Upon my return from Europe, I was fortunate to land a job as registrar at Snow Mountain Ranch, a resort in Grand County Colorado. My fellow employees waxed on about Rocky Mountain National Park and couldn’t wait to take me on a tour.
I didn’t understand their excitement. How was I to know that one of the most amazing spots in the U. S. was right in my back yard?
It was a hot July day in Grand County when four of us began our early morning drive into Rocky Mountain National Park. From Snow Mountain Ranch we arrived in Grand Lake, the West portal to RMNP, passing through spectacular scenery. Snow capped mountains dipped into crystal, clear lakes reflecting all their purple majesty.
As we entered the park I spotted deer, elk and cattle grazing in lush grasses along the river. We began to climb, and I noticed snow in the thick of trees and along the road side as well. Some switch backs were icy.
Nothing could have prepared me for the sight of 8’ of snow before we arrived at tree line. While most of the world was sweltering in heat, we were freezing above tree line. We hurriedly slipped into winter jackets and gloves as we admired 360 degrees of spectacular scenes. Half frozen lakes formed by glaciers over countless millennium, glistened in the sun.
I had never experienced the feeling of being overwhelmed by Nature. I felt as if the sheer magnitude of the mountains were pressing against my chest, taking my breath away. They felt so close I was sure I could touch them.
The tundra is an amazing phenomenon of nature. Tiny, delicate, flowers flourish amidst the scraggly grasses vying for the warmth of the sun. A single foot print can damage this fragile terrain, and indeed one can see why, when foot paths no longer in use for over 50 years are still visible.
All of us need to take care of mother earth. After all she has fed and clothed us since the beginning of time, and besides, she is older than we are, and we need to give her a little R E S P E C T.