This is a photo I took at the Rainbow Curve overlook on Trail Ridge Road and posted back in September 2011, with the caption I used then. It’s my favorite destination when I decide to take a little joy ride up Trail Ridge.
I remember one summer vacation in particular when I was staying in Estes Park, down at the end of the valley, and it was really hot. I could see cool clouds and rain up on the peaks but it wasn’t getting into town, so I hopped in the car and drove up here real quick (20 minutes?) just so I could sit in the clouds and rain for a while.
In the future I may have second thoughts about doing that. Lightning struck and killed a man at this overlook Saturday afternoon and injured 12 others. And tragically, just a day before, a mile or two from this spot, another person was struck and killed by lightning. She was hiking the Ute Crossing Trail. Seven other people were injured by that strike. All the injured were treated at Estes Park Medical Center, and two of those injured Friday are still hospitalized.
Denver’s Channel 9 news did a very informative report about the accidents and the hazards of high country lightning.