Rocky Mountain National Park and state #42

After our time in Wyoming and before we went to Boulder to run our Colorado race, we spent a few days at Rocky Mountain National Park. It was one of the best parts of our trip.

I’m going to save a thousand words and let the pictures speak for themselves (with a few captions).

One morning we watched this moose contentedly browse in the pond and cavort through the meadow. It was very early and the park was not yet teaming with visitors. We enjoyed sharing our binoculars with another family so that they could enjoy a close up view, too.
The day after we took this photo the nest was empty. It certainly looked a tad crowded!
This is the view from the car as Mike drove up Old Fall River Road!
We were thrilled when we first spotted a yellow-bellied marmot but we soon realized they were a common sight.
There were utterly stunning views but I found it a bit nerve-wracking going up this single lane dirt road with switchbacks and steep drop offs. Mike’s driving was spot on!
As Old Fall River Road approaches Trail Ridge Road and the Alpine Visitor Center, the scenery is spectacular.
These poles line Trail Ridge Road and are used to help the plow drivers find the road when they work to clear it in late spring. The snow can be that deep!
This is the highest visitor center in the National Park System at almost 12,000 ‘. The huge logs on the building are designed to keep the roof on during the brutal winter weather!
There is a short ascent to the tallest point in the park. I tried to casually hike up the wide stone steps but the altitude soon had me breathing hard and pausing frequently to “look at the view”.
The views just never ceased to awe us!

We had purchased a Just Ahead app tour which provided extensive history and information about the areas we drove by. I will definitely be using this app for future trips.

Rocky Mountain National Park Wildflowers

As we hiked in the park, I was intrigued by the multitude of wildflowers that we encountered. I bought a wildflower guide at the visitor center and entertained myself by trying to identify these unfamiliar flowers. Mike was incredibly patient as I climbed down inclines and repeatedly stopped along the trail when I spotted a new specimen. Here is a sampling of what I found.

Colorado Quest Race #42

When we planned this trip there were limited options for a Colorado race that fit into our schedule and our geographic limitations. So when we we found the Strokes and Strides 5K in Boulder we figured it would fit the bill. This event offered a combination of swimming and running or just running. We had never even attended an event that included swimming, so we were so intrigued and totally clueless about what it entailed.

It took place at the Boulder Reservoir on a sweltering, humid evening. We listened as the announcer explained how the swimming event would go and warned the swimmers to listen for the signal that lightning was imminent and how to proceed in that event.

We watched as swimmers donned their wetsuits and lined up to enter the water. After they were off it was time for the 5K to begin. There was a whopping group of 5 runners that were doing just the run, including Mike and me. We have definitely never started a race with that few runners. But it was exceptionally low-key and we happily started off on the trail that ran beside the reservoir.

It was an easy out and back course. Before we had finished, there were swimmers who had completed their swim and were now running beside/past us. We were totally fine with that since our goal was to successfully complete the race and enjoy the experience. Which we did!

We celebrated our accomplishment with dinner on Pearl Street in Boulder and headed home the next morning having checked off our 42nd state in our quest to run a race in every state.

State: Colorado

Race: Strokes and Strides

Date Run: July 22, 2021

Bottom Line: This was one of the more unique races we’ve done, watching swimmers prepare for their swim and starting our run with only 5 runners in total. But we thoroughly enjoyed the experience and our travels to Colorado.

6 thoughts on “Rocky Mountain National Park and state #42

  • We went to Rocky Mountain park many decades ago, so we were much younger & we did a lot of hiking! We didn’t see moose — I’ve never seen moose in the wild — but we did see a lot of elk. And #allthewildflowers!

    Nice job on state42!

    We visited friends in ME last summer. On Verona Island. We hope to go back this year, too

    • I know, the wildflowers are amazing! Too bad you didn’t see a moose. Maybe you’ll get lucky when you come back to Maine! Let us know if you’re traveling in Maine. Maybe we could connect again.

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