Denise Goldberg's blog

Friday, September 21, 2012

lake to lake to...

A good early breakfast started my day. The first course was a baked pear topped with a bit of cinnamon, sitting in cream flavored with a bit of vanilla. Yum! That was followed by an omelet loaded with vegetables.

I was on the way to Bear Lake at 7:45, well before the "can't drive into the area" time of 9 AM. I didn't finish my wanders until 5 - after construction stops for the day - so I just had a short delay at the two single-lane sections. That wasn't too bad. I found it interesting that the warnings about the shuttle buses taking a long time didn't appear to be true. I spoke with a few people who took the bus and they said there wasn't a long delay. I wonder if the warnings on the park's web site are from the busier than now summer season.

Today was a day of playing at high elevation. Estes Park is at 7522 feet and Bear Lake is at 9475 feet of elevation. The trails I walked went up from there. The fact that I wasn't walking on a flat surface likely contributed my slow pace, but I suspect getting accustomed to less oxygen played a part as well.

I stared with a loop around Bear Lake. By the time I finished the loop I realized I was wearing too many layers - it was cold this morning and I started with enough layers to be comfortable. Before I started on my hike to Nymph, Dream, and Emerald Lakes I stopped at the car to leave a few layers behind. It's funny - everyone I spoke with recommended hiking to Emerald Lake. I found of the three lakes I preferred the first one, Nymph Lake. It was a pretty walk, the lakes just didn't appeal to me.

Initially I was going to do a loop from Dream Lake to Lake Haiyaha and then on to Mills Lake. When I looked at the map I realized there were over 3 miles between the end of Dream Lake and the turnoff to Mills Lake - and I didn't know anything about the terrain or scenery in those three miles. Instead of doing a loop I headed back to Bear Lake, took a break, then headed on an out-and-back walk to Mills Lake. I don't think I saved any miles (of walking) but I think the scenery was a better fit for me.

I think I walked 10 1/2 or 11 miles today. It was a good day but I know I'm ready for a slightly less taxing day. Maybe tomorrow...