After a week in the Rocky Mountains near Estes Park, Colorado with my husband, mom, dad, brother, sister, brother-in-law, uncle, and long-time family friend, I think it may be time to reflect on why I like this place so much.
Formidable. That’s the word that comes to mind when I think about the awe the mountains inspire in me. I begin to drive through Big Thompson Canyon and know what’s coming. I see the flowing river, steep cliffs just asking to be climbed, and I know that I’m getting close to another home.
My childhood home no longer belongs to my family, but the view of Longs Peak from anywhere in RMNP reminds me of growing up. The meadows in Glacier Basin Campground remind me of reading and frisbee golf and building rock paths to the bathrooms. The group loop reminds me of bike rides with a walkie talkie, just in case I couldn’t find my way back “home” (probably on Loop A or B). The drive into Moraine Park Campground reminds me of the 1 year that we saw a juvenile bear looking for snacks under large rocks. The firewood and ice shop that’s open from 5:30 to 8:30 nightly reminds me of the orange push-pops I’d munch on before S’Mores and while talking to the couple that’s been selling this stuff to the campgrounds for decades. A good pile of firewood makes me want to grab the yellow handled ax and start chopping away. Seeing an elk on the side of the road makes me want to stop and take a picture, but not block traffic like those “tourists” who have never seen the wildlife here. Not me, I’m just visiting my July home. Not a tourist. Well, not completely, anyway.