To start at the beginning of our little getaway, start here.
We may be on our way back home, but I got a long hike in – by myself! We stopped in Grand Lake to drive around a bit, and then stopped at the Chamber of Commerce to ask about hiking in the area. The nice woman in the office gave me a fantastic map, with a few suggestions.
The plan was that my husband would go with me. Then he got tired again, because he had forgotten one of his meds at home. I’m sorry, but I was jonesing for some hiking! I needed to get out there and get a little exercise, whether it was by myself or not!
I picked the Monarch Lake Loop. I was told that it loops around the lake, so I thought this was the safest to do on my own. No problem. I’ll be able to see all sides of the lake if something went wrong, and my husband would be able to take a nap while I hiked.
Near the bathrooms (always a must stop before starting your trek!), I ran into a group of women that were in a book club together. They recommended that I start the trail on the left, because it was the toughest part, and I’d end my hike on easier terrain.
Potty break=check, Water=check, New Boots=check, Rape Whistle=check, Sweatshirt=check! Here I go!
I started out about 3:00 pm. Sunset wouldn’t be until around 6:30 pm.
There are all kinds of terrain on this trail.
Uh, oh. The following sign scares me. Wilderness. Translated to, “You’re not following the lake any longer.” I’m afraid of my own shadow! Should I turn around? Will I get lost on the trails? I’m such a freaking determined person! I figured that if I kept running into people every 10-15 minutes like I have been, and they tell me that I’m on the right path, I should be ok. I should make it back in time without the sun setting. I will keeping going!
I wish I would have taken pics of the directional signs in here. I think I ran across two, and they both had me stressed about which way to go! Every time I ran into another hiking group, I’d ask if I was on the right trail to get back to the parking lot. So far, so good!
Oh happy day! I’m on the right track! I can see the lake again! I’m on the other side now, so I’m at least 3/4 of the way through my hike.
This is it, the home stretch! The trailhead and parking area are straight ahead! It’s still daylight. I did it! And I will never do it again by myself! LOL
Towards the beginning of my hike I had ran into a couple. I asked them to pass a message on to my husband if they saw the big yellow truck. I wanted him to know that I had taken the left side of the trail first, in case he woke up and wanted to meet up with me. I figured that he could take the right side and we’d end up meeting. When I got back to the parking area, he wasn’t in the truck. I walked back towards the trailhead, and a hunter looked at me and said, “A lady with two cameras.” My husband had seen him and asked him if he’d seen me. He started to worry and went to look for me. That’s never good! Luckily he only walked about 1/4 of a mile and then turned around. Thankfully we met up before dark. I was excited to tell him about my beautiful, scary hike!
Heading back home we drove through Rocky Mountain National Park at dusk/dark. I’d never been through the park at that time. It was amazing. Since it was mating season for the Elk, visitors were pulled off alongside the roads to watch the beautiful creatures and to listen to them bugle. I was pretty surprised by all the nighttime traffic. Unfortunately, I didn’t get out to capture any images – it was cold and it had been an action packed three days. Next year I’d like to drive out there during the Rut.