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Recently, we took a much-needed vacation, and along with our daughter, Griffin, and her boyfriend, Chaz, spent the better part of a week in Estes Park at the foot of Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado. It was cooler than where we were coming from (Savannah, Georgia and Phoenix, Arizona) by a good 20-30º Fahrenheit. And for us, it was a major change in elevation–from 18 feet above sea level to in excess of 7,000 feet above sea level.

And the Colorado Rocky Mountain high
I’ve seen it rainin’ fire in the sky
Talk to God and listen to the casual reply
Rocky Mountain high (in Colorado)
Rocky Mountain high (in Colorado)~~John Denver

We hiked to several lakes: Nymph Lake


Dream Lake

Bierstadt Lake, named for Albert Bierstadt (1830-1902) who was famous for painting lavish landscapes of the American West.

Griffin and Chaz at Bear Lake

Pretending to be drawn to opposite oceans–Frank to the Atlantic, me to the Pacific.

I made friends with a clever little chipmunk that hiked a good 100 feet or so along the trail with me. I named him Simon after the middle brother in “The Chipmunks”.

A freaky picture of Griffin during our night tour of the Stanley Hotel, where Stephen King was inspired to write “The Shining” and where the miniseries was filmed.

On our last day, we took the aerial tramway to the top of Prospect Mountain, which overlooks Estes Park and the Rockies.