Day Twentyseven

Rocky Mountain National Park, CO to Rocky Mountain National Park, CO
June 21st, 2009

High Point of the Day....
Low Point of the Day......
Sledding down the snowpack
Not quite getting Andrew Glacier in view
Miles Traveled Today
Total Miles Traveled
The Bus Playlist
37 in the bus, 5 on the shuttle, 10 on foot
Sunny with some clouds
Price of Gas 
(average per gallon)
Night's Lodging
Where this Page was Uploaded
Elk, chipmunks, squirrels, horses
Aspen Glen Campground, Rocky Mountain National Park
Boulder, CO

Daily Didactic
The day started at a comfortable hour, only a bit earlier than it would have naturally because of the sun shining in the passenger door window. Good buddy Scott had suggested the Loc Vale hike, so we packed up camp and drove the short distance to the Glacier Gorge trailhead. Free Weekend. So...that parking lot was completely full and we headed on up the road to the Bear Lake trailhead, which could have also worked. Free Weekend. Okey doke, so we drove back down the hill to the "park and ride" lot and retraced our journey in a park shuttle bus.

We got off at the Glacier Gorge trailhead and started down the trail with the Free Weekend mob. The trail was beautiful and the alpine hike was an awesome alternative on the desert hiking we've been doing. We lost some of the crowd at the short distance to Alberta falls, and we lost a few more at each vista. When we reached "the loch", which looked suspiciously like a lake, we left almost everyone else behind. Originally this was to have been our destination, but buoyed by the scenery and trail Theresa suggested that the day wouldn't be complete without continuing on a few miles to Andrews Glacier. We charged on up the trail across increasingly frequent snow patches. Eventually, we climbed up into a snow filled basin at the foot of the final pitch, over which was the alpine lake and glacier. We watched some young people with no gear and an older couple with ice axes and climbing equipment slide down the face of snow from the glacier above. We fell into the "no gear" camp, and in fact were in shorts and tennis shoes. We talked to the kids for a few minutes and they we boosters of going up the snow patch. We hiked about half way up, decided better of it, slid down a ways, decided to go ahead and try it, decided not to, and slid all the way to the bottom of basin on our jackets. It was really fun.

We hiked on out a few hours later than we intended, convinced ourselves we had earned another meal at the Wapiti Pub and Grill, and drove to tonight's campsite at the Aspen Glen Campground and checked in. Theresa had managed to reserve tonight's campsite ahead of time, so we moved from the denuded Glacier Basin to the bucolic Aspen Glen for our last night in the park. We again dropped back into Estes Park for a meal, vowed to do some single burner cooking to make up for our extravagance, and enjoyed another campsite campfire before calling it a night.

Daily Pictures (Slide Show)

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Another morning in Glacier Basin Where everything is coming down
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Our ride up to the trailhead, the park shuttle Step one, Loch Vale
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Trail shot Alberta Falls
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Theresa just loves it when folks simply stop in directly front of her to take photos The loch
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We called it the Yoda tree, short with elephant skin Nothing but joy
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A chipmunk ignoring us Step two, Andrews Galcier
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Perhaps the snow is following us One of dozens of beautiful creeks
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The glacier turns out to be over that top saddle Looking left
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Looking right Looking down
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Ultimately we climbed to the snow patch right over Theresas finger and sledded down Not all who wander are lost, but he looks like he might be
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Trail shot Rib cage and jaw bone
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Trailhead bridge Another large bull elk
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Behind us near Aspen Glen campground In front of us near Aspen Glen campground
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Back to the Wapiti Because we earned it!

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