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July 28, 2011!
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Alpine Visitor Center. Snow plow on Old Fall River Road clearning last stretch of road!

A late May snowstorm dumped a lot of snow in the lower elevations of RMNP in 2011. As a result, the Old Fall River Road was closed when we arrived in the Park - the first time this had happened since we began visiting in the 1950s (well, Fred was visiting in the 1950s. I first visited RMNP in 1961). We were at the Alpine Visitor Center on July 28 just as a snowplow cleared the last yards of snow from Old Fall River Road and Fred caught the moment on his camera. The snowplow driver almost went over the side just after this picture was taken due to about 4 feet of ice UNDER the snow. People do not realize how hard Park Rangers work to make our stays in our Parks and National Forests enjoyable! They routinely put their lives at risk that we can enjoy the beauty of the National Park system in this country! By July 29, however, the last of the snow and ice had finally melted and Old Fall River Road was open to one-way vehicular traffic for the first time in the 2011 season. Naturally we were eager to head up to the top via our very favorite route! We were thrilled to see that what we call the "goddess' garden" was in full and spectacular bloom! We hope you enjoy all the pictures we took during our 2011 vacation!

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"...If a restiveness, like light and cloudshadows,
passes over your hands and over all you do,
You must think that something is 
 happening with you 
That Life has not forgotten you,
That it holds you in its hand,
It will not let you fall." 
Rainier Maria Rilke, "Letters To A Young Poet"

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Icee, Smudge and Emmy at Water Wheel Park, Estes Park

Custer State Park, Custer South Dakota
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We watched these two antelope 'sparring' (right) for about 5 minutes.

Rocky Mountain National Park.

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Hayden Spire and Hayden Gorge. Forest Canyon Overlook. Trail Ridge Rd. RMNP

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Old Fall River Road approaching Alpine Visitor Center.

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Bear Lake. RMNP

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Big horn sheep. Sheep Lakes. RMNP

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Chipmunk posing at Bear Lake

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A small herd of cow elk. Trail Ridge Rd. Western Slope. RMNP

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Fuzzy duckling at Lilly Lake. RMNP

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A pair of ducks at Sprague Lake. RMNP

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Lawn Lake flood waters. Alluvial Fan. RMNP

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Clouds reflected in Lilly Lake. Lilly Lake, RMNP

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View from Forest Canyon Overlook. Trail Ridge Road. RMNP

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Snow on the Never Summer. There was NO snow here last year!

Flowers were everywhere this year in the Park!
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Carpet of flowers. Old Fall River Road. RMNP

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From what we call "the garden". Old Fall River Road. RMNP.

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From "the garden". Old Fall River Road. RMNP

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Bouquets of flowers were everywhere! RMNP

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No idea what this is but it is beautiful! Off Old Fall River Road. RMNP

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Berries at Sprague Lake.

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Wild flowers against Sprague Lake.

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Indian Paint Brush in the garden. Old Fall River Road. RMNP

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Close-up Indian Paint Brush.

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Alluvial Fan. Lawn Lake Flood. RMNP

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Snow plow clearning last snow from Old Fall River Road. Alpine Visitor Center. RMNP

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Snow melting into Fall River in "the garden". Old Fall River Road. RMNP

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Glo and Fred with the pups. Alpine Visitor Center. RMNP

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Steam locomotive. Georgetown Loop.

The Badlands. South Dakota.
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Amazing formations.

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This type of formation always reminds me of ice cream!

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The Badlands are getting greener!

Custer State Park. Custer, South Dakota
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He is even bigger in person!

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Simply majestic.

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But even the biggest Bison starts out little!

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A small herd of wild burros.

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Who knew burros could hug?

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You'd think after growing up here this burro wouldn't have to read the tourist stuff!

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A beautiful Pronghorn posed for us!

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A family of wild turkeys crossing the road. And us with no cranberry sauce!

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Our vacation is over but the mountains are calling us and we WILL return next year!