A Major Winter Estes Park Storm In October!

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We woke up this morning to a foot of snow on the ground…and…the forecast is for 18-36 inches by Thursday PM. Wow! A little different than last fall when the weather was warm and balmy! I remember wearing just a light jacket on Halloween night.

The weather the past month has been cooler and cloudier than we usually have. Trail Ridge Road, which usually closes at the end of October, has been closed for 3 weeks now. Guess we’ll have to get our snowshoes and skis out a bit earlier than expected!

Today maybe we’ll light a fire, grab a good book, watch a DVD or play a game, make that hot cocoa and watch the snow. Maybe the Big Horn Sheep will come down from the high mountains even earlier. That would be a treat! The good  news is that the forecast next week is for sun, sun, and more sun and the temps in the the 40s and 50s!

There Are Always A Few Who Are Left Out…

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During the rut season, the Bull Elks fight each other for the Cows. This can go on for 4-6 weeks while they try to entice more and more females. Last week, when we were walking around Lake Estes we saw a Bull Elk with his harem of about 30 Cows and several babies. No one was bothering with him anymore. He seemed quite content.

As we walked around the other side of the lake which is about 2 miles away, we saw this lone Bull Elk resting in the shade. There are usually many of these “single” Bull Elks who just don’t make “the cut” this year. He certainly was magnificent…a 6 pointer and all. We thought he was pretty nice. But….I guess the Cows didn’t think so….maybe next year. There’s always hope! In a couple of weeks the Bulls will all get together and spend the winter together while the females spend the winter with each other and their young.

The Cleanup Begins And A Sense Of Normalcy Returns To Deleo’s Deli In Estes Park.

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We arrived at 8:00am to start the cleanup in Deleo’s Deli. What are friends for if you can’t help a friend out in a time of need.  McDonald’s donated 2 large thermoses full of coffee, cream and sugar.  We thank McDonald’s of Estes Park for their generous donation to help people during their time of need.

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We decided on a system.  Tom would identify the products that needed to be discarded and Mel would write down the products.  I would photograph all the products for documentation and then all the products would be packaged up in garbage bags and discarded.

We all started thinking of all the starving people around the world and what a shame that food had to be wasted.  This food could have fed countless people, but unfortunately the food had no refrigeration as the electricity was off for about 2 days.

The gas company came by and finally the gas was turned on and heat started to come back to our frozen bodies that had been in the Deli for about 4 hours.

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We went out to Chicago’s Best Pizza and they were kind in donating 2 pizzas to the cause… and were they terrific.  By that time, the owners of the Mall that had burned down joined us for lunch, too.

The food had been counted, itemized in a spreadsheet, the electricity was on, the heat was running and all we were waiting for was the water to be turned on again.  We weren’t getting back to some kind of normalcy… if that can ever be accomplished again.  Some things will never be quite the same… and this was one of those times.

The Aftermath Of The Estes Park Fire. Life Is Still Good.

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In the above photograph are 4 businesses previously owned by 5 of my friends: Moosely T’s, 14’ers Cafe, Intrigue, Wynbrier and The Hiking Hut.  I used to stop by that side of the street probably once a week to say hello to everyone.  It seemed like it just was “The Thing To Do”.  Inside the mall were some more of my friends: Mountain Glass and The Music Box.  They are gone, too.  

I would ask them how they were doing this week (business sales) and then we would discuss the town and how we could make it a bit better.

Now, all that is still standing is Moosely T’s (on the left).  I just found out that her back storage area that held all of her products was completely ruined (water and smoke damage).

The firemen were able to pull down The Hiking Hut sign before it burned and all that is left (shown above) are the “Life Is Good” signs.  I bumped into Michele on the street in front of her store and she was wearing her “Life Is Good” sweatshirt.  She is going to rebuild… and even bigger and better.

We are going to help Deleo’s Deli clean out his food from his Deli in about 30 minutes.  He is ready to get his life back… as he hasn’t been able to move back to his home and deli yet due to the fire.  We will see him smile today as progress is being made toward back to some sense of normalcy.

I guess “Life Is Good”.  All my friends are still alive and optimistic. Today will be a better day than yesterday and tomorrow will be a better day than today.

The New Outdoor Eyes Blog Is Like The Falling Of New Snow.

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We just recently moved from the East Coast to Colorado and there are many things different in Colorado than the East Coast. But the one thing that sticks in my mind the most is that the snow is much whiter and cleaner.

On the East Coast, the snow falls in November or December… and the same snow remains until all the remaining snow melts away in the springtime. Plows place tons of sand and salt on the road… and the dirty sand and salt mixes with the snow along with the fallen leaves that have not been raked up.

This creates piles of dirty snow that melts and re-freezes along with the grey skies that remain forever during the winter months. Here in Colorado, the skies still remain blue and the black & white photograph above still indicates a more cleaner look than the East Coast during the winter months.

So… I look into the sky and look into the mountain and I am thankful that I took the chance and moved to Colorado after spending all my life in the one state of Connecticut.

Rocky Mountain National Park and Estes Park outdoor adventure and outdoor photography blog. Explore the RMNP Blog and the Estes Park Blog to discover ALL the amazing, hidden beauty that nature has to offer.