When Stephen and I pulled into Rocky Mountain National Park our jaws dropped. The blue sky, the shimmering yellow Aspen trees and the snow capped mountains were breathtaking. Thanks goes to the late Enos Mills for his unwavering efforts to preserve this land and to President Woodrow Wilson for signing the legislation in 1915 to create Rocky Mountain National Park. It is the tenth established park in the U.S. and visited by people from around the globe.
We stayed in the Moraine campground with our Vistabule facing a large open meadow. It was a lovely view and we were amazed that we snagged a campsite at such a popular park.
Stephen and I noticed signage declaring that it was Elk Rut Season with warnings to stay at a safe distance. We learned that the male elk with their huge rack of antlers can become aggressive as they charge each other battling for dominance and mating rights. Yikes…we’ll stay far away. Another part of the rut ritual is elk bugling. It’s a loud call the bulls make to attract females. Throughout our first night we heard this high pitched sound that actually woke us up several times. The following morning we climbed from the camper and in the meadow behind us were fifty grazing elk. I counted at least three bulls with enormous horns. No wonder we couldn’t sleep….the party was in our back yard! Stephen and I brewed a pot of coffee and watched for an hour as bulls bugled and strutted about trying to impress the females and gain dominance among the other males. It was quite a spectacle.
Besides watching elk strut we climbed Deer mountain (over 10,000 feet elevation) and hiked to Cub lake. We marveled as we hiked and I couldn’t stop snapping photos.
We had three lovely days at Rocky Mountain National Park and Stephen thoroughly enjoyed his new Keen hiking shoes.