Estes is Bestest.

We took our first family vacation recently. We traveled to Estes Park to enjoy a few days in the mountains. Sarah has never been in the Rocky Mountains, and so we thought it would be a lot of fun to go as a family. We rented a small “bunkhouse” designed by a student of Frank Lloyd Wright at the base of Old Man Mountain in Estes Park and spent a few days taking in the beauty and the sense of home that the mountains give.

I took quite a few pictures, but here are a some of my favorites. Sorry if I overdid it, but eh, I don’t get to see these sorts of views very often. 🙂

Untitled
After eight hours in the car, we made it to Estes Park. Of course we had to pull over and get our pic in front of the sign.
Untitled
Here’s the view from our Bunkhouse. Not too shabby if you ask me.
Untitled
As soon as we had unpacked the car, we headed back into town to let the kids run around a bit and to enjoy the evening views.

//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Untitled
We ran into a huge group of elk in the park and I saw these two guys having a little fun.
Untitled
The kids had a blast seeing the mountains for the first time. And here you can sort of see all the elk in the background.

//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Untitled
The kids did enjoy just sitting in the mountain air too.
Untitled
We woke up the next morning to bright and beautiful colors out our windows.

//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Untitled
I had to go outside and get some shots. Here is our little bunkhouse from the outside.
Untitled
The colors were incredible. Pinks, oranges, purples all blending together along the snow covered peaks.

//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Untitled
After a bit we got into the car for a morning drive. The views were amazing.
Untitled
It was one of those types of things that no matter how good of a picture I take, nothing can really compare to what the eyes can see and appreciate.

//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Untitled
As the driver, it’s hard to pay attention to driving when you have views like this.
Untitled
That morning light created some beautiful colors.

//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Untitled
We noticed grey clouds starting to make their way up into the peaks of the mountains.
Untitled
A rare picture of me! Thanks, Sarah.

//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Untitled
The morning sunlight battling against the snow clouds rolling over the mountains.
Untitled
Soon enough, the clouds rolled in and we got to experience a winter snow for a while. Here’s the Stanley Hotel about to experience the snow clouds.

//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Untitled
We decided to stop into the Stanley Hotel to check it out. It’s a beautiful place, despite it’s creepy history and inspiration for the Stephen King novel, _The Shining_
Untitled
To hide from the snow for a bit we came back to our bunkhouse. The kids enjoyed just getting into the freezer to play with ice.

//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Untitled
After lunch we headed into Loveland to meet up with some friends who live there. We let the kids play at an incredibly cool (and dangerous) playground for a while.
Untitled
The next day was mostly spend inside Rocky Mountain National Park.

//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Untitled
Sometimes it’s hard to really see the perspective of just how big the mountains are or how far away we are from them. But here’s our little Corolla in the foreground of an incredible view near our bunkhouse.
Untitled
And here’s a closeup of one my favorite peaks in Estes Park.

//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Untitled
Our bunkhouse was right next to this mountain called “Old Man Mountain.” Can you see any faces? (I can’t…)
Untitled
I spotted our new house.

//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Untitled
Up in the mountains you can hardly believe what you’re seeing all around you. Here’s a shot of Sarah on our way up to Bear Lake.
Untitled
We stopped for a bit to take a short hike to go see a waterfall at a location that had tons of rocks dumped due to the big 2013 flood that devastated much of the area.

//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Untitled
I love the glimpses you get through the cracks of various mountains.

//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Untitled
Sarah carried Ezra as we hiked through the rocks and over a creek.

//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Untitled
The Rocky Mountains aren’t just full of rocks. There’s plenty of trees too.
Untitled
Another example of the camera just attempting to capture a fraction of what the human eye can see.

//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Untitled
Even though we missed the peak of the autumn colors, I still loved the contrast of the yellow and brown grass with the green trees, the white bark of the Aspen trees, the snow covered peaks, and the gorgeous blue skies.
Untitled
We’re my iPhone trying to capture a bit of what we saw.

//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Untitled
It was cold enough that the water was freezing along the creek and created some pretty beautiful sights.
Untitled
Another shot of the small little waterfall where we crossed over the creek.

//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Untitled
Here Sarah and Ezra are hiking back to the car.
Untitled
Yeah. Not much that I can say. Just beautiful.

//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Untitled
Sarah and I debate over black and white pictures and color pictures. I personally like the dramatic effect that a black and white shot has.
Untitled
Sarah almost always prefers the color pictures.

//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Untitled
But how could I not try and capture the dramatic effect that the snow creates coming off the mountain?
Untitled
Ok. Color is still beautiful too.

//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Rocky Mountains
Here’s five pictures I stitched together. Feel free to click through and check it out on my Flickr. It’s pretty incredible.
Untitled
Don’t you just love the difference in the colors. Blue. White. Green. Yellow. Very neat.

//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Untitled
We didn’t see many wildlife on our trip, but we did come across some mule deer a couple of times.
Untitled
Here’s a black and white shot of one of my favorite mountains.

//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Untitled
Perhaps my favorite moment on the trip was down in the valley here in Rocky Mountain National Park. The views are just incredible.
Untitled
Don’t be too impressed with my photography here. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. I just pulled out my camera and hit click here. Just too good.

//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Untitled
My aunt was our incredible guide through the Rocky Mountains. It was so fun that she got to spend the day with us. Here’s her and Ezra playing in the field.
Untitled
The kids had a blast here. They ran around. Climbed on rocks. Laughed. Played. It was great.

//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Untitled
I didn’t know if Ezra would really appreciate all that he was seeing. What does a 1.5 year old think of mountains? But he really seemed to like it.
Untitled
He just stood here and looked at the mountains and appreciated the view. I’m so glad I caught this on my camera.

//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Untitled
The boys were adventurers, and even Sarah decided to become a rock climber for a moment.
Untitled
Here’s Sarah with a fun photo op and Micah climbing up the side of the rock.

//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Untitled
As we winded our way through the mountains it was neat to see the different perspectives of the same mountains.
Untitled
*speechless*

//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Bear Lake
We walked up to the edge of Bear Lake. There was snow and ice at this point and it was a bit chillier, so we grabbed a couple pictures and headed back down.
Untitled
We headed into Boulder for a while to enjoy the city and the views of the Flat Irons. Beautiful of course.

//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Untitled
Down here there was still some color. (How’d you like to live right there?)
Untitled
We headed back into Estes Park and the sun was shining nicely on the Stanley Hotel.

//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Untitled
Family shot. What a vacation. When can we go back?

//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

One thought on “Estes is Bestest.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s