We spent most of yesterday out in the majestic Colorado wilderness.
Estes Park is home to the Stanley Hotel, infamous for its role in The Shining. It is a friendly town with cute shops, a quality Nepalese restaurant and an excellent local brewery. It is also the gateway to the Rocky Mountain National Park.
The park is huge; we only toured a small portion. It was unseasonably warm and dry, and the air was crystal clear. I never quite adjusted to the 7,000+ altitude.
After driving to various spots, we stopped for a good while in a valley surrounded by wooded slopes and flanked by mountain peaks. A short hike brought us to a rocky outcrop overlooking a herd of elk, at least thirty cows and calves, with a massive bull on guard. We could not get close; I would not have dared; but we were downwind and listened to the bull bugling in the late afternoon sun. Elk is my totem, and it was deeply moving to be so near to them in their natural habitat.
I think today will be a day spent closer to home, exploring downtown Denver. Each day of this vacation is varied and adventurous. I could not ask for better company. Or for a better hat.