By Linda Ballou, NABBW’s Adventure Travel Associate

I love this interview with Brett Wilson at The Rocky Mountain Channel podcast. I felt relaxed and welcome. He wanted to know what prompted me to follow in the hoofprints of the indomitable Isabella Bird from pristine Hawai’i to untamed Colorado in 1873.

Alberta Falls in Rocky Mountain National Park. Photo courtesy of Linda Ballou.

We talked about how Isabella and Rocky Mountain Jim were two seriously damaged people who found their salvation in nature. Isabella describes their legendary romance and the ethereal beauty of the region in her book A Lady’s Life in the Rockies.

Her vivid descriptions of the region drew visitors from around the globe spawning a movement to preserve the mountains. She is considered to be the mother of the Rocky Mountain National Park.

Fall color on the Thompson River. Photo courtesy of Brett Wilson.

If you are contemplating a trip to the Rocky Mountain Park (RMP) or just want to learn more about this majestic region filled with wonder, check out the Rocky Mountain Channel, where for a small subscription fee you can see the video of Brett and me in conversation and have access to some great films.

On the Rocky MountainChannel.com, you will find wonderful documentaries with in-depth coverage of the birds, hikes, and history of the park. In this time of drought in the West, with the threat of the Colorado River — serving 40 million people — running dry, I found the A Walk in the Park with Nick Mollé program  about rivers in the park especially timely.

Producer Mollé takes you to the headwaters of the Colorado on hikes to waterfalls and streams that charge down the steep, jagged slopes of the Rockies to form our most critical waterways. Along the way, Mollé shares striking images of lush meadows, numerous critters, and patches of wildflowers that make this informative film eye candy for nature lovers.

Ouzel Falls photo courtesy of Brett Wilson

In short takes of specific hikes in the RMP you can see which ones are too strenuous for you and which ones would be safe for your adventure in the park.

I am eager to hike to Ouzel Falls on an easy march tracing the North St. Vrain River out of Wild Basin trailhead. Isabella rode here and I am eager to experience what she described so lovingly in her letters to her sister Henrietta.

Altitude is a factor that must be carefully considered when choosing an outing in the park. If you are coming from sea level this is a major consideration and you should allow yourself a day to acclimate before hiking and be sure to drink lots of water.

Fall Color photo courtesy of Brett Wilson

In September, I am sharing a PowerPoint presentation for my book Embrace of the Wild at the Maude Jellison Library in Estes Park. If you are longing for some glorious fall color with fewer crowds, this is the time of year to visit the RMP. The aspen leaves will be spinning gold in a crisp breeze beneath bluebird skis.

Silhouetted Alpine Elk bugling in RMP. Photo courtesy of Rocky Mountain Channel

Elk will be bugling for a mate and given free rein in the park. The bull elk can be dangerous, so RMP park hours are restricted at this time of year. There is a reserved entry system in place, so go to www.recreation.gov to make certain you will be able to enter on the days you have planned to be in the Rocky Mountain Park.

Estes Park River Walk. Photo courtesy of Brett Wilson.

While you are in Estes Park be sure to stop in at the Bird and Jim restaurant for delicious local fare. Tell Melissa I sent you!

Linda Ballou is an adventure travel writer with a host of travel articles on her site www.LostAngelAdventures.com.

You will also find information about her travel memoir, Lost Angel Walkabout-One Traveler’s Tales from Alaska to New Zealand, and Lost Angel in Paradise where she shares her  favorite  hikes and day trips on the coast of California. 

 

 

Anne Holmes Boomer-in-Chief of NABBW
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