The Campfire

There’s just something special about a campfire…the texture of the wood, the crackle of the logs as they burn, the warm glow of radiant heat which is so inviting on a cool evening.   Best of all is the smell of the wood smoke in the autumn air.  That smell will bring back memories long since locked away.  Memories perhaps of childhood outings with family, of fun and relaxation.  The smell of that smoke will bring back memories more strongly than almost anything else. Continue Reading →

The mountains are calling and I must go…

“The mountains are calling and I must go…” is a famed quote from a letter John Muir wrote to his sister Sarah in September of 1873.  John was an author and naturalist who became a great advocate of the preservation of natural places.  He co-founded the Sierra Club and worked extensively on environmental and scientific issues throughout his life.

Much of the wilderness that Duck and Estes are enjoying below is here today because of the work of John Muir and others like him. Continue Reading →

Cascade Falls

One day left and one more opportunity to hike the Rockies before I fly home.  Though I’ve been to these mountains several times and have seen all sorts of plants and animals, one notable creature still eludes me.  I’ve yet to see a moose in it’s natural habitat.  On this final hike my mother joined me as we attempted to find the elusive moose.

Reports from friends informed us of a family of moose that had been spotted repeatedly along the North Inlet trail on the Western edge of the national park, on the other side of the continental divide.  The trail, while a shorter distance, should still be a pleasant hike to round out the trip, with or without moose.

After following a gravel road from the parking lot past some private land, we intersect with the North Inlet, a waterway which will we roughly follow up to Cascade Falls. Continue Reading →

Bierstadt-Hollowell-Moraine

Looking for a good longer distance point to point hike away from the more popular venues and the resulting human congestion, we devised a 9.5 mile connection through some of the park’s lesser used trails.

This course took us around Bierstadt Lake, through Mill Creek Basin, Hallowell Park , and Moraine Park before ending at the Cub Lake trailhead.  In order to make this into a single day trek, we took advantage of a shuttle service which connects many of the trail heads and parking areas.

We start with an easy climb up from the Bierstadt Lake trailhead.  Pine needles litter the forest floor, dried by the arid atmosphere and radiant sun. Continue Reading →