Well, it is bright and early on a Friday morning, and I am a) about a week late in posting this and b) reminiscing about hiking through the Rocky Mountains as I learned earlier this week that I will not be doing that for quite a while. (Pro tip: don’t tear your meniscus.)
Anyways, I figured that my nostalgia would be the prime opportunity to whip up a quick little post about when I could climb mountains (although, realistically, I probably had the same tear then as I do now… not the point).
Our second day in Denver was spent at Rocky Mountain National Park, which, according to Jen, is the “new Yellowstone”. I could totally see it; it’s beautiful and busy. Granted, we did get a bit of a later start than we should have – you can’t blame us, it was a Sunday – and it was a holiday weekend. All of these factors probably contributed to our two-something hour drive into the park, but wowza, was it worth it.
Lex and Jen had me pick the trail, partly because they were concerned about me knee, and partly because I had the map. We picked a trail that took us close to, but not quite at, Bear Lake, which we figured would be really packed due to the holiday. We found a different lake at the top of this rather steep mountain that we climbed. Just for the record, try to figure out the elevation change before setting out on a hike. Just because the map says it’s 1.5 miles there and 1.5 miles back, doesn’t mean it’s an easy hike. We climbed up a mountainside of switchbacks to prove that point.
So we turned around and made it a photo op… until the bugs came flying at us. That, combined with the slightly-distant-but-still-pretty-close rumble of thunder from the clouds above the Continental Divide motivated us to make our way back down the trail.Overall, it was a gorgeous hike, and the perfect way to spend an even more gorgeous day. The exercise felt great… so great, that we collectively decided we needed ice cream to reward ourselves.
A random guy on the trail overheard us talking about the ice cream and insisted that we go to the “first place on the right side of the main street in town.” His directions were about as good as any I have ever given people… and just as descriptive.
Well, we found the place despite lack of specificity, mainly because everyone else in Estes Park also found it. Apparently, Hayley’s Ice Cream is a pretty popular spot. And after devouring (most of) this Oreo cheesecake waffle cone, I totally understood why.