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Colorado Day 3
5 Aug 2017
We got up early to go get in line for cinnamon buns. Yes, you read that right. More specifically, it was at Cinnamon's Bakery. It's a tiny place that opens at 7:30 to a long line of customers and closes at 10:00 or when they sell out. Once we got our buns, we headed into Rocky Mountain National Park, our initial reason for choosing Colorado. We drove the entire length of Trail Ridge Road through the park to Grand Lake on its western edge. Along the way we climbed to an elevation of over 12,000 feet. We stopped and hiked up a few trails. They were easy paved trails, but having only arrived at high altitude 36 hours prior, it was tiring! We finished the day at the Dunraven Inn, a unique Italian restaurant where every inch of their walls and ceiling are covered with decorated dollar bills. When kids want to contribute a decorated bill, they're handed a staple gun and sent on their way to find a spot to attach their artwork!

(click any photo for a larger version)

DAY 2 | COLORADO INDEX | DAY 4
03-002 Cinnamon's Bakery 03-003 Cinnamon's Bakery 03-004 Cinnamon's Bakery Sign
Cinnamon's Bakery is only open for a few hours each morning until they sell out of their great cinnamon buns
Time to get in line at Cinnamon's Bakery for cinnamon buns before they're gone
Cinnamon's Bakery is only open for a few hours each morning until they sell out of their great cinnamon buns
03-005 Cinnamon's Bakery Interior 03-007 Cinnamon's Bakery Interior 03-008 Cinnamon's Bakery Line
It's a tiny place, but they make a ton of cinnamon buns!
It's a tiny place, but they make a ton of cinnamon buns!
We got our cinnamon buns just in time before the line got crazy
03-009 Cinnamon Buns 03-010 Mom & Cinnamon Buns 03-011 Cinnamon Buns
Success! We got some of Cinnamon's Bakery's buns before they sold out!
Success! We got some of Cinnamon's Bakery's buns before they sold out!
Time for a nutritious breakfast of buns from Cinnamon's Bakery that we got up so early for!
03-012 Deer Crest Resort Yard Pano 03-015 Rocky Mountain National Park Sign 03-016 Trail Ridge Road
A pano of the backyard at Deer Creek Resort along the Fall River
Headed into Rocky Mountain National Park for the day
Headed into Rocky Mountain National Park along Trail Ridge Road for the day
03-018 Mountains 03-021 Horseshoe Park 03-025 Trail Ridge Road
The views in Rocky Mountain National Park are incredible.
Passing Horseshoe Park
Trail Ridge Road runs all the way through Rocky Mountain National Park
03-027 Park View 03-029 Park View 03-031 Park View
There are great views in Rocky Mountain National Park no matter which way you look
There are great views in Rocky Mountain National Park no matter which way you look
There are great views in Rocky Mountain National Park no matter which way you look
03-033 Tree 03-035 Trail Ridge Road 03-036 Trail Ridge Road
It's amazing how trees will grow anywhere.
Trail Ridge Road runs all the way through Rocky Mountain National Park
That's fireweed along Trail Ridge Road. THe only other place I've seen that is in Alaska.
03-037 Horseshoe Park 03-041 Chipmunk 03-042 Mountains
Looking down on Horseshoe Park
A chipmunk!
Stopping to take in the amazing mountain scenery
03-046 Chipmunk 03-047 Chipmunk 03-049 Clark's Nutcracker
The high altitudes don't seem to bother the chipmunks!
The high altitudes don't seem to bother the chipmunks!
You're not supposed to feed the wildlife, but some people can't follow rules. Thus, this little Clark's Nutcracker has a peanut.
03-053 Mountains & Snow 03-054 Mountain & Snow 03-060 Trail Ridge Road
Hey look, there's snow on those mountains!
Hey look, there's snow on those mountains!
We're slowly climbing in elevation on Trail Ridge Road
03-062 Tundra 03-064 Tundra 03-068 Tundra & Mountains Pana
I had no idea there was tundra in Colorado, but there is and it's an amazing sight.
I had no idea there was tundra in Colorado, but there is and it's an amazing sight.
I had no idea there was tundra in Colorado, but there is and it's an amazing sight.
03-071 Tundra & Mountains 03-072 Tundra 03-076 Marmot
I had no idea there was tundra in Colorado, but there is and it's an amazing sight.
I had no idea there was tundra in Colorado, but there is and it's an amazing sight.
This is a marmot. They're common in the mountains. This one is climbing up a rock wall to see us!
03-081 Tundra 03-082 Tundra 03-089 Lake
Looking out across the tundra
I had no idea there was tundra in Colorado, but there is and it's an amazing sight.
A mountain lake
03-091 Tundra 03-094 Mom on Tundra Communities Trail 03-096 Tundra
