It has been snowy and cold on the eastern front range of Colorado. Instead of going for our typical Sunday bike ride, a few of us decided to go snowshoeing in Rocky Mountain National Park. Rocky is just west of Loveland and can be reached in about an hour by car.
When we arrived at the park gate, it was snowing and the wind was blowing. The park gate attendant advised that we not go to the higher trailheads due to blowing snow and icy road conditions. One of the trails she suggested was the Bierstadt trail, beginning at the shuttle parking lot.
Five of us took off aiming for a three-hour trek and found a nice mix of trail conditions. Some portions of the trail were packed from the previous day's use. Other parts of the trail had a combination of fresh snow and wind-blown snow. In the shot below, I'm heading onto part of the trail that had fresh snow.
When we reached Bierstadt Lake, the wind was howling across the frozen surface. We stayed in the cover of the trees that surround the lake. Below is a fun shot of the trees next to the lake. The wind had painted a white stripe of snow down the trunks of all the trees.
When we started our day the temperature on the car thermometer said 18 degrees. We were all dressed for exercise in snowy conditions, so the temperatures seemed fine as long as we kept moving. We stopped a few times for food break, for photo-ops or to defrost a Camelback mouthpiece; but there wasn't much standing around. Below is a shot of Jim Damman, Diana Hassel, Eric Houck and Scott Ellis on one of those Gale-requested photo-op breaks. (Thanks gang.)
We were finishing our day just as the trails were getting busy. We were all surprised how many people were heading into the park to snowshoe or ski at about 2:00 pm in the afternoon. Maybe they were starting those New Year fitness resolutions a little early?
Whatever your New Year's resolutions might be, I wish you the best for 2008. I hope your resolutions live well beyond the first two weeks in January.