Estes Park, a Gem in Colorado

As the itch for new sights finally sets deep into my skin, Duke and I continue the journey west. We spent well over a month in and around the lake town of Estes Park. It sits as a gateway leading from Denver into the Rocky Mountains. A town of 12,000 that stays buzzing on the monetary supply of over 4,000,000 tourists a year. I’ll get it out of the way up front, the crowd of tourists is the only downside to Estes. The main intersection downtown has four ice cream shops within 100 yards of each other if that tells you anything. The exodus of city slickers to the mountains on the weekend is near overwhelming.

            Sitting on a man made lake in a valley at 7,500 feet elevation, there are 13,000+ feet mountain peaks at every angle around you. It’s incredible. More remarkable even is the everlasting wildlife presence that still runs the land. There are 12,000 humans who have shelter in this town but don’t get it mistaken, the land still belongs to the elk, moose, bear, cats and birds of prey of the area. That prideful strut of an 800 pound bull elk taking his time holding up traffic is evidence of that. You’re not making it to work until they cross the road.  

            I was here at the perfect time of year to witness herds of elk in rut. Meaning, for a few weeks the bulls are looking for their ladies to mate. Yea, plural. They’ve got it figured out. The showcase of dominance they display to the surrounding cars, humans and anything in their way of ladies is a sight to see. I’ve uploaded some of that fun footage I witnessed. Still trying to figure out the best way of displaying the countless fire photos I’ve collected since being in CO. Any ideas? Let me know!

            A next activity I’m crossing off the bucket list is serious rock climbing. I met so many travelers spending their current existence climbing summits around the United States. Many van lifers who get up each morning to be at the base of their climb before 5:00am. For many reasons I learned. For instance, since Covid has blasted tourism numbers through the roof at National Parks you must now have reservations at many of them during hours around 9:00am-3:00pm. It’s pretty crazy. Those climbers also have logic in beating the storms while they’re on the mountain. Similar to a dry Florida climatre, you can guarantee showers if not storms a few days a week. I’ve learned they come hard and fast when they do. Often in the afternoon hours, climbers are able to make their descent down the mountain before they come in to reduce the risk of lightning strikes at such a high elevation. When I’m back in CO. I’m definitely getting these fingers in some cracks. Not the booty kind.

            Next time you’re planning a Denver/CO trip as many of my friends are currently doing, Estes and its surroundings are one of a kind and worth consideration. If you like seeing wildlife, it’s #1 at the top of my list. For now. I’d joke with the people I made friends with about just how rare the sights we were seeing everyday are and that they better not take it for granted. It’s easy to do so when they’re in your sights daily. What beauty a difference in perspective can be.

            Can’t tell you how excited I am to level up the wildlife surroundings by getting into Wyoming, visiting Yellowstone and Grand Teton. My friends who have been have certainly gassed me up for the sightings of herds of bison, wolves and hopefully some grizzly. Hoping the latter two are at a distance. 

            As this journey takes us out of the western edge of Colorado I’ll be adventuring into new territory, Titus Bass style. I’ve done so much of the eastern half of the U.S. but I’m yet to travel past CO. going west. It’s been amazing to see the opposite similarity in travelers heading east. Most of the people I’ve met from Cali and Oregon have not the slightest clue what Kentucky or even Florida is like. What a parallel universe it is indeed. I’m determined to enjoy them all.

            Thanks for the continued support, love all y’all!

Welcomed connections à | Social media @wildcodylife

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