This year's National Parks trip with the crew, otherwise known as Bear Jam, began as the trip that almost never was. Last minute buy-in from key founders led to an impromptu schedule that manifested itself as a trip full of unknowns and fortunate whereabouts. And when I say "this year," I mean 2012. Time flies when you're jobless and traveling... or employed and traveling. I'm running out of bad excuses. After several proposed and subsequently nixed plans, we landed on a final itinerary including Rocky Mountain National Park, Denver for a Rockies game (men's trip from here on out), Salida and Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, Telluride, and a happenstance cruise through Colorado National Monument.
Misplaced luggage, surprise luxury suite upgrades, unexpected international rendezvous/weapon firing, 100 bags of beef jerky, and impossible scenery at every stop... Bear Jam 2012.
exploring Sundance Mountain
view of Gore Range from Trail Ridge Road (click for larger image)
Nate & Haley
is that a....
Lake Helene (click for larger image)
view down to Odessa Lake from Lake Helene (click for larger image)
We almost didn't go to Odessa Lake, but we ran into two people who were on their way back onto the trail from the Odessa Lake approach who said we absolutely had to check it out.
Odessa Lake approach
I was pretty psyched that the newspaper clipping I ripped off to mark my sandwich just happened to be a dude whose name was a combination of both mine and the great Southern Ocean Explorer, Robert Scott. Odd coincidence considering I'd just been in the Southern Ocean overlapping his historic rescue route just months prior.
fishermen on Lake Odessa
Odessa Lake (click for larger image)
Nate getting the best angle
post hike rewards
Bear Jam crew picking up snacks for the road
Estes Park memorabilia
Nate & Haley at the Stanley Hotel
Next stop, Salida and Gunnison with a stop in Boulder and Denver on the way.
Skip to (in chronological order):
- Rocky Mountain National Park
- Guns in Gunnison
- Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park
- Colorado National Monument