It’s hard not to get excited about waking up Saturday morning in the mountains. The day starts with our homemade world famous breakfast burritos and an espresso paired with a sweet treat. However, this morning was the first morning the mountains received a light blanketing of fresh snow, the snow line was above 10,000 feet and it provided a nice picturesque start to the day. I could just feel today being one of those days where much would not get done as planned. We were not feeling really motivated to hike as there was a chance of rain, so we hopped in the Tahoe and drove into Rocky Mountain National Park. We were only anticipating on getting to Milner’s Pass as indicated by the road closure posting at the entrance to the park. Unlike the midwest and northeast the fall colors in the Rocky Mountains are just a little bit different as there really our only two types of trees pine and Aspen. Well, the Aspens were showing their true fall colors from vibrant orange to the classic golden yellow dotted in groves along the drive to Milner’s Pass. Looking out towards the Never Summer Range there was a grove of Aspens that blazed orange in color and stood out prominently amongst the lodgepole pines. Arriving at the pass the we noticed the gate was open meaning the road was open to Estes Park. We continued on to the Alpine Center and along the way just past Poudre Lake and around the first bend a bull Elk was staring right at us, we are lucky to be in such close proximity to this magnificent animal. Making our destination Stella want to run into the gift shop but it was unfortunately closed due to Trail Ridge Road being closed earlier in the day, however I hopped out to to a few pictures and overlook the cirque, typically this time of year there is an elk herd below. I attempted to take a few photos but the wind was gusting and variable thus blurring every effort I made, should have had my tripod. Back in the Tahoe and out of the wind we headed back down to Base Camp. After gathering a few items we snuck over to Grand Pizza for an early dinner. Stella placed our order and she now has a new favorite pizza, a creamy garlic white sauce with red onion, mushroom spinach and roasted red pepper, delicious!
Sunday started very similar to Saturday, except that when I let Aspen out for her morning potty there was a female moose staring at me and Aspen. Aspen wondering what the heck that beast was at the entrance to our site began barking and I, not wanting the moose to charge, quickly ushered Aspen back into the trailer, grabbing my camera I made my way back outside. I noticed it was the mother moose but I was unable to located her calf. Fearing the worst momentarily, the calf, which is not so little anymore, wandered in near our fire pit. So after a little excitement to start the day and really nothing planned but maybe a hike to Timber Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park, Stella and I sat down for breakfast. Deciding against the hike due the weather I grabbed my fishing gear and headed to the east end of Grand Lake. Settling in along the shore and finding I have the lake to myself, which was a pleasant surprise. I check the direction of the wind and cast my line into the lake. Finally, success, I caught my first Rainbow Trout of the year with a Parachute Adams fly at the end of my line but as I was reaching behind me for my net to bring it out of the water the Rainbow was able to spit the hook and escape back into the depths of Grand Lake. Bummed but not discourage I continued to fish a bit longer and had another bite however I lost the fish in the rocks and my only fly as well. Now I am bummed, I placed spinner on the end of my line and tossed the line back into the water a few times but the only thing on my mind was replacing my lost fly. Gathering my gear I headed to Rocky Mountain Outfitters to replace my Parachute Adams fly and garner a bit more intel. Back at Base Camp I quickly prepared my line for the following weekend, we are planning on having trout but maybe I will be providing the catch of the day instead of seafood counter at Sprouts.