Outdoors & Nature

Wandering in the National Park

Hello! Yes I know it has been a long time!

As part of our extension into other areas of the blogging world, we decided to take you with us as we explore Rocky Mountain National Park.

Enjoy!

Feels like home to me

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Have you ever felt there is one place in the world that makes you feel like you are in your element?

For me that is the mountains. I don’t care if it is in the desert or up in the Rockies, I can’t get enough of it. There’s just something about it that makes my heart sing.

My husband I were talking about this yesterday when we went up to the Rockies to visit our friends at a Ranch my husband used to work for. When I go to a place where there are big rock formations, water and tons of pine trees, I just come alive. Who knows what it is but I just feel comfortable there.

Which leads me to another thought I’ve been having lately. I can’t believe how amazing nature and the world are. It is so different everywhere you go and each place has a personality. For instance, I was born and raised in Nevada and unlike the Rocky Mountains, It is hot and dusty and everywhere you look there are rocks (whether a big mountain or a little pebbles). In fact, where I used to live we would “decorate” our yards with them (as decorative as a rock can be).

Then there is the south. I recently went to North Carolina for a conference and the first thing that struck me is all the trees! I couldn’t look anywhere without seeing them. You would think a Coloradoan would not be surprised, but I have never seen those types of trees before.

The Pacific Northwest is also entirely different and it seems like Mountain life is pretty much integrated into everything you do. I can’t go to the grocery store without driving through a meadow with lots of pine trees everywhere.

But, I have to say, my heart lies with the Rockies. There is just something I adore about them. Maybe it is the snowcapped mountains, maybe it is the fact that my allergies don’t act up there, or maybe it is just the sheer beauty that surrounds you when you are there. Whatever it is, I am happy to call it home.

Until then, -M

 

My First 14er!

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Hi everyone!

Wow! I haven’t posted in awhile! It has been a busy month. I’ve had several tests and I hosted my first student event for the American Meteorological Society. It was awesome! So great to tell my fellow classmates about all the great things available to them through the AMS Broadcast Board!

So, I have to tell you about a big first for me! I go to do my first 14er a few weeks ago! What is a 14er you ask? Well, it is quite the big deal in Colorado. 14ers are the tallest mountains in Colorado. They are 14,000 feet above sea level and it is so cool to say you went that high. For me I am a big outdoors enthusiast so this was huge! The only thing is I am not quite in shape (It will happen by next year!!! Woo!) to hike up one so we did one of the only two peaks you can drive up. We went to Mt. Evans which is near Idaho Springs (but also is part of the city of Denver even though it is far away from the city, so odd).

I have never been to a mountain where the tree line ends and you actually see tundra. In the picture above, that is tundra during the fall season. It makes me so excited to see tundra for once because a) I’ve studied the difference climates and vegetation and b) I’ve only lived in the desert and now Colorado for a little while so tundra is a brand new thing for me. The only thing that is higher than tundra is permafrost (ground that is permanently frozen) which I have yet to see.

Another awesome thing was the mountain goats! They were so cool. I’m a big animal lover so I am a huge fan of anything that crawls around. It was amazing because they weren’t shy at all and it was even more fascinating that any time they wanted to cross the street, one would jump in front of the car and act like a crossing guard. The goat that just walked in front of our car didn’t budge until the whole herd crossed.  And I got to see little baby goats! So adorable!

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One thing I will say about traveling to Mt. Evans or any 14er is be aware that there will be a lot of traffic. The Denver-Metro area is home to a lot of outdoorsy people and they all like to head up to the mountains on weekends. It got so crowded at one point with people parked on the sides of the roads to see the goats that the road actually was blocked by people. We tried to get through but thankfully a ranger came out and told everyone that it is indeed illegal to park on the side of the road on the mountain in non-parking areas. Also, there is a $10 fee for a car full of people. But it was definitely worth it!

I hope you all get outdoors this season. Fall is an amazing time!

Until then,

-M

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