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Scree - July 16 - July 22, 2010

scree field


After a terrible night at Gros Ventre Campground we got up looking for a change. A group of men and boys arrived at the campsite late. They sat up noisily. It was way past the quiet hour before they decided to be quiet.

Waking we found that they had set up a mess tent on the picnic table and left it overnight. They were begging for bears to visit the site.

We went to Jenny Lake Campground to play in the campsite lottery. It is very difficult to find a site. Well, it is difficult until you learn the rules. There were many more campers wanting sites than there were available sites.

Jenny Lake is tent only. Huh. The campground bucks the trend that campsites need to be bigger with more deluxe sites.

After the campsite shennagins we went for a hike. We toured Jenny Lake including side trips to Inspration Point and Hidden Falls. The GPS said it was 9.60 miles. I did not check the actual map miles.

Yesterday 16 climbers were hit by lightening and one climber died. The helicopters were sobbering evidence of the event. RIP.

The trails were very crowded. Jenny Lake is the most visited part of the Park. There are not many trails, so the ones they have are very crowded.

We were alerted to a marmot sighting. The man was excited.

Following the hike we went to the new Visitors Center in Moose. We will have to return, we did not allow ourselves enough hours.

We had a great dinner at Snake River. It was the best food we have had in a while.

Most of the town looked the same. Oh, there were a few new buildings, but they were only new businesses with the same products.

Wish you were here.


Amy broke a tooth during dinner. Gads. She had just had the filling replaced in the tooth. She was in a lot of pain. She called her dentist for advice.

I don't know if the tooth fairy came or not, you'll have to ask Amy.

We left Estes at about 0730. There was a bit of reasoning with choosing the departure time. We needed to stop at a good pharmacy as soon as we got to town.

Soon as we entered Loveland, the first town, wouldn't you know it there was a Walgreens. I think they are truly taking over the world.

Walgreens had a tooth remedy that Amy's dentist recommended.

The drive was painless. Lots to look at and compare to the last time we had driven that way, seven or so years ago. It is still a long way.

Lander and Dubois were still showing signs of growth.

Togwotee Pass was under major construction. It was quite a chore passing the 16 mile construction zone.

The views of the Tetons were phenomenal, as usual.

We went to Gros Ventre Campground and found a site. It was raining. We only had the site for one night because we hoped to move to Jenny Lake Campground.

Wish you were here.


For our last day in Estes we went went to see the Thompson River Alluvial Fan. After reading the history of Estes Park and the Lawn Lake Dam bursting, we were interested in seeing the alluvial fan caused by the water. It was a short paved walk with many people.

The Park labels the trails for use. The trails with a child figure icon see lots of family use. It is a great idea; but can at time be overwhelming.

We still had the rest of the day, so we decided to drive the old Fall River Road to the Alpine Visitors Center. The speed limit is 15 on the dirt road and most folks do not even drive that fast. It is a fun adventure.

Amy read a regional guide as we toured. We would highly recommend it.

In the evening between rain storms we prepared for leaving the next morning for the Tetons.

We had had a good stay in the Park.

Wish you were here.


Bears - well, at least a bear. After Amy woke, she sat at the overlook watching the sunrise drinking her morning coffee. Suddenly there was a bear just a few feet away. Our neighbor in campsite #6 came to the rescue and shooed the bear away. I did not see the bear but his presence was obvious.

Ten or fifteen minutes later, the bear returned. This time to campsite #3. He was standing next to a tree getting into a hanging plastic bag. We shooed him away again.

Twenty minutes later he returned for the third time. Everyone was on the lookout for the little bruin by now. He was quickly shooed.

The bear was young, stood close to five feet tall, and probably weighed one hundred pounds. Amy was quick to mention that he could still hurt you.

We walked to Gem Lake and then over to Balanced Rock. The hike to Gem Lake was on a good trail and went quickly. Continuing to Balanced Rock was harder because if followed a horse trail. It had a huge depression frim many hoofs, sand, and straight up and down. To add to the misery it was hot.

It was quite obvious when we got to Balanced Rock. It was amazing.

Returning lots of hikers were heading toward Gem Lake. They were longing to be there.

After the hike we went for showers, laundry, and shopping.

We spent some more time at Notchtop's. The owner Ron was good to us.

