June 29 - by Katelyn
Today we drove from Dinosaur National Monument to Rocky Mountain National Park
Today we drove 5 hours to Rocky Mountain National Park, and on the way, we watched two movies. One was called Journey to The Center of the Earth, and the other was called The Mighty Macs. My favorite movie was called Journey to the Center of the Earth because it was really funny. Also, during the movie it rained for only the 3rd time on this trip! The fact that it rained was pretty exciting to me because it made me feel like I was in a rainforest compared to the dry desert.
When the movies were over I sat up front with Dad and I saw a little bit of snow at the tips of the mountains! Oh, how it reminded me so much of Glacier National Park. Once we got here, we went to the Visitor Center and got Junior Ranger books. Finally we went to our campsite, ate, and had a campfire. June 30 - by Emma
Today we had a really eventful day. The first thing we did was go to a fly fishing class. In this class we learned how to fly fish, and also learned some good tips. We learned what little gadgets you need that will help you out a lot. Another thing that I learned is that when you are fly fishing you want to always where a hat, and glasses. The reason you want to do that is because you have a higher chance of getting pricked in the eye with the lure when you are fly fishing than when you are just fishing. To fly fish you have to have a rod, fly lures, strength in your arm. This is how you fly fish:
1) take your rod and put a lure on it
2) put a waxy coating on your lure, and that helps the lure stay above water
3) Cast you rod by bringing the rod back behind your head then bring the rod forward until the lure hits the water
4) Leave the lure on the water for a reasonable amount of time, and then take your rod again to pull it out of the water and behind your head again
I really liked fly fishing, but I was a little worried that the lure was going to smack me in the face. When we were done the ranger program we went back to the RV and had some lunch. We started packing for our 7 mile hike in the woods after lunch. We didn't need as much water here as we did in Arches National Park because it is much cooler here. When we started the hike I was surprised that we were hiking in the woods because the explanations of the hike said it was in a meadow. My Dad said that we would be hiking in woods most of the time, but we would be in the meadow for a bit of the time.
I wasn’t too impressed with the scenery because all I saw were some dead trees, gray clouds, and live trees. What really tired me out was going uphill for a long time. What I did was when we were going uphill for a long time I had my jolly rancher which helped me get my mind off hiking. What bothered me a lot were the mosquitoes, and lucky for us we passed a Ranger that had some bug spray. At one point, all of the sudden it started to rain so we got out the rain ponchos, but when we got them on the rain completely stopped! When we finally got to the meadow we were hoping to see a moose, but there were none in sight. When we were on our way downhill I knew we were close to the RV so I hurried past Madison, but when I was passing her she hit me!!!!
The hit wasn’t too bad compared to what she did in the past, but she still got in trouble (no electronics for 2 weeks) with Dad. When we finally got to the RV we were driving back to the campsite, and we saw a coyote eating something!!!! When we got to our campsite we ate dinner, and then went to the Ranger Program. After it was done we went back to the RV, and went to bed.
July 1 - by Ryan Harrison (girls older cousin)
Today I woke up to the sound of blaring music from the iPod. For breakfast I had cereal again. Once everybody was done eating, we secured everything so that we could drive to the trailhead for our hike. We were hiking to a place called Lulu City. It was a 7 mile hike roundtrip. The hike was described as semi-easy but I found it very easy. There were some ups and downs on the hike but it was mostly flat. When we got to Lulu City, we saw 6 moose! One of them was a baby so we had to be very careful not to make sudden moves. If we did we would appear a threat and it would charge.
The mama moose was shedding its winter coat of fur. When they started walking away from us we sat down by a stream in Lulu City, the place that used to have a population of 200 people. Now it has a population of zero. For our snack we had almonds, dried mango, and Madison had crackers because she can’t eat nuts. There was this squirrel that was trying to eat our snack. It looked like a chipmunk. It’s called a Golden Mantle Ground Squirrel. But I thought it should have been named a squirrelmunk.
We started to walk back to the RV and came across a part of the river with a skinny log that went from bank to bank. Madison, Katelyn, and Emma all did it. They wanted me to also but I said I was to out of balance. But, they peer pressured me into doing it. Luckily, I made it both ways without killing myself. When we finished our hike, we drove to the Alpine visitor’s center. We stopped at the Continental Divide to take pictures.
At the visitor’s center, we saw a huge elk complete with huge antlers! It was grazing in a field. It was slowly moseying its way along to the road. Along the road it must have gotten pooped from walking with the antlers or something because it plopped down and rested for a bit. When it got back up, it kept on walking towards the road.
It just casually walked into the middle of the street and stopped a bunch of cars. It made its way through the road. We were following it and so was a large Hispanic family. A little boy about 6 years old from the family said: "Holy sh*t mama! There’s a deer!" I was BAFFLED! His parents did nothing as he said it about 3 more times. Oh yeah, I’d LOVE to see what his living environment is like! They didn’t even tell him that it was an elk and not a deer. Jeez.
So, we drove to our campsite and had dinner. It was egg with tomato and spinach wrapped in a tortilla. We then went to a ranger program about beetles. It was like a musical. The people in it were kind of cheesy. No offense rangers. But Emma got a part in it but mostly because Madison volunteered her though. She got to wrap a blue boa around a tree and hold a sun while little girl bugs danced around her like an Indian pow-wow. It was kind of funny.
When we got back to the RV we had some pop-corn, finished our journals, and went to bed. July 3 - by Madison
Today was our last day in Rocky Mountain National Park, and we decided to spend it on a 7 mile hike to see Cub Lake and the Pools (a river). Before we started my Dad said since I didn’t want to hike I could do some math instead, but I didn’t want to do math I decided to go on the hike. I wasn’t in the mood for a hike because we have hiked 28 miles in the last 4 days, but I can understand my Dads point in why we should go on the hike.
When we started the hike we saw mules, and this was bad because the mules go relatively slow. We had to wait what seemed like 30 minutes to pass them, and even though I want to go on a mule ride I didn’t like walking behind them because I was getting the smell of fresh horse poop and I was getting dust all over me. When they finally stopped we were able to pass them and continue the hike, and I think that this is the first time on the trip that I enjoyed the smell of nature! We were almost at Cub Lake, so we decided to hike quickly so that we could have a longer break to eat and rest our legs. At Cub Lake we watched leaches swim, ducks fly, and people talk.
I liked Cub Lake because there was lots of wildlife and the scenery was really pretty. Also, the funniest part of the day happened here. There was a lady that was eating her food and all of the ducks came out of the lake and circled around her, the rules say don’t feed wildlife so she didn’t, the ducks got really annoyed and started pecking at her legs! When we left Cub Lake we continued hiking to the pools. When we got there we continued hiking because we needed to leave the campground and we were late for the checkout. I was frustrated that we couldn’t stop here because we hiked 5 miles to get here and I didn’t even get to see what was there to see. When we got back to the RV we checked out and then drove to a town called Lovelett, Colorado. When we got here we went swimming in the campground pool, ate dinner and then went to bed. I had a fun time in Rocky Mountain and I hope that I can come back some day.