On Thursday we made the drive from Rapid City, South Dakota to Estes Park, Colorado. We enjoyed the views as we drove and then enjoyed our evening in Estes Park. We woke up early Friday morning for our scheduled horseback ride in Estes Park. The kids were a bit apprehensive about riding a horse (and I was too), but we acted like we knew what we were doing and got on our horses. After a very shaky start from the kids, we enjoyed our ride out to breakfast before heading back. Our horseback tour was about 2 hours and at the end of it, we all had a great time. We are all still pretty sore, though.
After our horseback ride, we stopped at the store to pick up a few things for our lunch before heading into the Rocky Mountain National Park. The views throughout the Rockies were incredible. I feel like my camera did not even do justice to the beauty that we saw as we drove. After entering the park, we took a short hike (Alluvial Fan) to see a beautiful waterfall. At this point, Jackson was feeling pretty sick. He did not have any energy and refused to eat. He spent most of our time in the Rockies asleep in the car.
From Alluvial Fan, we drove the Trail Ridge Road. The views were incredible and at times a bit scary, but it was worth it. We stopped off at Rainbow Curve, Forest Canyon, and the Alpine Visitor Center on our drive. At the Coyote Valley Trailhead we stopped for another short hike. At this point, Jackson was miserable, so we made sure he took a nap. We drove out the west side of the park before turning around and driving back through. After about two hours, we arrived at Bear Lake on the eastern side of the park. Thankfully Jackson was feeling much better and was up for a very short hike to Bear Lake. After seeing Bear Lake, we took another hike to Nymph Lake. Overall, we spent about 8 hours in the park and enjoyed every bit of it.
It really is inspiring to think that God created such beauty. I’m so thankful we have this time to explore the beauty of this world with our children.