Highlights of Colorado
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Mesa Verde National Park - Cliff Palace
Mesa Verde National Park was the first spot that Bill and I visited on our trip to Colorado. It is considered a World Heritage Site and I could definitely see why. This picture was taken at Cliff Palace, the most extensive dwelling in Mesa Verde.
The next day, we went to the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park and reached Sunset Point just in time to take some pictures.
I saw this cactus bloom on my way to view the canyon in the morning. I have never seen a cactus bloom that is this shade of red. Usually they are pink, yellow, orange, or purple.
It's difficult to comprehend the scope of this canyon through pictures, but it is home to the highest cliffs in Colorado. This spot has around a 2,000 foot sheer drop to the Gunnison river on the canyon floor.
On our way to Aspen, Bill and I took a dirt road over the Cottonwood Pass. The sun was very strong and the air was very thin at that altitude!
Bill is never cold. I, however, am always freezing. People were sledding just a few feet away though, so it really was cold up there.
I love marmots. They are adorable. They just sit and pose for pictures and they always look so happy.
These mountains are called the Maroon Bells. They are located next to Aspen and look just as fake in person as they do in this picture. Both mountains are around 14,000 feet high and are considered to be extremely treacherous for climbers because of their geology. Bill and I managed to get a last-minute camp site right down the street from this spot.
I had to take advantage of this rare moment and relax in the grass. Bill and I managed to get up early enough to miss all of the people.
On our way to Denver, we drove up Mt. Evans. It is 14,265 feet high, and its road to the top is the highest paved road in America. The road is rather narrow and has sustained a lot of damage from yearly snow fall, so I was terrified during most of the drive. The view from the top was completely worth it though.
These mountain goats are real! And they live in America. I couldn't believe it when I saw them. They look they belong on a nature documentary about a far away land.
Rocky Mountain National Park is well-known for its wildlife. Bill and I saw many elk, as well as deer, moose, and coyotes.
Bill woke me up early to take reflection shots of Bear Lake. The lake was beautiful, but I am not a fan of waking up early.
Another reflection shot. The lake was very still in the early hours of the morning and perfect for reflections.
We stumbled upon this moose calf and its mother while walking along the Coyote Loop Trail. They were right next to the trail and stopped to eat while we took pictures.
I tried to soak in as much green as I could while we were in Rocky Mountain National Park.
We came across people watching something in a field near the visitor's center and found out that they were watching a coyote den. In this shot, the mother had come back to the den to pick up some of her pups and they were running away into the forest.
There were many beautiful lakes from snow melt in Rocky Mountain National Park.
Bill took this picture out of our car window. He has a knack for catching animals in perfect poses. Especially elk.
On our way back to Arizona, Bill and I decided to stay in Ouray for a couple of days. We were competely enchanted with it when we drove through it earlier in our trip and just had to go back.
There is a really cool 4x4 trail just outside of Ouray that has historical mining buildings, waterfalls, and beautiful views. The water in this fall was all from snow melt, and further up the trail, Bill and I were able to see the melting snow pack that it came from.
A beautiful stream that went across the road. There were several of these along the way.
The alpine flowers along the trail were exotic and very colorful. I didn't see too many of these ones.
One of the historical mining buildings along the road. We also passed a working mine along the way. Ouray originally started as a mining town.
Bill walking in his element. This area was beautiful. It reminded me of Alaska.