Estes Park has always attracted me with it’s central location to big granite walls, abundant wildlife and untamed alpine woods. Casey and I took a full week to really appreciate the town and surrounding wilderness. We shared experiences climbing and hiking at Longs Peak, Wild Basin, Lily Lake, Lumpy Ridge and Big Thompson Canyon. On one of our days off we took the long winding drive through the Rocky Mountain National Park. From Trail Ridge Road to Grand Lake few words were spoken and even fewer blinks were taken due to the lush beauty of the Park. Highlights of yellow and orange lit up the woods like a wildfire engulfing the hillside. What better time to be here then Fall! That afternoon the allure of solitude led us to a meadow by the Colorado River. Even with all the excitement of climbing – this memory stands out the most – gathering river rocks with Casey amongst the hundreds of pinks, purples, greens and pearl shades that lined the bank.
“Ain’t this somethin’? I told my pap and mam I was coming to mountains to trap and be a mountain man; acted like they was gut-shot. Says “Son, make your life go here, here’s where the peoples is. Them mountains is for animals and savages.” I says, “Mother Gue, the Rocky Mountains is the marrow of the world”, and by God, I was right.” -Jeremiah Johnson