Estes Park photographer Erik Stensland shot “Dressed in Gold” five years ago, almost to the day, in Rocky Mountain National Park. It’s a reminder of what the park probably looks like this week to those visitors willing to make the drive over longer-than-normal routes. Colorado’s recent floods washed out most of the normal access to Estes Park and RMNP, but the shops are open in town and elk and aspen still fill the park.
This particular image reminds me of a truly magical moment in the park years ago. I’d left the car near the Moraine Park campground and followed a narrow trail into a grove of aspen. The trees were so closely spaced I couldn’t see the sky, but the bright sun made them glow all around me. Even the solid carpet of leaves on the ground glowed. It was as though I’d stepped into some fluttering translucent world totally apart from my own, where gold was the only color that existed.
10 thoughts on “RMNP ‘Dressed in Gold’ and ready for visitors”
What a refreshing memory after all the flood dangers and worries– sure wish i was out there. Walking the 1/2 mile from the shuttle stop to Fern Lake Trailhead during full color is special for me in a similar way– adding in the whispers of those golden quaking leaves and that earthy, dusty, pine-laced aspen air! (i am in sight of lake michigan right now… wrong direction, darn it!)
I’d have mentioned the sweet mountain breeze, too, but feared I’d already gone on too long about the experience. I’d be there now if the drive up weren’t an hour longer than usual.
I thought there was an additional road in now? Bet this is the week for Aspen color.
Sounds like you wandered in to Wonderland that year – what a magical experience – solid gold, so to speak.
Love the pix
To date the only open roads I’ve heard about are Trail Ridge Road (already getting problematic with snow falling above 11,000 ft) and the Peak-to-Peak Highway up from Central City. See http://www.cotrip.org/roadConditions.htm
Yes, I have my calendar marked to show Sept. 27th is the average annual peak foliage day, according to some local meteorologists. Crazy weather since the floods. Bluebird skies, temps in the 60s and 70s. But yesterday there was snow in the high country at the same time that I-70 out east was closed by a dust storm.
Beautiful photo, PiedType. I’m heading to Vail next week, and I’m looking forward to the cooler weather! It’s still hot here!
You lucky woman! It should be gorgeous. I just heard professional photographer John Fielder on TV saying the colors are running about a week late this year, so your timing is perfect.
Yeah!!! So happy to hear that!
Perfect example of why fall is my favorite time of year.
Mine too…we got married in October..just such a beautiful time..