Rocky Mountain High

I spent the weekend in Rocky Mountain National Park, and had a wonderful and knowledgeable tour guide, Curt Buchholtz, Executive Director for the Rocky Mountain Nature Association. Curt has authored several books, including A History of Rocky Mountain National Park. He also has left an impressive legacy at Rocky Mountain with his tireless (and very successful) efforts in fundraising. He has raised money to build visitor centers and to acquire land that adjoins the park.

On Saturday night we were joined by Kathy, who works for the newly renamed Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, and her mother. We spoke about the importance today of all non-profits involved in environmental work while we dined on hot potato salad, a specialty of Mary’s Lake Lodge.

Although I thought I might tackle Longs Peak (one of Colorado’s fourteeners) for a hike, some photographs showing the exposure involved for the last mile quickly changed my mind (those of you who read this journal regularly know I only like to climb mountains you can’t fall off of). Imagine climbing Half Dome without the cables! That is what a portion of the Longs Peak trail involves. No thanks!

At the advice of Curt, we settled instead on a relatively easy eight mile hike up to Twin Sisters Peak, which had a stunning view of Longs. I could enjoy the mountain without having to climb it!