By the time we hit up Rocky Mountain, most of the holiday traffic had receded and we were able to enjoy a beautiful day exploring the different ecosystems the park has to offer without all the added stress of tourist throngs. We spent about half a day which was enough time to explore about half the park. We entered by way of Estes Park and worked our way up along the Trail Ridge Road. The road itself was once a hunting trail used by ancient inhabitants of the area. Now it’s the best way to “car hike” the park through its sub-alpine, alpine, and tundra systems. The Tundra was pretty awesome. Barren with just a few scrubby plants clinging to the landscape…and cold. Having never been in such an environment before I have to say it was my favorite part of the park. We stopped at the Alpine Visitors’ Center for lunch and spotted an elk herd hanging out on a patch of snow.
In the evening we visited Boulder where my friend Kelly lives and had a great time eating too many nachos and catching up. Bear had a great time at Pearl Street, exploring the parks and ultimately taking the plunge into the water fountain. We were so glad he was recovered from his illness and could really enjoy himself.