Newsletter Archive

OUR PEACE SHALL STAND AS FIRM AS ROCKY MOUNTAINS
- William Shakesphere -

On January 26, 1915 The Rocky Mountain National Park was formed.  The Rocky Mountain range stretches some 3,000 miles from British Columbia and Alberta in Canada through Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, and Colorado down to New Mexico in the United States.  The Park is located in northeast Colorado and consists of 415 square miles.  It is the highest national park in the nation with elevations from 7,860 feet to 14, 259 feet.  There are 60 mountain peaks over 12,000 feet.  It contains the head waters of the Colorado River and the Continental Divide, which runs north-south and makes a climatic division.  There are 4 entrances into the park, 3 on the east side and one on the west side.  The Beaver Meadows entrance in Estes Park on the east side is a 60 mile,  one and a half hour drive from Denver International Airport.  There are no lodges inside the park, but plenty of places to stay just outside the park.

The park has the highest paved roads in any  national park in the United States, with Trail Ridge Road cresting at 12,183 feet.  It crosses the continental divide  at Milner Pass at 10,758 feet. It is 48 miles long extending from  Estes Park on the east side to Grand Lake on the west.  Eleven miles of the highway travel above the tree line.  There are no guardrails to keep you from plunging off the mountainside.  It is not for those who suffer vertigo!  Extreme weather can change the status of driving on the road, so be prepared for adjusting your travel plans.  It has been called the "scenic wonder road of the world".  One of the threats on the highway is lightning.  

The highest point in the park is the summit of Longs Peak topping out at 14,259 feet.  It is the only fourteener in the park and more than 30,000 people have climbed all or part way to the summit.  67 people have died climbing or hiking Longs Peak.  According to the National Park Service, on average two people die every year attempting to climb the mountain. It is a 14.5 mile climb with huge drops and takes 10 to 15 hours to complete.  It is a Class 3 climb, which means rock scrambling and extreme terrain is present.  Because the hike is so long and afternoon storms with lightning, extreme wind, and snow are possible even in the summer, climbers usually start at 3a.m. 

The peak has the highest failure rate, in that many people are likely to "bite off more than they can chew" and climbers quickly realizing this and turn around.  What many people don't know is the love story entangled with the peak.  Without it, Rocky Mountain National Park might not exist.  In 1884, 14 year old Enos Mills arrived in Estes Park from Kansas.  Longs Peak was love at first sight, so he positioned his small log cabin so he would have a fantastic views of the peak.  He climbed the peak 40 times on his own and an additional 300 times as a guide.  After meeting John Muir on a San Francisco beach, he dedicated himself to making the area around Longs Peak a national park. 

Longs Peak is named for American explorer Stephen Harriman Long who led an expedition to the area in 1820.  For generations Longs Peak played a part in seasonal migrations, hunting practices and cosmology of the Ute and Arapaho Indians. The Arapaho called Longs Peak and Mount Meeker the "Two Guides" because of their physical prominences  and role as landmarks for the entire region.  After 1820, US surveyors, miners, traders, settlers and soldiers gradually wrestled control of the Rockies from the native tribes.

In 1915 there were 31,000 visitors to the park, and in 2019 4.67 million visitors enjoyed the beautiful views, drives and hikes. 

There are 3 important things to remember when visiting:

  1. Don't  pose for a picture on a mountain peak in the afternoon.  Lightning is a  real threat!
  2. Don't get too close to wild animals.  Elk have been known to charge people    during breeding season in the fall months.  Stay at least 25 yards away from  elk and  100 yards away from bears or mountain lions!
  3. Don't pose too close to the edge of overlooks.  Many of the parks 350 miles   of hiking trails meander along cliff edges and can be a long way down!

We give you "Wary".  We captured this female elk, called a cow, on our drive on Trail Ridge Road.  We shot this from the car.  She didn't stay around very long...gave us a quick look and scampered off.

 

 

"Summertime Velvet" is a young bull elk happily chewing his cud  in the meadow.  The antlers are in the velvet stage.  As the antler grows it is covered with a highly vascular skin called "velvet" which supplies oxygen and nutrients to the growing bone.  This velvet is shed and after the mating season,  when the bull testosterone level drops,  the antlers will be shed in response.  Rocky Mountain Elk have the largest antlers of all the known six subspecies in North America.

These images are available in table top to wall size, triple matted and with or without a frame.  The matted versions are yours at a 10% discount and the framed matted versions in sizes 11x14 and larger can be yours at a 15% discount.

Visit our website, www.throughthelensoflee-margaret.com for available sizes and prices.

Stop by and see us on Monday through Friday from 10a.m. to 12 noon and 2p.m. to 5p.m.

The gallery is open for arranged Saturday appointments.  Call us at 904-387-8710 to schedule your special visit.  Come see us and order now.

"Grandeur and sublimity, not softness, are the features of Estes Park.  The glades which begin so softly are soon lost in the dark primaeval forests,  with their peaks of rosy granite and their stretches of granite blocks piled and poised by nature in some mood of fury."

                  --  Isabella Bird