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Fitness and Photography for Fun - A blog on staying fit by hiking and doing photography by David Mendosa

Mill Creek Basin‏

October 10th, 2008 · No Comments

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Heavy weather is coming. The sun appeared from behind its clouds only at rare intervals today.

The snows of winter are almost here. That’s why I went out for the past six days.

Today I went back to Rocky Mountain National Park, but to a trail that I had never hiked before. The Mill Creek Basin Trail from the Hollowell Park Trailhead is an easy lollipop loop of about 5 miles with an elevation gain of only 600 feet.

Passing through Estes Park en route to the trail, I saw a deer crossing the highway to Starbucks just as it opened at 6 a.m. But I doubt if it got service.

Just after I reached the trailhead a large elk bull crossed the trail just ahead of me. Neither the deer nor the bull waited around for me to photograph them.

Then came the sunrise. While it hung around for only a few minutes, I was quick enough to capture it.

Sunrise over Mill Basin

Sunrise over Mill Basin

Then morning broke over the pines and so many ranges of mountains.

Morning has Broken

Morning has Broken

Pines and spruce predominate here. But aspens grow in many stands and are still full of golden leaves.

A Hillside Stand of Yellow and Golden Aspens

A Hillside Stand of Yellow and Golden Aspens

Three Golden Aspens Along the Trail

Three Golden Aspens Along the Trail

The Rocky Mountains peaked up over the hillsides surrounding the basin. Longs Peak peaks the highest.

The Notch on the Left is Certain Identification of Longs Peak

The Notch on the Left is Certain Identification of Longs Peak

It seems that some spring wildflowers don’t know that it’s fall.

A Thistle in Flower

A Thistle in Flower

A Thistle About to Bud

A Thistle About to Bud

After my exercise, I stopped at Starbucks in Estes Park for a cup of coffee, to review my photographs, and to check my cell phone messages. Sitting out back of Starbucks along the Big Thompson River was much more pleasant for an outdoors person like me than sitting inside.

The Estes Park Promenade Along the Big Thompson River

The Estes Park Promenade Along the Big Thompson River

Finally, I headed back to Boulder. But first I just had to stop to shoot this roadside stand of aspen.

Aspens along Highway 36

Aspens along Highway 36

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