Colorado Report

Posted by Dutchman Thursday, August 18, 2011 0 comments

We made it to Estes Park around 5pm on Saturday, August 6. After checking in to the Inn on Fall River, we drove up to Horseshoe Park and then up Trail Ridge Road. Tyler got his first taste of mountain driving, including avoiding being pinched between a rock face on the right and an approaching car on the left. He didn't remember the steep climb to 12,200 feet from the last trip to Rocky Mountain National Park when he was 7 years old. In the evening he fished a little in the Fall River near our cabin.

Above timberline on Trail Ridge Road

Chipmunk at Rainbow Curve

Clark's Nutcracker

Sunday morning we went fishing at Sprague Lake. We heard a very upset sounding cow Elk bugling across the lake. She was apparently unhappy with a cow moose and calf on the other side, browsing in the willows. She led her band across the shallow lake in hot pursuit. I guess it was a territory issue.
Early morning Elk crossing

Sprague Lake and Hallett Peak
After fishing for a while, we drove up the old Fall River Road. It is gravel and has many switchbacks, some requiring you to jockey back and forth once, as the turn is to tight for a normal car's turning radius.
Near the upward end of Fall River Road.
On Monday, we got a sunrise start and headed over the the west side of the park and the Colorado River valley. We observed several herds of elk, some as near as 20 feet from our vehicle, as well as a coyote and red fox. Once over the pass we saw a number of moose and a few mule deer.
Elk grazing about timberline
We arrived in Winter Park in the late morning, and purchase tickets to ride the ski lift up to the Sunspot restaurant at the Ski area's summit. While there, Tyler became interested in the downhill mountain bikers, also riding the lift. He though it would be a lot of fun to ride down the mountain trails. No peddling, you know.
Sunspot, Winter Park
Tuesday, we left Winter Park, drove over Berthoud pass, through the Eisenhower tunnel and up to Copper Mountain Ski Area. We had a condo there, for the next 6 nights. Our friends from Leonard, Michigan were also staying there.
Ten Mile Creek and Taylor Crossing Condos
Tyler rented a mountain bike for 4 days and made about 15 runs down the trails of Copper Mountain with his friend Nino.

Tyler back at the base

View down to Interstate 70 from atop Copper Mountain

Coke break at the base

Tyler and Nino preparing to ride down

On Saturday the 13th, we drove down to Leadville to watch the Leadville Trail 100 Mountain Bike race. There were about 1800 riders who tortured themselves for 100 miles at elevations of 10 - 12 thousand feet.

Sunday, we turned in the moutain bike and packed up for the trip home on Monday. We detoured through Loves Park, Illinois, in order to see my parents. Tyler had not seen them for almost a year.

Colorado Bound

Posted by Dutchman Tuesday, August 2, 2011 0 comments

Baseball is over. Time now for a vacation. Tyler and I are headed for Colorado this Friday.We'll head for Estes Park first, to do a little fly fishing. We were last there in July of 2003. Tyler was only 7 then, so he doesn't remember much. We will spend a couple of days on the Fall and Big Thompson rivers and then cross over the divide to fish a little on the upper Colorado. Then we will drive to Copper Mountain Ski area, where we have a condo for a week. We have a friend who is there gearing up for the Leadville Trail 100 mountain bike race. We may do a little four wheeling near Vail. Should be fun. Can't wait to get out of the muggy heat here in Michigan.

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I'm a middle aged divorced father living with my two sons. We like to canoe, bicycle, fish, camp, play baseball, and spend money when we want and where we want, without permission from anybody. HA!


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