Having my daughter and son in law move to Colorado was the reason I decided to make the leap as well. In September 2020, I left my life in Texas and began a new life here in Colorado.
In April 2020, my daughter and I decided to hike to the 3 lakes at Rocky Mountain National Park with my then 4 month old grandson, Atticus. Born in Westminster, CO in October 2020, his first recollections as a baby, may well be on the trail.
My daughter and son in law had been hiking with Atticus at the National Park since he was a wee bit! He loved being outside as any native Coloradan would love as well. From the start, he seemed ready for an adventure!
He was all bundled up in a front carrier in his bright orange Gap onesie, hat and sunglasses! Yes, baby polarized sunglasses. I cannot tell you how many folks have commented on how cute he is in those shades! I mean, look at him! Is he not adorable? I remember we didn’t have any boots that small, so he wore his mamma’s socks on his feet. I mean, it would not be fun if a baby got cold!
We decided we would hike to the 3 lakes, Nymph, Dream and Emerald. I’m a grandma, and was new to hiking at the time, so while I wasn’t in bad shape, we were traveling with a baby, so we needed something was moderate at best.
The beginning hike to Nymph Lake was what seemed like a long, slow incline. Almost immediately when I hit the trail I felt like I was having a blood sugar meltdown. Thank God my daughter carries snacks in her pack. I learned that lesson first hand that day. Always, always carry a bar of some sort in your pack. Hiking uphill can burn calories, so you need to eat a good breakfast before you start out. I was so glad my daughter was prepared!
Since we were hiking in late winter/early spring and there was still snow on the ground, I decided to check to see if conditions called for snowshoes. Lots of other hikers on social media recommended micropspikes. Neither of us had microspikes. However, we found some we could rent for the day at Estes Park Mountain shop. After a quick stop to pick them up, we were headed to the trailhead!
We arrived mid morning around 10:30 am and while the parking lot was almost full we still found a great place to park. After gearing up with the baby, and our microspikes, we were off!
Our first stop, when we got to the trailhead, was a photo at Bear Lake, with the famed flat base summit in the background. It was one of the most beautiful spots I had ever seen, so we found a kind tourist to take our picture and we to theirs. We were setting off on our own adventure, one I had never taken before.
The trek through the hard packed snow was exhilarating even if I did have to stop on occasion to catch my breath. It meandered among a narrow path through the snow covered forest. If felt like I was taking too much time enjoying the scenery but, I kept remembering my 27 year old daughter was behind me with a 20 lb baby on her chest, so I tried to stop as little as possible. What did surprised me was the amount of folks already heading down. And, some where in tennis shoes! We had done our homework and we were prepared for whatever came out way!
By the time we got to the first lake, Nymph, it was frozen over. I had never walked on a frozen lake before, but there were plenty of other hikers walking around on the lake, taking photos, etc. By that time, the baby was getting hungry, so we walked right across the frozen lake and had a seat under a tree to give the wee one his bottle.
After his feeding, and people watching, the baby was tired, or possibly cold, and got a little fussy, so we decided to head back to the car right away.
When we made it back, all in all it was a glorious day in Rocky Mountain National Park. Would definitely do this one again, but next time, I want to make it to all 3 lakes. After our hike, we celebrated and had a delightful lunch in Estes before we heading home.
Now that the baby is a year older, and walking, we can’t wait to do it again and see how far we get next time! Our little native Coloradan can’t wait to hit the trails next time!