Thursday, October 23, 2014

Hiking Baker Gulch in Rocky Mountain National Park, CO (6 pictures/1 video)

For my second trip to the close-by RMNP, I chose to hike up the Baker Gulch towards Baker Pass and Mount Baker. The trail went upwards the entire way, through boulder fields, pine forests, streams and tight switchbacks. About 2.5 hours into the hike (which was around the mid 9,000ft level), a massive storm came over the mountains bringing dark clouds, strong winds and snow. Tall broad 11,000-12,000ft mountains like Bowen Mountain and Mineral Point lay on the near horizon. Without any of my alpine gear/snow gear and no SOS personal locator beacon <--definitely buying one soon, I turned around and tried to get off the high elevation as soon as possible. The last few minutes when I was at ground level walking towards my car, the wind had gotten so strong that trees were smacking into each other. Crazy stuff. It's important to realize when your personal safety grows at an elevated risk and stop. Next time I have a full, good-weather day I'll complete the trail. Photos below and video were shot with a GoPro HD Hero. The video shows a cool panorama of the view from high up on the trail, and that last photo shows exactly why I was in a hurry to get down to the trailhead. The topo map is from the fine experts at NatGeo(Read more to see all the videos and pictures, which can then be enlarged by clicking on them.)











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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Hiking the Waterfall Trail in Granby, CO (8 pictures)

One of the numerous hiking trails located on the 5,200 acres that is YMCA of the Rockies Snow Mountain Ranch. (Read more to see all the photos which can then be enlarged by clicking on them)












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Monday, October 20, 2014

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Just Ranch in Granby, CO (11 pictures)

My new job, located at the YMCA of the Rockies at Snow Mountain Ranch, sits on more than 5,200 acres of pure, Colorado wilderness with rolling hills, steep mountain peaks, rich forests and cold rivers and streams, Most of this land in which I live and work on, is untouched and undiscovered. Alongside an old, deep gold mine, are two homesteads from the late 1800s. Some of the first residents of this region in Grand County, lived on this property. Looking left provides with you views of the Continental Divide while directly ahead lay the Just Ranch, finished in 1885. Bunk houses, chicken coups, tool shops, cow barns and tons of old farming equipment. History still stands here. (Read more to see all the pictures which can then be enlarged)


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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Rocky Mountain National Park, CO

Well my dad and I arrived in Colorado late yesterday afternoon and we both had to get out to Rocky Mountain National Park. A place I've like lusted for for as long as I can remember. Today was the first of many, many trips to the nearby Rock Mountain National Park which is only about 15 minutes away from where I'll be living! I can't wait to return often and backpack. RMNP might be a winner for the most beautiful, incredible place in the world. Our hopes were to drive down the Trail Ridge Road throughout the park's ginormous mountain range of 12, 13 and 14,000ft peaks,  and get to Estes Park. BUT it was closed because of tons of snow and ice...in October! We got out and walked around a little bit, breathing in the fresh cold mountain air. It was the perfect father and son experience that I will cherish and treasure for years to come.
Once I get settled-in, I'll be back here very often to explore. It's my big beautiful backyard now.

We returned the next day after moving me into community housing at YMCA of The Rockies Snow Mountain Ranch to do a little bit of hiking to Adams Falls, that plunges down some 55ft into a deep rocky gorge. Continuing on the East Inlet Trail, we rose close to 8,500ft in elevation, with explosive views of nearby Shadow Mountain, Grand Lake and the distant Grand (county) Valley. We went and trekked beyond the falls, following the feeder stream back into the woods where I felt 100% tranquility. I could sit there all day, reflecting under the towering lodgepole pines.

There's just something magical about this place called Colorado.

Cheers,
Robby







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Driving from WI to CO: Day 3

Lusk, WY to Granby, CO

After driving through the dark night from South Dakota and eventually into Wyoming, we called it a night at motel in Lusk, WY. When we awoke the next morning, the motel manager informed us that storms with snow and heavy rain were approaching the area, Strong winds, dark skies and rain started to hit as soon as we got in the car after breakfast. A quick fill-up and we were on the road again into the vast open land that was Wyoming. Six hours of driving lay ahead until we arrived in Granby, CO. Driving through Wyoming was a treat as there were rolling hills covered by dark blue skies, tall bluffs and just massive acreages of fields everywhere. It's without a doubt, God's country. Truly a beautiful state that gets you excited to be out west. There'd be times we'd go almost 30min without seeing another car or building along the highway. Another thing the "Equality State" has going for it, is its 80mph speed limits on some of the interstates. Wisconsin roads take a big step back with a miserable 65. Heading into Denver and up I70, it started to pour rain then snow which when combined with very steep inclines, made a treacherous drive to our final destination. BUT! the Saabaru station wagon made it through, thanks in part to all-wheel-drive. When I70 turns into I40 West towards Granby and Winter Park, the road switchbacks probably a couple dozen times up and down the towering mountains. A minor snowstorm in October? Yeah that happened on our way into Granby. Almost 2,000 miles and three days later, I set foot on my new home and place of employment: YMCA of the Rockies Snow Mountain Ranch. Let this new chapter begin.

Cheers,
Robby


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