Yesterday afternoon we took a wonderful hike in Rocky Mountain National Park. We hiked from the Glacier Gorge trailhead on the Bear Lake Road to Mills Lake. The hike starts at about 9000′ and gains 750′ in 2.8 miles. There was a dusting of snow along the trail and we saw quite a few people. Interestingly enough we estimated the average age to be 55. I could really feel the altitude and was huffing and puffing but I thoroughly enjoyed the hike, the views, the aspens with their bright yellow leaves and of course the lake.
After our hike, on the way back to Estes Park we saw three different herds of Elk each of which had a stag with giant antlers in charge. In two of the herds there was also a younger stag hanging around trying to get in with the ladies. Chasing the younger stag away and keeping the herd together was a full time job for the lead stag. Not only did we see the herd but we also heard the herd. The elk calls were high pitched and surprising. The biggest herd (about 35 elk) was right in front of the main building at the YMCA of the Rockies. Duke’s family has had a couple of family reunions there so he took me up to see the impressive facility.