Sunday, September 22, 2013

YMCA of the Rockies -- Estes Park


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!


A view of the YMCA athletic field, and in the distance is the "Mummy Range" so named as a portion of the top resembles an Egyptian mummy lying on it's back -- can you see it?


We went into the pretty town of Estes Park for dinner a couple of evenings. As you might know, the town and some of Rocky Mountain National Park campgrounds were flooded after the terrible rain storms last week, but they have both worked hard to clean up and are back in business again!


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.


I
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:

Mosaic Monday
Blue Monday
Travel Photo Monday
Our World Tuesday
Outdoor Wednesday
Oh, the Places I've Been Thursday

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54 comments:

The Gathering Place said...

I didn't know YMCA even had places like that, what a great find for family outings, your photos are so beautiful!

Massimo said...

it looks really a wonderful place... very American... lovely.
ciao from Italia

Lynn@Happier Than a Pig in Mud said...

Looks like another fun place to visit Pat! You don't see sights like that in Philly:@)

eileeninmd said...

Pat, Ymca looks like a nice place to stay. The views of the mountains are gorgeous. Love the cool looking elk. Great post, thanks for sharing your trip! Enjoy the week ahead!

SmilingSally said...

I was fascinated with the video of the Elk bugling. I noticed his underbelly muscles contracting.

Thanks for being so faithful to Blue Monday, and for sharing your blue, Pat.

Old Kitty said...

The YMCA lodges look so cosy and what scenery!!

Awww but that beautiful handsome and utterly fabulous elk is something else!! I love love love the youtube clip - and listening to them - what voices!!! Oh wow!! You are so lucky!! Oh total respect to elks!

Take care
x

Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen said...

Wow, that's a first. An elk in the traffic median. Lovely area and a great place for families to relax and have old fashion fun together. Another one of my blogging buddies loves Estes Park.
Sam

RoeH said...

Wouldn't that make a great alarm clock? I was in Jackson Hole once when the elk had been brought down for the winter and the motel was on the highway across from where they were. Wow. Incredible sight.

Wsprsweetly Of Cottages said...

What a perfectly gorgeous place to visit! How lucky you were to see those wonderful creatures up close and personal. Yep..you were right to keep your distance! Wonderful pictures! Thanks for sharing.
Mona

podso said...

It looks like lovely accommodations and a wonderful place to spend some time. I can almost feel the cool, crisp, fresh air!

black eyed susans kitchen said...

I love seeing Colorado through your eyes Pat...the photo of the bull elk is amazing!

bj said...

This is one of the prettiest areas of Colorado, I think. We love it there.

Pamela Gordon said...

I'm very impressed with the accommodations that the YMCA provides to travellers. It certainly is a beautiful place to visit and what a sight to see the bull elk so closely. Have a great week Pat!

acreativeharbor.com said...

Oh Wow! ~ beautiful photography ~ of a gorgeous place ~ so happy for you and your family ~ fun! carol ^_^

Terri Buster said...

Oh gosh, I wish we had known about this last year when we went through the park! Love that shot of the elk- awesome!!

Vee said...

Wow! That elk came up and I sat back in my seat! That is incredible. What gorgeous country. I did see a clip on all that the people of Colorado are doing to get themselves back on track. I was truly impressed with their ingenuity and hard work!

From the Kitchen said...

Our friends who live in Wilmette, IL have a place in Estes Park. They love being there and now I can see why!!

Best,
Bonnie

Nellie said...

This is beautiful, Pat. It is good to hear that Estes Park is cleaning up to be back in business. The floods have been SO devastating!

Tanna at The Brick Street Bungalow said...

I can hear the mountains calling from here...

Beautiful. Beautiful. Poor Colorado has had a tough time. Evan was there last week for business and he was glad to get home. I do love the way people are pulling together to help. I hope things are restored as soon as possible.

Such a beautiful land to explore. Enjoy, Pat!! blessings ~ tanna

Lorrie said...

What a beautiful, beautiful locale for a getaway. So much beauty fills the heart with gratitude.

GailO said...

I am so glad to see that you mention this town is up and running again....Awful to think of the damage the floods have caused.

That elk was certainly there as a photo op!! Wonder if he got paid:)

Noel Morata said...

Beautiful place and that Elk - wow! thanks for linking up today for Travel Photo Mondays

LV said...

One of my favorite places to go. You are surrounded by nothing but nature at her best. Never stayed at the YMCA facilities tho.

Ciao Chow Linda said...

That Y looks like a great place to lodge while enjoying the park and scenery. The elk? pretty astonishing rack!

Just a little something from Judy said...

We stayed in Estes Park and we woke to the sound of the elk. It was also in September when we visited that lovely place and you shared it well. Rocky Mountain Park offers breath taking beauty as well. I was not aware of the facilities at the Y. The cabin you stayed in would have been a fun place to stay. Thanks so much for posting your visit.

Ivy and Elephants said...

Love your gorgeous photos. Looks like a relaxing vacation spot in beautiful surroundings. I'll have to look into the YMCA for my next trip. I'd love to see Colorado!
Patti

Lavender Cottage said...

Your YMCA accommodations look comfy and clean. Amazing that such a large animal would have a high pitched call; I guess to another elk it is intimidating.
Nice scenery.

Cindy said...