It was a good day.

Wish you were here.


After a sluggish start we drove to the shuttle parking in the park near Glacier basin Campground.

Riding the bus to Glacier Gorge Trailhead was at least entertaining

The bus driver made the suggestion to ride to Bear Lake and walk downhill to Alberta Falls. I wondered if the bus drivers had ever walked to Alberta Falls...

We walked up the hill; but instead of going to Alberta Falls we took the old Fire Trail. It is a shortcut. I don't know how much it shortcuts, but it is definitely quieter.

Mills Lake was once again outstanding.

A group of teenagers were jumping from a small cliff into the lake. There was a lot of hooping and howlering going on when then hit the water. We were concerned someone would get hurt, hopefully no one did.

Bear Lake was crowded.

From Lake Bierstadt, we took the trail to the parking lot. Oddly enough we met a couple from Nashville. It was a fun talk.

Good hike, good dinner, good friends - it was a good day.

Wonder where Ray is?

Wish you were here.


Looking out at Twin Sisters makes me think of my friend Dare, who used to love to camp in the Longs Peak Campground. I am sure she was looking at the same view at sunrise.

Amy and I split up for our hike. I started from the campground - she started from Lily Lake and we were going to meet at Storm Pass before climbing Estes Cone.

As I walked up the road from the campground to the trailhead I met a man walking up from the lower road. I spoke but he did not respond. Wearing a grim and determined look, he climbed the hill. I was walking in the shadow, but he curiously chose to walk in the sun.

At the trailhead a Volunteer worker greeted him. The hiker blurted, "I saw a bear just down the road."

The Volunteer made light of it, "well you are pretty lucky seeing a bear."

I felt sorry for the hiker. He thought he was doing the right thing. He climbed the hill with a mission and delivered his message; but the Volunteer didn't take any action or show concern. All of the Park's "Bear Information" signs clearly state to report all bear sightings to a ranger. The hiker was just doing what he was supposed to do.

Once reunited we tried to decide which route was the hardest. The GPS will take all of the guess work out of the comparison, but it was a fun discussion.

This was a harder hike, but the views were great. I likened the final slope of Estes Cone to the Trough on Longs Peak; but going down I actually saw Estes Cone was much easier than the Trough. The Trough take me about the same time going up or down; but Estes Cone was a breeze to descend.

Returning to Lily Lake, we met a horse ride group. You know I do not like horses, and especially long strings on trails. The rules of "horsing" just need to be revisited.

At Lily Lake a boy with Cerebral Palsey was tourning the trail in his chair. It was great to see himand his mother enjoying the lake.

Back at camp a family had arrived and evidently were having a bad day. As they left for a hike the father said, "I predict it will be raining within thirty minutes." The v-e-r-y cut little girl responded, "I don't know; maybe it just wants to be cloudy today." Oh, it didn't rain!!

Amy and I gave our predictations on when our friends, Jon and Laura would arrive. I won.

Jon had to set up his big tarp. We now have two small tents and a tarp. It is quite the camp setup. Dare would be jealous.

Wish you were here.


We woke early and spent time in camp before our daily adventure. We were going to hike Twin Sisters today.

After fully waking we drove the few miles to the trailhead.

From our campsite Twin Sisters dominates the view. It is a great sight.

We drove to the trailhead passing cars parked down the road to the first curve. Since naturally there was no parking, we had to turn around and go to the end of the line.

The mountain was not crowded, but there were a few people hiking the trail. We met a guy from Missouri and a mother and daughter from Louisiana. Everyone was challenged but enjoying the hike.

The daughter's brother stayed at the saddle between the Sisters, instead of going to the summit. I tried to coax him into going to the top, but he did not care.

After the hike, we went to Boulder. Showers at Mark's. Aah. Later we went shopping and then back to Mark's for a little internet.

For dinner we went to Mad Greens, a great salad, sandwich, and soup restaurant. We had not had a salad in a while. It really tasted good and helps fight scurvy!

We did not get back to the campsite until after nine. It was about the longest we had been awake in a while.

Our campground neighbor had a bonfire going in their fire pit. He had put something (we assume) on the wood to makeit burn better, it was quite pungent. We went to the tent to avoid the smell.

The sleeping bag felt sweet.

Wish you were here.