After coffee, (Terry doesn’t function without it) we went for a hike to some

waterfalls with Danielle, Bruce and their boys.  You could feel the change in

altitude.

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Adams Falls, Colorado

Adams Falls, Colorado

It was an impressive amount of water coming down the mountain!  After the hike

Terry and I went for a drive into the park.  I have to admit, I was surprised and impressed.

Books and articles I’ve read about Rocky Mountain NP have centered on the alpine

meadows and elk.  I was not expecting to see an abundance of moose also, and the

headwaters of the Colorado River are the centerpiece of a beautiful ecosystem.

Elk in Meadow

https://walledlife.smugmug.com/Wildlife/Biggame/Elk/i-5KzCr4L/A

Elk in Velvet and Moose

Did you see the cow moose in the background?  Believe it or not, that is the Colorado River

running between them.

https://walledlife.smugmug.com/Wildlife/Biggame/Elk/i-mpZ9xKR/A

We proceeded up to the top of the pass.  It was very cold, windy and still covered

in snow off of the road.  It’s hard to believe we were over 100 degrees a couple

days before.

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On our way back down we stopped to photograph some Clark’s nutcrackers.

https://walledlife.smugmug.com/Wildlife/Birds/Birds-of-Prey/Scavenger/i-qrSXtvq/A

https://walledlife.smugmug.com/Wildlife/Birds/Birds-of-Prey/Scavenger/i-W9W7zLR/A

When we came back down to the river we were stopped, photographing some elk,

When I noticed some crows diving at something.

Raven

What is that?!

Marten in Rocky Mountain

It was a pine marten!  The first one I’ve seen in the wild!  This is the only decent

picture I got of him.  He wouldn’t hold still!  He had more energy than my twin grand

kids together after three bowls of Fruity Pebbles!

Earlier we were told of a cow moose with a calf near this trailhead along the river, so

we decided to go see if we could find her.  We parked the Jeep and crossed a bridge

to follow the trail up river.

Rocky Mountain National Park

Rocky Mountain National Park

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We saw sign and some beautiful countryside, but no moose!  That is until we returned

to the Jeep.  She was right across the river!

Mama Moose

Her calf stumbled into view shortly after we saw her.

Mama Moose with Calf

Absolutely adorable!

Young Moose Calf

After a long awesome photo session with nothing but a tiny beginning of a river between

us and a potentially dangerous mother with child we headed back to the cabin.  On the

outskirts of town we found a bull moose chowing down on some willows right behind some

other peoples tents.

Bull Moose Grand Lake

The next morning we decided to drive up into the park one more time before we headed

North for Wyoming.

Rocky Mountain National Park Moose

Rocky Mountain National Park

Rocky Mountain National Park

Rocky Mountain National Park

Water

https://walledlife.smugmug.com/Wildlife/Birds/Birds-of-Prey/Scavenger/i-tsQB2cN/A

Rocky Mountain National Park was one of the unexpected highlights of the trip and

we had a great time visiting with and making new friends.