That is quite the bugle sound that the bulls make! And to think, that God put that natural instinct in them in order for them t elk herds to thrive and prosper. They are beautiful and majestic animals, unlike the moose, I think they are very ugly.I have a great deal of respect and yes, fear of moose.
Your cabin looks wonderful! My husband and I would very much enjoy a trip like the one you took.
What an interesting post.
Hugs, cindy

Yogi♪♪♪ said...

I wouldn't miss the television. Not with bugling elk and beautiful mountains right outside.

Adventures as a Small Town Mom said...

Wow! What a fun impromptu trip.

Annesphamily said...

All of our kids have stayed at the Y in Estes Park for school field trips! My brother-in-law who lives in Montana tells the tragic story of a young mom, at Yellowstone, who put her small child on the back on a huge elk! Tragedy of course, happened. I like to look at them from a distance and marvel at God's creations! I can not imagine the rack on their head and the graceful stance they have! That has to come directly from the Lord Himself! Such magnificent creatures. Your photos are lovely.

Judy ~ My Front Porch said...

We stayed in Estes Park on our visit to CO a few years ago. Since we were there with the RV...we stayed at an RV park. The Y looks like a great place to spend some time. How neat to see an elk while you were there!

ladyfi said...

Gorgeous scenery and wow! What a fabulous elk.

Bill Nicholls said...

What a great blog and brilliant photos I will have to follow you

Neesie said...

I want to visit there now Pat...it looks fabulous.
Those mountains are incredible. They reminded me of the mountains in New Zealand.
Loved joining you on your trip...it was very kind of you to take me along. I'm new to Happy Blue Monday but I'll be back to carry on the adventure.
Have a wonderful week :D

AdriBarr said...

I have never heard of the Estes Park. It is great! What a wonderful place to stay - all the comforts of home. The surroundings are absolutely majestic, Mother Nature at her most glorious. I am such a city mouse. I had no idea elk are really THAT big! They must be glorious to behold. I am loving your on going tour of your new home state!

Fun60 said...

What a great place t stay. I wouldn't think of looking for a YMCA now I know different.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

What a fabulous place!

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Beautiful pictures -- love those Estes Park Elk (we've been there in the past in September -- the best month I think ...maybe not this year though :<<<


I had no idea about that YMCA! Cool (our kids live within easy day's driving distance of the park and we used to stay at an RV park even closer, so we really would never need the lodging, but it is so interesting to know about for friends who might be visiting the area).

I have heard that Estes Park is "digging out" and doing well at it, the same as Longmont where our kids live....(their home was undamaged) ... Coloradoans are strong people!

Roses, Lace and Brocante said...

This is an amazing YMCA facility Pat.
I would be very happy to stay there too - it looks very well maintained.
The statue of young people at the start is great.
We are sitting having breakfast at the mo so I turned on your elk video - we loved the bugle call.
Our son spent some time in Canada a couple of years ago and saw one there - they are huge!!!
A great post showcasing the wonderful Rockies - thank you Pat!
Shane

diane b said...

It looks like a beautiful part of our world. He sure is a big elk. Great shots.

Al said...

What a beautiful place. I wonder if it still looks like this after the floods?

Barbara said...

Your timing to hear the elk bugle was great. We have missed the bugling when we have gone up there.

Beautiful post and pictures!

Personalized Sketches and Sentiments said...

Hi Pat! I just wanted to stop by and say hi! :o) Hope you are doing well!

What awesome photos and a great place to see! (And wow! What an ear-piercing sound the Elk makes!)

Blessings & Aloha!

edenhills said...

Beautiful! I always love seeing the mountains you share. They truly are magnificent!

Tracy said...

The elk bull is BEAUTIFUL! What a majestic creature... The Park looks like such fun. I've always wanted to go there--hopefully one day! So nice to catch up with you a bit this week. :o) ((HUGS))

Gunsside said...

Looks like a beautiful park, great sculpture and lovely shots :)

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Liz@ Infuse With Liz said...

Wow I never knew you could stay at a YMCA for accomodations. Coloradao is so majestic. When I first saw those mountains I was awestruck. We saw them coming for miles as we approached. That's a great shot of the elk you got. I guess they just get used to the humans! I love the rack they have. Thanks for sharing!
Visiting from The Tablescaper.

pam said...

We were told last week that Estes Park downtown was still trashed and only one business open, so we stayed away. There was one road that could be taken in but with so many road crews and disaster relief groups we knew they didn't need us in the way. I look forward to seeing the elk some day. So sad all the homes destroyed and all those roads that need repaired. Its hard to imagine them getting the roads fixed before the snows close in.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

I know I've commented on this post before, but as I was closing your site I saw the sweet sculpture of the kids and just wanted to tell you that (when things dry out) you might enjoy making a trip to Loveland (the town, not the pass) to see the city sculpture park...it is really remarkable.

Michele {Malaysian Meanders} said...

I have heard very good things about this Estes Park YMCA from others, too. Perhaps one day, I'll make it there. That's so cool that there was an elk bull standing in the traffic median. Classic Colorado!

diane b said...

I have tagged you on my blog to join in Capture the Colour. Hope you don't mind.

Margaret said...

Hi Pat, I have always loved this saying by John Muir. Thank-you Pat, I'm looking forward to more of your Rocky Mountain adventure! What spectacular scenery and wow I love your amazing photos of the bull elk. Great ending photo which is calling me onward... Margaret from B.C.