Rocky Mountain National Park

9/21/16 (Wednesday) in Fort Collins, CO (Horsetooth Reservoir, South Bay Campground-$37/night (County of Larimer Dept of Natural Resources)

Since we were a good ways from the park, we took off before 8am. What with more construction on CR 38E, then the curves of Hwy 34, it was after 9 when we arrived at the Beaver Meadows Visitor Center.


On the way we spotted a flicker (woodpecker) fly across the road. Lovely. Suggestions there: take the Trail Ridge Road and if you have time, visit the Bear Lake area, where there’s lots of hiking. As we were talking to the ranger, he got word that the parking lot there was already full (9:12am), so it seems the best way to go there is via the park shuttle. We really just had time to enjoy the Trail Ridge Road, which traverses an actual ridge of the Rockies for part of its route. Luckily this is also peak foliage time, something we hadn’t really thought about. I took lots of photos, naturally, but I’ll try to limit how many I post here.



Rock Cut


Alpine Area-note how the rocks seem to flow like a stream? It’s due to water freezing and thawing in the soil.


Mushroom Rocks. As softer rock is removed by the elements, the harder rock leaves different shapes.


Pika. The only animal we saw in the Alpine area.


Lava Cliffs


Alpine Visitor Center-the highest in the US at 11,750 feet. The logs are to keep the roof on when the winter winds blow up to 100 mpg.



Poudre Lake at Milner Pass


Never Summer Mountains



About Patricia Elser

I've always loved the loose, flowing, transparent look of watercolors, of Chinese paintings and their calligraphy, but alas, no watercolor classes were available when I was in school, so that interest remained buried until my children were grown. Even then, I was afraid that I couldn't really paint, so upon my sister's advice, I actually started to take classes. I signed up for every class available, determined to learn no matter how afraid I was. I came upon a teacher, Stan Miller, who inspired me, who opened the door to success in watercolor. I love to look at beautiful images. I want to capture them forever. All my life, photography was how I gathered images of the beauty I saw. Thanks to all that photography, I enjoy composing pictures, especially up close. Watercolors allow me to add more of me in their translation of that beauty. My paintings reflect my love for music and dance, with their rhythm and flow. I am fascinated by the play of light, so it appears in my pictures as drama for they are filled with darks and lights. Maybe it's the challenge, maybe it's the beauty, but now, when a work comes together, it fills my soul.
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