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Carolina Girl visits the Rockies

October 7, 2010

Mom spent the weekend with us to help celebrate Isaac’s birthday.  We had so much fun – three days went by really really fast.

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One of the highlights was our visit to Rocky Mountain National Park.  It’s only an hour drive from our house and luckily it is the perfect time of year to drive up the highest continuous paved road in the United States and visit the Alpine Ranger Station at 12,500 ft.   It was beautiful!!

Here’s a view of the Rockies from our car window during the drive up.  Isaac was nice enough to take a nap during this part. 

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More views from the car…

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It was dry – lots of yellow grasses; the trees became sparse as we climbed higher and higher.

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Check out that beautiful road!  Jamie has his eye on a bicycle tour through here next year…

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Here we are at our destination – the Alpine Ranger Station.  Isaac did his best to pose for a picture in front of the fake-looking backdrop of the 14,000 ft peaks!

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Mom & Isaac grit their teeth against the cold and wind to smile for the camera.

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Here – now you can see what it was really like up there.  Super windy, super cold!  Mom’s North Carolina blood did not approve.

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After our photo shoot we turned around and drove back down.  Jamie continued to drool over day dreamed visions of himself bicycling these roads. 

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He is mentally glossing over one little detail, though, that I am now old & wise enough to recognize.  This road climbs vicious hills at 12,000 ft elevation.  That is HIGH.  Here’s how high: when we got out of the car at the ranger station, we all felt light headed and dizzy.  We were literally stumbling into each other as we attempted to walk across the parking lot!  It felt like our legs were numb & heavy, and our heads were detached from our bodies. 

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I’d rather enjoy the views from a car.  Jamie and Stephen can go ahead and knock themselves out (literally), though!  Stephen, did you know about this?  Get ready!!!!

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We stopped a few miles down the mountains at another view point.  Still cold and windy.  Isaac had some sort of crazy idea that he didn’t want to wear his hat!

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I disabused him of that notion.

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We ate apples while enjoying the views.

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Isaac crawled around (in his hat) and was happy & cute.

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We tried to prop him up on a rock ledge to get a solo picture of him, but he wouldn’t look at the camera.  He’s looking down at the arms that are propping him up and laughing about it, instead…

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Then he came up with a brilliant idea – walk along the precarious rock ledge!

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He is a daring mountain goat boy, obviously…

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Then he continued to walk down the path, back towards the car.

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As gleeful as can be!  I have never seen him so excited!

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More posing, more scenery!   Every where you looked it was SO beautiful!

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We drove father down the mountain to where the trees reappeared and went for a walk amongst the cedars & aspens.

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Sitting on a rock, eating our picnic lunch.

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We enjoyed the sun and warm temperatures at this elevation.  Much more pleasant to hang out here.

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The trees are starting to change color…

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And the Elk are out and about!  There were traffic jams all over the place, and crazy tourists getting 10 ft away from wild bull Elk.  Jamie was, once again, dreaming of scenarios where naughty tourists are punished for their actions…

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One Comment leave one →
  1. October 8, 2010 4:39 am

    Your “Rare Air” story reminds me of my first ski trip to Vail when I was 16. Drove nonstop, arrived early morning, rode the gondola to the top at 11,570 feet. Bent over to secure skis, stood up, and passed out! Lying in the snow recovering, I could hear the locals; “Low Lander”.

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