Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Adventure in Rocky Mountain National Park

_MG_8832.jpgA few weeks ago Jared's cousin, Rick, his wife Katie, and their little girl, Lydia came to town to visit. We had so much fun with them and hopefully didn't wear them out too much. We thought it would be fun to take them to none other than Rocky Mountain National Park since it's one of our favorite places. 
_MG_8830.jpgWe rolled into Estes Park right at lunch time, so we decided to refuel with a little pizza. It was quite delicious.
_MG_8842.jpgNext to the pizza place was a quaint little bakery. Katie thought we all needed a little dessert. The children all agreed. The cookies were wonderful and huge.
_MG_8844.jpgAfter filling up our bellies we drove into Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP). We took in the beautiful view along with all of the elk hanging around nearby.
_MG_8847.jpgWe thought it would be fun to do a little hiking. We didn't know that the trail we chose wasn't really stroller friendly.
_MG_8854.jpgWe decided to ditch the strollers.


A stream.

And more rocks. It's a win win.

We finally made it to our destination: The Pool. It wasn't quite what we expected, but it was a great resting area. I love how Rick is trying to photograph Katie and Lydia while our family is scattered everywhere. It's too funny.
_MG_8890.jpgOf course I attempted a photo with all of my children that didn't end up too well.
_MG_8900.jpgThis is why the area is called The Pool. I think it's because of the stream that runs through the area.
Does this make you think of the movie A River Runs Through It?

_MG_8912.jpgWe finally made it back to our vehicles and decided to drive to the peak of RMNP. 
_MG_8921.jpgIt's a slow and scenic drive.
_MG_8930.jpgWe stopped at a few places to take in the view.
_MG_8934.jpgOnce you're above a certain altitude things don't grow as well anymore.
_MG_8937.jpgWe hit up the Trail Ridge Cafe which sits at 11,796 feet above sea level. 
_MG_8939.jpgIt's hard to find a tree growing at this altitude.
_MG_8941.jpgWe found a small trail to hike again. The temperature at this point was 53 degrees at about 6pm. Our previous hike was in the 80s.
_MG_8951.jpgWe drove along that road.
_MG_8965.jpgOn our drive back down the mountain we spotted some more elk. They're used to people and it doesn't bother them when people stop and gawk at them. They don't run or attack. They just go about their business. Once we made it back down the mountain the temperature was 72 degrees at 7:30. Crazy right? 

Dinner time in Estes.It was long past dinner time, so we popped into Penelope's for some grub. They have world famous food.
_MG_8970.jpgThis was Katie's patti melt that I snitched. It was fabulous.

My Lutheran Stud is a sweet talker. He managed to get a discount on our kids' meals. That's what happens when you buy in bulk.

I loved all the vintage on the walls of this place. It was a fun restaurant with fantastic food. Check it out if you're in Estes Park.


Gretchen said...

I'm salivating over your beautiful mountain pictures. Glad you got to visit with Rick and Katie.

Adriane said...

I've been in that restaurant with Kel! We, of course, refrained from the hiking aspect and just went straight for the eating. You know, like we do.

Andrea said...

Gorgeous Photos! Absolutely gorgeous! I love the mountains. I drag my hubby to either Mt. St. Helen's or Mt. Rainier at least every other season if I haven't had visitors to show around myself. I never get tired of photos of the mountains- no matter where they are.

Kellee said...

Can I just *like* Adriane's comment :) Looks like fun. Minus the hiking part. You know me.