Rocky Mountain National Park

We had scheduled 4 days in Rocky Mountain before Rachel had to fly back home but our trip coincided with the beginnings of the thousand year storm that, as you may have heard, caused 8 deaths (as of this writing), mass flooding that wiped out access to multiple communities, and billions of dollars in damage. The park was ultimately closed though we managed to leave safely hours before the mandatory evacuation. We did have one full day in the park and saw some of the low lying areas while, unbeknownst to anyone, the ground was quickly saturating and the water levels in the rivers were on their way to dangerous levels. But that day we had no idea of the terrible storm and the tragedies that it would cause.

Because of the dense (and I do mean dense) clouds and fog we never saw the mountains themselves, driving in a whiteout when we climbed over the pass on the Trail Ridge Road and having visibility only in the valleys below the cloud cover. We did see a lot of elk and one coyote in the valleys though and had the opportunity to do a couple short hikes which led us to some beautiful spots.

Me in front of Adam's Falls, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

Me in front of Adam’s Falls, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

Grand Lake, (just outside) Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

Grand Lake, (just outside) Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

Lake Irene, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

Lake Irene, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

Bear Lake Nature Trail, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

Bear Lake Nature Trail, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

Emerald Lake, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

Emerald Lake, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

Elk, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

Elk, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

That night is when the worst of rain started; it was estimated that 8-12 inches fell just overnight. We never really slept due to the incredible pounding of rain and water in the tent seeping (or pooling as on Rachel’s side) but we made it out safely after first light and headed to Denver to dry out and warm up.