60.
We made it back to the cmapground in plenty of time
to walk over to the campground ampitheatre and listened to a presentation
on the Lost Lodges of Rocky Mountain National Park. By the time the presentation
ended it was time to get everyone to bed. A good day but I was looking
forward to tomorrow when we could go on a hike.