Friday, September 2, 2016

Rocky Mountain National Park

"Within the National Parks, there is room--glorious room--room in which to find ourselves, in which to think and hope, to dream and plan, to rest and resolve." ~ Enos Mills

Dream Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park

On Monday Tim and I travelled to Estes Park, the tourist town at the east entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park.  This is a special place for us.  Thirty-one years ago during our engagement, we spent a weekend here with both sets of our parents, an introduction to the joined family we were about to create.  That weekend created friendships between our parents that lasted all of their lives.

This time, we've planned a week's stay here before we head back to Kansas for fall harvest.  After visiting ten national parks and monuments since July 7th, we've grown addicted to the beauty of these wild places, preserved by people like Enos Mills, the crusader who campaigned for the creation of Rocky Mountain National Park.

These quotes by Enos Mill and another admirer of the park, Isabella Bird, perfectly described the hike Tim and I made Tuesday to Dream Lake and beyond to Emerald Lake.

"The Rocky Mountains realize--nay, exceed--the dream of my childhood. It is magnificent, and the air is life-giving." ~ Isabella Bird, A Lady's Life in the Rocky Mountains

An English lady, Isabella Bird was the first woman to climb to the summit of Longs Peak in 1873.  She was an intrepid traveller, writer, photographer and naturalist whose letters to her sister in England were later published as A Lady's Life in the Rocky Mountains.

After a chance encounter with John Muir, homesteader Enos Mills began to give speeches to civic groups in the hope that others would join his fight to preserve the area around Longs Peak as a national park.  When Congress complied and established the park in 1915, The Denver Post newspaper gave Enos the honorific, "The Father of Rocky Mountain National Park."

"The trail compels you to know yourself and to be yourself, and puts you in harmony with the universe.  It makes you glad to be living.  It gives health, hope and courage, and it extends that touch of nature which tends to make you kind." ~ Enos Mills

"Grandeur and sublimity, not softness, are the features of Estes Park. The glades which begin so softly are soon lost in the dark primeval forests, with their peaks of rosy granite and their stretches of granite blocks piled and poised by nature in some mood of fury." ~ Isabella Bird

"The scenery is the most glorious I have ever seen, and it is above us, around us, at the very door." ~ Isabella Bird

Emerald Lake
"In parks, we have provided for trees a refuge with ourselves. They are to live on, and with them we shall build stately mansions for the soul." ~ Enos Mills 

"Everything suggests a beyond." ~ Isabella Bird

We've certainly found that to be true in our experiences within and beyond this glorious park.


  1. Beautifully written. Great photos and story of your first visit with In-Laws to Be.

  2. Thanks, Randy! I think it would be hard to take a bad photo in such a beautiful place. Safe travels!