If you know me, you know that I can get pretty excited when winter comes around and the snow starts to fly. In my 10 years of living in Vermont, I was always itching to get a couple October laps in at the local ski hill or throw the first snowball of the season. Last season, one of the first adventures for this blog was finding just a few stray flakes on Mount Mansfield at Stowe. Check that adventure out here. Now that I’ve moved to Colorado winter has hit the Rockies much earlier than it ever did in the Green Mountains, so clearly I needed to go for an adventure!
So, after some quick planning, we hopped in the car and went for a drive to Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park. The drive was about an hour from my apartment and we watched the thermometer in my car dive downwards from 50 degrees in Longmont, all the way down to the upper teens by the end of our drive!
Estes Park was our first stop however. It was Elk mating season, and the elk were all over the place in this tourist town. Herds were congregated on almost every grassy area available. We even found some on the local golf course!
After briefly stopping to see the elk, we continued into Rocky Mountain National Park. Almost as soon as we entered the park, we started seeing snow on the sides of the roads. At the first fork in the road, we followed the road towards more visible snow and entered into Glacier Basin. I was half expecting to see a glacier when we came around the corner, but instead found a winter wonderland. The snow was everywhere and truly seemed to appear out of nowhere. In reality however, it was probably the area’s geography causing the area to be shaded from the warmest parts of the day keeping the snow on the ground.
After a brief walk we continued along the road until its end. The road kept going up and up the areas hills and mountains until we reached the road’s end at Bear Lake. No bears were found, but instead a beautiful alpine lake with a relatively quick trail around it’s perimeter. I was amazed as we were walking around and had to keep reminding myself that fall had really only just begun and all this snow was an early season treat, because it certainly reminded me of what January might look like elsewhere!
Pretty quickly our hike came to an end, but not after a number of pictures were taken and a couple snowballs thrown. We finished up at Bear Lake and began the drive home, completing this adventure on a Sunday afternoon before my New England Patriots had the chance to kick off. Not a bad adventure for an October afternoon!