Rocky Mountain National Park: Fall Foliage, Hiking and Elk (and some good news)

Last year we visited  Rocky Mountain National Park for the very first time. We purchased an annual park pass at the main entry gate, knowing full well that we would try and visit several more times over the upcoming year. 

We went once more in the fall, skipped the winter, and visited again in the spring. At that time the park was magnificent, but it was still pretty cold and a lot of the trails we had intended on hiking were still covered with snow. So we waited a bitโ€ฆ

Most of the summer passed quickly and it was pretty crazy. My husband was still commuting back-and-forth from Brooklyn to Denver, we hosted visiting relatives and friends, and then there were those heat-waves and wildfires. Before I knew it, the final days of summer were upon us.

So this past week, while my husband was in town, we decided to head back to this spectacular national treasure. And I can't believe this park is located only an hour and a half away from our home in Denver, it really seems like a dream. (Please don't get me started on the fall foliage with the orange, golden and yellow shades of the Aspen treesโ€ฆ)
I love it here. 

In addition to Bear Lake, we decided to do a hike near Hidden Valley. We were told that the hike was appropriate for a toddler--and we felt pretty confident since our 3-year-old could climb boulders at high altitude.  

Somehow we unintentionally strayed off the path in search of a bull (elk) male that was rumored to be in the area. We pushed ourselves up a steep hill, kids in tow, for a strenuous climb. I struggled and I shvitzed! But looking back, the off-the-beaten-unanticipated-path on the hike was really the best part of the day. 
When people ask me what I love about Colorado, I can list the things I like the most: the people, the local farms, the burgeoning food scene, the neighborhoods in Denver, the quality of life we are enjoying, and the positively breathtaking mountains. I love the beauty and the nature of this state, and the fact that our oldest son looks forward to long treks and shlepping his "hiking bucket" up the mountain fills me with joy. I know we are doing right by our kids by trying to raise them in this environment. I just feel like this is where we are meant to be. 

After one (exhausting ) year of networking and job applications, the ups and downs of not knowing whether or not we could stay -- coupled with the 7 months my husband commuted back-and-forth from Brooklyn to Denver...well, all the hard work has paid off. A job offer came in AND WE ARE OFFICIALLY STAYING!!! We are Coloradans! I'm thrilled! I'm hopeful! And I'm happy!
That being said, you will never, ever, ever, find me wearing a fleece. I can only go so far, you know?! You can take the girl out of New York City, but you can't take New York City out of the girl. 

I'm (now) learning the rules of footballs and this season I'll be rooting for the Broncos. Who knows, I might even exchange my pinot noir for a locally crafted beer! Am I turning "native?" You betcha! 

A street pigeon it's not...

Hopefully we will get to visit once more before some of the roads close for the season, as peak fall foliage is still a few weeks away. 
Enjoy the autumn in your neck of the woods. Or you can come visit us here in Colorado and enjoy ours! xoxo