Today we decided to enjoy some of the activities local to us in Grand Lake, rather than going back into the National Park. We’ve done quite a bit of driving over recent days and it just seemed a nice idea to be out of the car a fair bit today,
Another lovely day weather-wise, although a few more clouds around than yesterday. Warm though. Shorts and t shirts again.
After breakfast we drove a couple of miles through Grand Lake to the trailhead for the East Inlet hikes. We had in mind to take the 3 mile round trip hike from there which passes Adams Falls and leads through forest into the East Meadows area. You can go much further to other lakes and ridges but today we just wanted an easy 3 miles. It was a lovely walk. The falls are very close to the trailhead and you get a good view of the water cascading down through a very narrow canyon towards Grand Lake.
The aspens are really pretty in the dark green of the woods. There are a lot of dead pine trees in this area of the Rockies, almost whole forests have huge numbers of dead trees. This is mainly due to the Mountain Pine Beetle epidemic that has affected pine forests from Canada down to Mexico. The Rocky Mountains here in Colorado are the worst hit that we’ve seen though, although there were some areas around Glacier National Park that may also be suffering from it although we didn’t realise that’s what it was at the time. There seems to be little or nothing that the park service can do to stop these bugs destroying the trees. It’s quite sad to see and there must be a massive issue to remove these dead trees/mitigate against them as an increased fire hazard. Modern ecologists believe nature must take its course and human interactions should be avoided but the outcome of such policies over the last 30 years seems to be a lot of dead trees. Possibly the outcome would be worse in some other way if say large scale use of insecticides had been deployed. We will never know.
Anyway, we enjoyed our walk through the forest and along the course of the river. Eventually we broke out into East Meadow and the trail followed the edge of that. We came to an overview of the meadow – a rocky outcrop – and we stayed there to observe. We didn’t see any large animals in the meadows but we were there in the midday so they were probably all hiding. It was pretty hot by then. We munched on some trail mix and drank water. I had a small call of nature and scurried off into the trees to be private. I was just loosening my shorts when I heard a snorting and snuffling. That stopped me! I thought it was a moose coming through the woods. Actually, it was another hiker!!!! Bob managed to distract him with conversation till I finished up and returned. Quite funny! These matters are much harder for women……
We got back to the cabin about 2pm and had lunch and then after a rest (we are old people!!!) we walked down through the meadow in front of the cabin and explored the river and the lakefront. A man was cutting back the willows to ease access. There were some canoes and kayaks for our use but we were too lazy. We just pegged out on a big cushioned outdoor couch and chilled. I could easily have fallen asleep.
Tonight we are having steak and stuffed mushrooms for dinner. Margaritas and some red wine. Tomorrow morning we are off again, heading south in Colorado towards Leadville. We have a train ride and some gold panning along the way. Definitely, this time next year, Bobbers we will be millionaires!