On the first day of autumn 2011, I gave myself a day off. I had no agenda other than escape – and time in the mountains. Wildlife would be a bonus. Especially bugling elk. But nothing was required. It was amazingly liberating.
First stop: Estes Park. After finding a good selection at the excellent card shop, I spent an hour or so drinking tea and reading a friend’s manuscript on a sun-drenched patio. I then wandered to a favorite shop but bought nothing. Then ambled to a favorite restaurant for a nice long lunch, reading more of the manuscript.
Driving further, I stopped next at West Horseshoe Park, attracted by the tailgaters leisurely enjoying snacks as they waited for the elk show. After some pleasant, casual conversations, I moved on – to a spot that seemed to have more ‘action’ at Sheep Lakes. And indeed, I could see the whole saga – the bull protecting his harem with bugling and feinting. Fascinated, I watched until about 6:45 before getting back into my car.
There’s a steakhouse about a mile outside the park that I’ve been meaning to try but its parking lot was overflowing. I found another, more unassuming, restaurant on the east side of Estes and after a nice dinner drove down the canyon and home.
A great day. A perfect way to celebrate the equinox … and restore my equanimity.
Saturday, September 24, 2011
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