Got up at 4:45 this morning, left the boys sleeping in the hotel and did a couple of short hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park. I did Sprague Lake first and was treated to a gorgeous sunrise. There were a ton of photographers with 3-foot-long telephoto lenses camped out at the trailhead who didn’t really want to move and let me pass by.
On the opposite side of Sprague Lake, I observed some elk getting their breakfast on. I stayed back as far as I could, but it was incredible to experience being that close to such a huge wild animal.
I drove to the Bear Lake trailhead and got one of the last parking spots, even though it wasn’t even 6:30AM yet. The trail to Bear and Nymph lakes were a pretty constant incline. I’m not in the best shape, so this was pretty rough for me combined with altitude issues. I ended up taking a long break at Nymph Lake to recover. I wanted to continue hiking to Dream and Emerald Lakes, but knew I wasn’t ready for that yet.
I headed back to the hotel to take a shower. The shower had a window that opened to the outside, no screen, and it was about shoulder height. I opened it wide up and took a ridiculously long, hot shower while cool mountain air drifted in. It was one of my favorite experiences ever.