Monday, September 26, 2011

Quiet and Peaceful

Originally published in My Trip Journal on June 14, 2011

That's the way I would describe our days in Estes Park. The weather has been absolutely delightful with clear sunny days and crisp cool nights. The only possible negative I might find would be the occasional windy days. Today has been one of those with a brisk wind from the north that sometimes gusts upwards of 50 mph (according to Yesterday was the exact opposite with a calm feeling that barely rippled a leaf as we hiked. The remainder of the week is forecast to be much of the same perfect weather.

We are beginning to turn our thoughts toward home. On Sunday afternoon while Bill napped, I finished planning our trip back to Tennessee. Finding new routes and discovering quirky little communities are just as fun going home as it was driving out here. We will be making our way home fairly quickly, but will stop early enough each evening to rest and look around in the place we are staying. More details as it gets closer.

Speaking of Sunday, we did something that we haven't done in all the time we've been gone. We never left our cabin. That wasn't planned, it just kind of happened and ended up being a truly enjoyable day. Believe me, with the sound of the river outside our windows drowning out all other noise, this feels like such a peaceful oasis. Sunday was a very windy day, much like today, so as the day wore on, we kept putting off even going for a walk until we just laughed and said, "forget it." We went to church via our home church's webcast for which we are extremely thankful. Even though we aren't there in body, it helps us feel not quite so removed. Of course, with the 2-hour time difference, church was over at 10 a.m. The rest of the day just sort of unfolded with lots of reading, net surfing, phone calls (it was my parents' 57th wedding anniversary), writing, napping and a yummy dinner prepared by Chef Bill.

Monday, we hiked to the summit of Deer Mountain and it was awesome. Deer Mountain, at 10,013' will be our only "summit" while in Colorado. Neither of us are quite skilled enough for any of the 14er's, but Deer Mountain was a good challenge and oh my goodness, the almost 360 degree view from the summit was wonderful. This also allowed us to finish something we had started on our last trip to RMNP. Deer Mountain was the only hike we started last time that we were unable to finish. About half way into the hike, it began to thunder and black clouds rolled in quickly. Above all else, I am a cautious hiker at ANY time, but in a National Park with which I'm unfamiliar with quickly changing weather patterns and heading towards an exposed summit, I felt the prudent thing to do was descend, so we did. In the end, it was a wise decision. At best, we would've gotten soaked. We won't talk about the other alternative. So yesterday we arrived at the summit about 11 a.m. with big grins on our faces amazed by the view and proud to have completed something we started two years ago. We found a nice flat rock and spent an hour snacking, talking, drinking coffee and enjoying nature (except for the obviously well-fed chipmunks who refused to leave us alone).

Today (Tuesday) has been another quiet day although we did go for a long walk through town and around part of the Lake Estes trail which I wrote about last week. It is finally evident that all schools are out and tourist season is fully upon us. Town is VERY crowded and I am so thankful our cabin is positioned in a way that we can enter or exit town simply by walking. When at the cabin, we have no sense of even being near a town, yet it's less than a five minute walk. Perfect!! If only we didn't have to walk by the DoNut Haus every time we stroll into town. Sigh!!

Tomorrow and Friday, we will hike again. On Thursday, we plan to drive down to Longmont where there is a bike trail which we have not ridden. Saturday will be our typical last day routine where we'll revisit all our favorite places and pick up a few last minute items to take home.

Thanks for following along!

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