Walking along the trail across the tundra
My mother climbing the Tundra Communities Trail
Getting an up close look at the tundra.
03-099 Mushroom Rocks 03-100 Mushroom Rocks 03-104 Marmot
The mushroom rocks are quite a unique sight. They're formed as rock is pushed up out of the earth.
The mushroom rocks are quite a unique sight. They're formed as rock is pushed up out of the earth.
A marmot hanging out on the rocks
03-105 Marmot 03-108 Tundra Communities Trail 03-111 Mushroom Rocks
A marmot hanging out on the rocks
Looking back down the Tundra Communities Trail from the top.
The mushroom rocks are quite a unique sight. They're formed as rock is pushed up out of the earth.
03-112 Marmot 03-113 Mushroom Rocks 03-115 Marmots
A marmot hanging out on the rocks
The mushroom rocks are quite a unique sight. They're formed as rock is pushed up out of the earth.
Marmots playing on the rocks
03-118 Mountains 03-125 Tundra & Mountains 03-128 Raven
There's no such thing as a bad view in Rocky Mountain National park
There's no such thing as a bad view in Rocky Mountain National park
I think this raven spent a little too much time in the wind atop the Rockies
03-129 Marmot 03-130 Marmot 03-133 Snow
Another yellow-bellied marmot checking us out
This marmot is closer to the edge than I'd be willing to get!
Seeing snow in August makes me happy
03-134 Lake & Snow 03-135 Lake 03-137 Alpine Ridge Trail
This lake looks downright glacial
A mountain lake
Hiking up the Alpine Ridge Trail
03-140 Alpine Ridge Trail View 03-141 Alpine Ridge Trail 03-142 Arkansas River
The views from the Alpine Ridge Trail are spectacular
Whoa, we started all the way down there at the Alpine Visitor Center!
The Arkansas River is pretty small way up here.
03-143 Elevation Sign 03-145 Alpine Ridge Trail View 03-146 Michael & Elevation Sign
12,005 feet in elevation
The views from the Alpine Ridge Trail are spectacular
Hanging out at high altitude
03-147 Mom & Elevation Sign 03-149 Alpine Visitor Center 03-150 Alpine Ridge Trail View
Hanging out at high altitude
The Alpine Visitor Center is close to the highest point in the park
The views from the Alpine Ridge Trail are spectacular
03-154 Old Fall River Road 03-156 Trail Ridge Road 03-158 Poudre Lake
Old Fall River Road is the other road in the park. It is decidedly more rustic.
Continuing on Trail Ridge Road to the other side of the park
Poudre Lake
03-159 Continental Divide Sign 03-160 Ute Trail 03-162 Flowers
At the Continental Divide where water flows toward either the Atlantic or Pacific Ocean depending where you're standing
The Ute Trail at the Continental Divide
The flowers in places with shorter summers always seem to bloom more brilliantly
03-164 Downtown Grand Lake 03-165 Sagebrush BBQ 03-168 Rocky Mountain National Park Sign
Grand Lake is at the western entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park
Sagebrush BBQ was our lunch choice for today
Headed back into Rocky Mountain National Park for the drive back to Estes Park
03-169 Elk 03-172 Elk 03-173 Elk
Elk, lots of elk!
Elk, lots of elk!
Ever seen an elk stick its tongue out? Now you have.
03-175 Elk 03-176 Elk 03-178 Moose
Elk, lots of elk!
Elk, lots of elk!
Finally, we spotted a moose!
03-180 Onahu Creek 03-181 Elk 03-182 Park View
Onahu Creek
This guy came up right behind our car.
More amazing views of the park
03-184 Lake 03-185 Trail Ridge Road 03-186 Trail Ridge Road
Not sure which lake this was but it sure made for a nice scene.
Trail Ridge Road winds all the way through Rocky Mountain National Park
Trail Ridge Road winds all the way through Rocky Mountain National Park
03-191 Elk 03-193 Elk 03-194 Elk
Up close with some elk
Up close with some elk
Up close with some elk
03-198 Deer 03-199 Deer 03-200 Turkey
This is the first deer we've seen in Colorado
This is the first deer we've seen in Colorado
A turkey!
03-201 Dunraven Inn Sign 03-202 Dunraven Inn Interior 03-203 Dunraven Inn Interior
We went to the Dunraven Inn for dinner. Wait until you see the inside!
The walls (and everything else) in the Dunraven Inn are covered with decorated dollar bills. Kids run through with a staple gun adding to the collection.
The walls (and everything else) in the Dunraven Inn are covered with decorated dollar bills. Kids run through with a staple gun adding to the collection.
03-204 Dunraven Inn Dollar Bills
The walls (and everything else) in the Dunraven Inn are covered with decorated dollar bills. Kids run through with a staple gun adding to the collection.

DAY 2 | COLORADO INDEX | DAY 4

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