Great Sand Dunes National Park (Colorado)
Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park (Colorado)
Goblin Valley State Park (Utah)
Highway 50 West (Nevada)
Crater Lake (Oregon)
Mount St Helens
Mt Rainier
Olympic National Park
More Yellowstone & Tetons

Rocky Mountain National Park (Part II)

This was, perhaps, one of the most beautiful places I have visited.  Taking the drive through this national park takes you up to 11,000 feet (above the trees).  It is beautiful and the road can be a little scary in some places (sharp turns, and very, very, very, steep drop-offs).  I had a bit of trouble breathing the higher up I got, but it was worth it.  The views are majestic!

This is also an amazing place for wildlife.  You see huge bull elk as soon as you go in.  We saw several moose, many different varieties of birds, and some marmots.

As soon as you hit the road to the national park, you get this view!  So beautiful, and the farther you go towards the park, the prettier it gets!

Moose are easy to track down.  They like valleys with shallow streams.   We saw this moose (hiding), and he wasn't about to get up.  I took his photo through the trees as he just stared at the people looking at him.

After walking away from the moose, I saw this elk go by.  I figured that she would distract the moose and he would get up.


 Sure enough, the moose started to get up!

He turned around and faced us and slowly started walking out of the woods.  He stopped briefly to chomp on some plants, then sashayed right in front of us.  A great photo op!

These were some ADORABLE marmots playing high up in the mountains.  They are a common sight in Colorado and Utah.  They look like a beaver, but I think they are actually a giant rat.

 Elk, elk, and more elk.  The park is filled with them!

When wild animals kill!!  This guy is a perfect example of what NOT to do in a national park.  You tend to think these animals are tame because they ignore humans, but, make no mistake, they WILL kill you if provoked.  You can enjoy them from a distance, but this guy was getting a tad close.  I had my video camera ready in case there was an attack (I would be a YouTube sensation if I caught that on video).  Fortunately, nobody was attacked.

 This bunch of elk were hanging out at the campground. 


 Another moose.  He was a little scraggly-looking!

This poor elk, she was waaaaay up on top of a mountain where there was a lot of traffic because people go so slow.  Her and her buddy were just trying to cross the street, but the cars made her nervous.  She finally made it then waited for her buddy, who also safely made it across.

 More elk!

One of my favorite birds, a magpie.  They are usually shy, but this one was very curious about me and walked right over to the car where I was taking his photo.  He just looked up at me!


 A Clark's Nutcracker.  Common bird in Utah and Colorado.

 Pretty flowers!

 Another marmot.

 The granddaddy of all elk!

 Spring flowers!

 Awesome bug!

This was a huge waterfall right along the road into the national park.

Glorious views from everywhere!

This high altitude makes you HUNGRY!!!  This is my solar dashboard grilled cheese.  Who needs an oven???

Gasping for air!

The drive through this national park is beautiful.   The higher up you go into the Rockies, the less and less you see of trees.  There are no trees at the top of the mountain.

LOTS of snow melt!

 When you reach the tundra, you are above the tree line.  It's all just rock and snow and very little air!