Lookin’ for love, elk style

If you are a lonely male elk, you’ll know this sound well.

Unfortunately, we didn’t have much luck in our quest for bugling elk. Or maybe it was the elk who didn’t get lucky. Either way, our weekend trip to Rocky Mountain National Park was pretty awesome.

We did see elk, but except for catching the end of one far away bugle, we didn’t have much luck hearing them. Maybe they were just shy because jack nards like these people in the photo were getting all up in their private business.

Check out this guy! I wasn’t really that close; he was just near  the road, and I have a decent zoom.

Other than elk stalking, we had a glorious day of fall color, mild hiking and well-behaved kids.

The cousin crew: (from L to R) Graham, Gabriela, Garrett and Manny, the lone “M” of the group.

If you are planning a trip to the area, live in Colorado, or are just plain interested, we did the Bear Lake nature walk (very easy and wheelchair accessible) and then forked off to Nymph Lake. Crowded and quick, but perfect for the kids, and we saw some amazing color. Bear Lake is a jumping off point for several other longer trails in the area, and is also a shuttle stop. You can park at Bear Lake, do a hike with a trailhead at another location, and shuttle back to your car at Bear Lake. I’d recommend Bierstadt Lake trail for a little longer trek.

Yup, it’s a lake.

Gorgeousness.

My cousin, Krista, demonstrating creative fitness moves on the trail. Yes, I did post this photo!

Probably the only time Graham was in front of me. It was nice while it lasted.

Jealous?

Golden aspens along the road.

Sorry Cali, I do NOT miss you in October. Now ask me in February . . .

They put up a lot of fences in the Park a few years ago to keep the elk off of aspen and willow shoots. The fences, however, seem to be managing the elk, and improving the habitat for other species.

According to wildlife biologist Therese Johnson, “there were lots of little suckers out here that were just waiting to grow. They were just waiting for the chance to not be browsed so they could grow into big trees.”

Couldn’t have said it better myself.

Btw, think your fall color is bigger than mine? I’d love to see some photos.

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