When my husband and I decided to take a spur of the moment trip to Rocky Mountain National Park, during the first week of September, we knew we might have difficulty making reservations at a motel or hotel in the closest town to the eastern entrance to the park, which is Estes Park. Then we remembered that our son and daughter-in-law and two grandsons enjoyed a nice vacation at the YMCA of the Rockies in the Estes Park Center this summer, and luckily when we checked there was still some accommodations available for the days we wanted to visit!
The YMCA's lodges and cabins are located within a very short drive to Rocky Mountain National Park, and their views of the park's mountains are fabulous! (All photos in this post will enlarge if clicked on once, and then clicked on again to show full size)
The YMCA of the Rockies has a large amount of different styles of affordable accommodations available year round, and it is a wonderful place for families to stay, as there are many activities on the grounds for children, teens, and their parents.
The Y is also a favorite place for reunions, weddings, conferences, school outings, and summer camps. Click here to learn more about the YMCA of the Rockies
As we primarily just wanted a place to stay before and after driving through the Rocky Mountain National Park for a few days, we decided to lodge in a cabin.
Cabins have gas or electric heat, fully equipped kitchens with a stove with an oven a refrigerator and a microwave (except the two bedroom basic cabin), telephones, and one or more bathrooms. Linens, bath and dish towels, dishes and cooking utensils are provided. Cabins do not have TV's. TV's are only available in the vacation homes, which also have a microwave and dishwasher. We found the accommodations rustic, but perfect for our needs, and the setting was beautiful!
One evening, as we drove into town, we saw this surprising sight in a traffic median!
It was a gorgeous, and gigantic, elk bull!
Elk are also called wapiti -- a Native American word that means "light colored deer." Elk are related to deer but are much larger than most of their relatives. A bull elk's antler's may reach four feet (1.2 meters) above its head, so that the animal towers 9 feet (2.7 meters) tall! I made sure I stayed quite a distance away from this elk, as he was with his herd of females, and he bugled his warning a few times. Bull elks make this bugle sound when they are in rut. By bugling he announces his fitness to cow (female) elks, and warns other bulls to stay away. It also announces his readiness to fight.
f you'd like to hear what a bull elk's bugle sounds like you can watch the Youtube above, or at this link. This was a sound we were going to hear quite a bit of over the next few days!
As naturalist John Muir once said: "The mountains are calling and I must go." As soon as we settled into our cabin in the YMCA we headed out to Rocky Mountain National Park. More about our adventures there in my next few posts!
I'm adding this post to the following blog events:
Travel Photo Monday
Our World Tuesday
Oh, the Places I've Been Thursday