Rocky Mountain High

We spent the morning in Estes Park at a Rocky Mountain Art Festival. What do you think about this Rocky Mountain Birdhouse? Aren't they are, er, rather unique? I almost wish I had bought one but my family was more interested in running through the booths so they could drive over Trail Ridge Road and I was trying my hardest not to get separated from them.

Estes Park is also where the beautiful historic Stanley Hotel is located. If you have ever seen the movie, The Shining, or read this Stephen King book this might look familiar to you. Stephen King supposedly had the Stanley in mind when he wrote the book. Of course, in the book there is no town surrounding the hotel. I spent my 10th wedding anniversary here with DH and then, later in the week, went backpacking.
Trail Ridge Road opened a few days earlier than our arrival. It is the highest paved road in the country and is a little bit scary to drive over. On one side of our car were fourteen foot snow embankments and on the other side were the tops of 'fourteeners'. We were above the treeline in the alpine tundra zone, a very fragile world.
Do any of you know what a 'Fourteener' is? Leave a comment if you know what it is before I tell you. A Fourteener is a mountain that has an elevation of 14,000 feet or above. Colorado has, I believe, 52 Fourteeners. I was had an aspiration to climb all of them before I hit 50 but never ventured past the first one!
The views were, of course, breath-taking......in more ways than one! My daughters bought a tee-shirt that said 'GOT OXYGEN?' and then it listed on the back all the Colorado Fourteeners. The pictures hardly do the scenery justice.
The rest of the weekend was spent hiking. DH and I went on one five-mile hike which was more than enough for our old knees. The girls went on one of our favorite eight-mile backpacking hikes and did it in record time to show the old folks how it should be hiked, or rather to remind the old folks how old they really are. Of course, they did not have 50 pound backpacks on their backs........