The elk were certainly out enjoying the scenery as we spent our Saturday driving the Trail Ridge Road through Rocky Mountain National Park. Well, at least the males were out. We didn't see a single female during the entire day. Their women are hiding. Right now it's boys' night out, but soon they'll be bellowing and fighting over who gets which mates and the herds will split up again. Then we'll see them come down into our foothills.
It was one of those wonderful days where you could enjoy the park for it's beauty, the storm adding drama on one side of the road while the sun sparkled down on the other. It's the contrasts in Rocky Mountain National Park that always get to me: the huge elk lying next to the road full of cars, the glacier withstanding the glare of the sun against the tundra sprinkled with wildflowers.
We enjoyed seeing other kinds of wildlife as well. John's cousins from Albuquerque had finally come up to spend a weekend with us. Laura Mae and Bill were laughing about the way the young families were scrambling up the rocks, so I thought I'd take a photo for them. They looked like wildlife to me.
Half of the fun of an outing like this, of course, is taking far too many photographs. I'll just share a few more here. The first is one of the glacier. We spent quite a bit of time looking at it and reading the signs about its formation. It's peaceful up there, and a soft misty rain had started to fall. Laura Mae was amazed that John and I were still in our tee-shirts, without a jacket or anything. They live in Albuquerque, so they're used to being hot, I guess. We were comfortable in the mist. It was a beautiful day.
Not too much further along a person can look down and see the subalpine lakes and valleys below the tundra as you snake along the winding road. It's an ever-changing vista, different from turn to turn as well as day to day. Each time we return it's new to us.
I was taking pictures of John with cousin Laura Mae and Bill when a gentleman came up to me and asked if he could do the honors. I handed him the camera and his group stood around speaking in a foreign language while he took our picture. I was pretty sure it was a Slavic language, but didn't want to guess and sound stupid. The only thing I can say in Russian is "Ya devochka," and since I figured they already knew I was a woman, even if they were Russian, I'd look stupid saying it, it was better to just ask where they were from. When everyone else returned to the car, I took their group photo with their camera by the same sign and then walked with them back toward the vehicles.
They were indeed from Russia, and were very nice people. I told them we were getting ready to take our first trip to Europe to see our son and his family. The one who had taken the photo wanted to know what our son's family was doing there, and I said he was transfered with his company. "What company?" "Priceline." "Oh, very good company. Very good." He said we'd love The Netherlands, and I told him about our circle trip through Belgium, etc. to Cologne and back during the middle week and he said it sounded like a perfect trip. I think so, too.
We spent so much time at the National Park that we decided to save the sculpture park for today. I'm charging up my camera. It's seven o'clock in the morning, and although I've been up for three hours, and John for two, our guests are still asleep. I think I'll go have another cup of coffee and wash the blueberries, then see about starting the bacon. Some things can be done in advance. Some can't.