Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Visit from Jessica - Part One

Post by Loretta

My oldest granddaughter, Jessica, 

Jessica, my Granddaughter

came to visit recently.  We picked her up in Denver late at night, so we stayed the night there.  Since our little car is a two-seater, we rented a car so we would all be able to travel together.  We had planned several things to do while she was in town.

This was her first trip to Colorado, so we wanted to pack a lot of activities into a short week. 

On her first day in Colorado, we visited Rocky Mountain National Park, which this year happens to be the park's 100th anniversary!

Jessica's First Day in Colorado
Visiting Rocky Mountain National Park

We entered on the Eastern side, through Estes Park and drove across the entire Rocky Mountain National Park, to exit on the Western side near Grand Bay.  Jessica was in awe of the beauty and magnificence of the park.

Mountains, Evergreens, and Wildflowers
Rocky Mountain National Park

Jessica on Top of the World

Jessica and Henry
Climbing Rocks

This Yellow-bellied marmot entertained us as it climbed about the rocks, investigating every crevice and peeking out at us.  

Rocky Mountain Marmot

Rocky Mountain Marmot

This little pika was also entertaining.  It would scurry down the rocks to a grassy spot, gather its mouth full of fresh greens, and then scurry back up the rocky cliffs into its nest, then do it all again and again.  This was one of Jessica's favorite critters.

Rocky Mountain Pika

We toured the Alpine Visitor Center, close to the summit of RMNP at 11,796' elevation, and browsed through the separate gift shop.  The Alpine Visitor Center is covered in snow in winter and looking though the huge glass windows in the back, there are still snowdrifts of 10-15' along the mountainside in late July!

Alpine Visitor Center
Highest Visitor Center in RMNP

On a hillside near the Alpine Visitor Center, we spotted a herd of female elk.  There were at least a hundred.  The male elk were at a lower level, resting and showing off their huge racks.

Female Elk 

The Studs

So, on her first visit to RMNP, I think Jessica was extremely lucky to have had gorgeous weather and to have seen such a variety of wildlife.  I would call it a very successful day and beginning to a fun filled week.

We rode a lot of back roads during her visit.  I wanted her to see the free range cattle - not something she would see back home.

Jessica Observing
Free Range Cattle on Road

We went on a three and a half (3 1/2) mile hike around beautiful Monarch Lake, crossing streams and wading in icy cold snow melt water, rockslides, and lots of wildflowers.

Jessica at the Beginning of Hike
Henry, Ken and Trisha

Monarch Lake
The Lake we Hiked Around

Trisha and Jessica
Wading in COLD Creek

Later in the day, we went Moose hunting and Jessica saw her first Moose in the wild!

Jessica's First Moose

Be sure to check back for Part Two of Jessica's visit.  We have more adventures to share.  


  1. Bonnie, The pictures don't do it justice. You just can't capture it...

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