Rocky Mountain National Park

September 7, 2010

This is Ralph after dunking his head in the ice cold river over the weekend. Can you see the water droplets on his face? I love this shot!

We had such a great visit to Rocky Mountain National Park. We hiked up to Alberta Falls. And we played in the Fall River when we found a perfect spot for jumping from rock to rock. We hoped to stay at the Stanley Hotel (the one from the Shining — they even offer ghost tours!), but it was completely booked. So we stayed at a new condo that overlooked the hotel. There was a hot tub on the porch where we could hang out and observe the hotel and wonder if anyone was getting spooked.

The drive to the park is less than 2 hours from our house, so we’re planning to return often. What about you? How was your weekend?

P.S. — Ben Blair started the whole head dunking thing (Ralph, Maude and Olive joined him):

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{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Barbara September 7, 2010 at 3:32 pm

My friends hiked at Rocky Mountain National Park and loved it! It’s one of the places I want to visit.


2 Tabitha (From Single to Married) September 7, 2010 at 4:10 pm

Oh – to be a boy and not care if your whole head gets wet!



3 Ayme September 7, 2010 at 4:40 pm

2 hrs!! how lucky you are. Rocky Mountain is one of the best NPs. Gorgeousness~


4 bdaiss September 7, 2010 at 5:57 pm

Yea! We love Alberta Falls! Such fun. And I bet that water was FREEZING! Any snow up there yet?

And if I may be picky – The Stanley is where Stephen King wrote the Shining. And it was used in the tv version (blech) but not the movie with Jack Nicholson. It is an awesome place. And they will let you wander through it and ogle. : ) (Oh, and if you get on their website you can subscribe to an email list that offers some pretty great deals. Especially when it’s a short jaunt up there!)

Glad you had a wonderful trip!


5 Jen September 7, 2010 at 6:33 pm

Now *that* looks refreshing!! We’re just (finally) setting ourselves up with some camping gear… searched everywhere for non toxic versions and we’re going to be ready for national park-ing next year. Can’t wait :)


6 the sleepy time gal September 7, 2010 at 6:42 pm

that is hilarious! i’m glad you had your camera with you!


7 Emily J. Ridgway September 7, 2010 at 7:20 pm

Hi Gabrielle,
Looks like you guys had an amazing weekend! My husband and I used to live in the Denver area…. just moved to Cincinnati this year. We LOVED the RMNP. We went there in early October of 2007 and saw a herd of over 150 elk! It was completely silent except for the sound of their feet on the snow. AMAZING!
If you and Ben ever want a little getaway to Estes Park, be sure to check out Black Canyon Inn. It is just around the corner from the Stanley on MacGregor. Amazing place with a FABULOUS restaurant called the Twin Owls. Brian and I got married inside of the Twin Owls. You will know why if you see it! :)
Enjoy Colorado… you have picked a wonderful place to raise your children.



8 Autumn September 7, 2010 at 8:05 pm

SO fun! Great family photos. I agree with Emily-Estes is awesome. ps, Colorado has always been my dream fantasy state to live in. Beats Ohio’s humidity!! And the mountains…nice touch.


9 emily September 7, 2010 at 8:11 pm

We had to cancel our hike to Alberta Falls on monday because we are all passing around a cold. :o( Boo. And now the smoke from Boulder’s fire has us housebound. We watched movies and snuggled on the couch and munched popcorn from Munson’s farm (Have you had a chance to go to the Boulder Farmer’s Market? It’s one of the top 10 in the US. Worth a trip from Denver. Be sure to pick up a bag of the Mayor’s Mix popcorn if you get a chance to go.)


10 amelia September 7, 2010 at 8:38 pm

After seeing that, I think Ben Blair would be great in Scouts!


11 Simply Cathi September 7, 2010 at 10:03 pm

We had a lovely weekend with the grands at our house while their parents were in Oooo…Las Vegas!
I love the head dunking that Ben Blair started! Our grands did some head dunking at Disneyland of all places last fall on a very hot day. I think some people thought we were nuts to let them dunk away but I was disappointed that I didn’t take the plunge with them. Hey! It was hot and they dunked in a playground water fountain! (not drinking fountain!) hehe
You’re making me want to move to Colorado. Or France. Or NYC…


12 lakshmi September 7, 2010 at 10:12 pm

Sounds like you guys had a blast ! Although the Shining tour, might be a bit spooky for me !I dont do very well with horror movies. Period.
Head dunking ?hehehe..boys will be boys :)


13 debbiem September 8, 2010 at 7:13 am

We were there this summer … I wish we lived closer for weekend visits. It was a great family vacation. My boys loved the hikes, climbing the rocks and searching for animals.


14 jana September 8, 2010 at 7:34 am

I love Estes Park! Growing up we had family living there for many years so driving from flat Illinois into and up the canyon to Estes was always a treat. The taffy isn’t bad either. ;)


15 Amy September 8, 2010 at 8:10 am

I grew up in Loveland… just down the mountain from Estes Park. Alberta Falls was always one of my favorite places to visit. Your pictures are making me feel a wee bit homesick.

Glad you enjoyed the weekend.


16 Jeanette from Everton Terrace September 8, 2010 at 8:32 am

Yikes, I don’t know if I would have dunked, my husband would have for sure. It’s great to teach your children to play and have a sense of adventure like that. Love it.


17 Tina September 8, 2010 at 8:40 am

Those head dunking shots are AWESOME! I hope you dunked yourself! Really? You did, right? I am so jealous that you are only two hours away from that place. Thinking of taking the tot to Colorado this summer, but would love to come now and see the Aspens.
Little quirky thing….my husband’s grandparents bought some land on the continental divide. It’s acutally located in what’s called one of the top 20 ghost towns in America. It used to be a gold mining town(St. Elmo). They bought the land decades ago as avid fly fishers. We inherited it when they passed away. I keep joking to my husband that we should build ourselves a little shack and become hermits up there in the mountains.


18 mandi September 8, 2010 at 8:57 am

no head dunking for mama?

when the kids want to do outlandish things i remind them that SOMEONE needs to take the pictures.

: )


19 Marcie September 8, 2010 at 9:30 am

I always love your photos – what type of camera do you use?


20 Lisa September 8, 2010 at 9:34 am

Wow! What great fun! I grew up in Lyons, CO, just down the road from Estes. I have great memories of it and RMNP. Thanks for sharing!


21 j.j. September 8, 2010 at 8:23 pm

My family (5 kids and our parents) went to The Stanley when I was about 12 or 13 and I was definitely spooked but also just loved the gorgeousness of the hotel!


22 stacey September 9, 2010 at 9:38 pm

I’m going up there this weekend for the Scottish-Irish Festival and Feis – my competition is on Sunday! I hope we have as much fun as you guys! No ghost tours for me!!!


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