Last weekend (the weekend BEFORE bar results came out), we decided we needed some fresh air. The air in our house was starting to feel heavy and stagnant with stress, and Elsa requested, in her own little way, some outdoor time. And so, when we realized that Elk Fest coincided with a weekend when we had no other obligations, we booked a campsite in the Moraine Park area of Rocky Mountain National Park.
It was a beautiful, crisp weekend, and, though we had heard about the Elk from some friends, we were nonetheless amazed. Driving through the park, you see hundreds of them -- sometimes mere feet from the road -- and you can pull off to the side and wander right into the meadows. They bugle loudly to one another all through the day and evening. And if you're lucky, you can see bulls competing for a harem of lady elks (cows? I should have blogged this sooner after our trip, when I had more elk knowledge) off in the distance.
Since our campground was right off of one of the alpine meadows where a couple of dozen elk were grazing, Elsa came frighteningly close to an Elk cow (that's right, by the way...I just googled it). And by that I mean there were about 5 elk cows standing in the middle of the road we were walking on, and one of them looked right at Elsa and started intently walking toward her. While I was intrigued by the prospect of a cute meeting, and Elsa seemed game for it, I opted instead to head back to our campsite (at a jogging pace).
Speaking of our campsite, here's a shot of the view from our site:
Here is our new enormous tent, on top of the hill that allowed for such a gorgeous, almost completely unobstructed view:
The view was almost, but not quite, worth the fact that being on a hill offers little (read: NO) shelter from the wind, and we spent a large part of the night hoping we didn't wake up somewhere in the meadow amidst the elk (read: not sleeping).
Despite a not-so-restful night of sleep in our new ginormous tent, we went for a short hike before heading home on Sunday. And in spite of the hike's relative shortness (we were not climbing a mountain, as Bret had planned/hoped we would), we still put Elsa's brand new pack on her (1) because it was so adorable, and (2) so she could carry our water (and hers, to be fair).
Snapshots from our hike: