Purchased an annual Park pass again this year – but all the talk about FREE day inspired me to drive up to Estes & hike another trail in RMNP (2 years in Colorado but still so many trails to choose from – LOVE it!).

The 13 Fee Free Days in 2013 include Martin Luther King Jr. Day (January 21), National Park Week (April 22 – 26), Founders Day (August 25), National Public Lands Day (September 28), and Veterans Day Weekend (Nov. 9-11).

Picked out today’s hike while on the Park N Ride bus provided by RMNP (parking within the Park is crazy crowded through Labor Day – so why not enjoy a free ride to the trailhead?)

Wait, REWIND — 2 days prior, rented a fun Australian film titled Mental.  In the opening scene, a mom of five daughters is in her backyard pulling laundry, goes mental, spinning in the backyard singing ‘The Hills are Alive’ from The Sound of Music.

Then on Saturday I hear ‘Climb Every Mountain’ – again, from The Sound of Music.  What are the chances?

So when I see a 9.3 mile hike in the Park named (Julie) Andrews Glacier, hmmm…kismet.  [Ok, the glacier was not named for Julie Andrews but she was commencement speaker this year at CU – coincidence, I think not. :)]

FAST FORWARD to today’s hike.  Hopped off [the bus] at Glacier Gorge trailhead & made a quick stop .8 miles in — at Alberta Falls. I’ve been here before but wow – when the water is sudden/rushing/alive, it’s just breathtaking.

Few more miles within treeline, a 2nd hike stop at The Loch.  Loch Vale Lake was an end destination during last year’s hike challenge — but that was November and in the midst of a white-out.  This day, stopped and smelled the roses, er…pine.

The trail then snaked noticeably UP over boulders to The Gash & Sharktooth, jugged sawtooth peaks saddled with deposits of glacier snow.  Followed a happy Colorado hiking couple (Johnstown & Denver) up the final push to Andrews Tarn & Glacier.

WOW, WOW, WOW!

I have not lost my sense of awe in 20 months of hiking.  It’s here, here in the mountains where I feel close to God.

Did a Julie Andrews spin for pics – but unfortunately looked more like Wonder Woman so you won’t find any attached.  LOL>

Wait wait, a tarn?

A tarn is a mountain lake or pool, formed in a cirque excavated by a glacier. It is formed when either rain or river water fills the cirque. In Scandinavian languages a tjärn is a small natural lake, often in a forest or with vegetation close around it or growing into the lake.

Waded to my shins in the glacier fed tarn – really really cold water.  First numbing then my feet cramped from the intense cold.  Life’s meant to be lived.  How many dudes get to wade in a glacial pond at 11,400ft?  WOW, what a crazy happy life!

 

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