While planning our Colorado vacation, I had conceived a tremendous desire to visit the source of the Colorado River. That would have involved either a long hike, for which I was not prepared, or a drive twice as long as the one we took, which my family was not willing to make. Shortly after we crossed the Continental Divide, we came upon the parking lot at the Colorado River trailhead, and I knew I had to try to get a picture.
After entering the park I had thought to buy the NGS trail map, which showed me that I only had to walk about half a mile to get to a little bridge over the upper reaches of the river. The map didn’t show that the first few hundred feet of the trail went steeply upward, before it leveled off for the remainder, but I managed.
The hike was beautiful, filled with quiet solitude of a kind I rarely get. At this point, the Colorado is a pebbly mountain stream, not the mighty water it becomes in the Southwest, and I flatter myself that my picture is equally unpretentious.
It was past dinnertime by my kids’ body clocks when I got back to the car, and we were close enough to the western end of Trail Ridge Road that we decided it was time to call it a day. I heartily enjoyed my first visit to Rocky Mountain National Park, and I will go back someday when I don’t have to move quite so fast.