We are really enjoying our time in the Rocky Mountain National Park.  Up early on Saturday to join a ranger lead hike through the Alpine area of the Park.  It was a 4 mile hike one way and then the ranger shuttled us back to our cars.

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The weather here is definitely fall like and it was about 40 degrees with wind at the 12,000 foot elevation where we started the hike.  I had on 2 shirts, one of them long sleeved, a sweatshirt and my raincoat!  It was cold for the first 2 miles as we walked along the ridge.   There was also a family on the hike from Colorado and they along with the ranger were very interested in finding the critters that live in the Alpine tundra as well as the plants that are able to grow in the environment, me I was cold and wanted to get to the trees where the wind would be blocked.  It was beautiful on top of the mountain and the day was perfect so you could really see forever.  We could here Elk in the distance blowing their horns – this is the beginning of rutting season.

The hike was beautiful and then on the trail was what I thought as dog dung!  Wrong,  there are no dogs up here!  The ranger and family were very interested in the scat, the ranger even took out pictures to see who it came from!  I have no idea what they eventually determined as I continued to walk because I could see the big trees not far into the distance!

We finally made it to the protection of the trees and enjoyed a much more relaxing hike through the part of the forest I am familiar with.  The trees in this area have been brutalized by the beetle which according to the ranger is a natural occurance and happens as part of the natural cycle.  It is worse than usual because all the elements are perfect for the beetles to be destructive.

Most of the tall trees are dead

Most of the tall trees are dead

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Lots of wild flowers, small but beautiful

Lots of wild flowers, small but beautiful


The hike was awesome.  We probably would not have tried it alone as it would have been an 8.5 mile hike roundtrip and it was cold!  We learned more about the Rockies and a bit about Scat that I hope to forget very shortly and had a very nice morning.

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