Although roads are icy, our 4×4 Jeep Wrangler brought us safely to our cabin in Estes Park just outside the Rocky Mountain National Park. It is a beautiful location with mountains in front of us and a river at our doorstep.
The next day we stay locked in the cabin after a passing storm dropped about 8 inches of snow. But with the sun out the next day, all that snow only made the mighty Rocky Mountains prettier.
Finally, we decided to take that trip, which we have been waiting for. Day trip thru Rocky Mountain National Park. It is our first-anniversary trip but it is as important as our honeymoon because our relationship got a little better after this.
We have been on several trips after marriage with friends, alone, local, and interstate. But this trip is really special because finally, we got to know each other. Be it situations or the alone time together or far away-from-home trip, it worked out for us.
Our trip of a lifetime started with a difference. She ordered coffee and I ordered hot chocolate at the local store – Kind Coffee. And both are delicious, so it’s a good start for our day. With hot beverages in one hand and cold steering in the other, we entered Rocky Mountain National Park.
Roads are clean with fresh snow and walkways are icy. Driving on the road with heaps of snow on either side is exciting.
Our first stop – Beaver Meadows Visitor Center.
The center is still operable even after a heavy storm. People are coming in to use restrooms and check out the information at the visitor’s center. We spoke to a Park Ranger. He is extremely helpful in guiding us with the map and provided safe winter trail suggestions.
Further ahead, we paid the entrance fee to the park and proceeded to –
Our first trail – Bear Lake.
The parking lot is almost full. We parked at the beginning of the lot, took gloves, hat, scarves, fully equipped, and started walking. And just like that our lifetime journey started 🙂
It is about 20˚F and the sun is shining high. It’s a beautiful day to walk. The East Glacier Knob mountain is freshly covered with snow and off the trails, there is about 10-inch.
A short walk and we arrived at Bear Lake. We saw footsteps and we followed. Within no time, we realized we are standing on the frozen lake. Our heartbeat stopped for a minute. We slowly walked back and at one step, I lost control and hit the ice on the lake. Luckily, the ice did not break much. We came back ashore safely. It is our first time on a frozen lake and it is quite exciting.
We continued on the trail around the lake. It is a pretty winter wonderland scene with tall trees covered with snow and their shadows on the frozen lake, icicles on one side, and a foot of snow on the other. We were enjoying the trail but got tired pretty quickly.
My wife has the habit of packing food for the trails which I oppose almost every time but that saved us today. We relished sandwiches and bars in the middle of nowhere.
Hike to Alberta Falls
We proceeded further as we are enjoying the scenes on the trail. I am playing with various angles of snow photography while my wife played in the snow like a kid.
Sometimes its just those little things that make us happy.
We completed the hike to Alberta Falls and the falls are all covered with snow. We can hardly hear water but it is a splendid scene. It brought her joy and after a long time, she is enjoying a trip heartfully without thinking that it is just another trip that I planned for myself. There is my first win.
Although there isn’t much, we enjoyed this Glacier Gorge trail. The snow made things beautiful.
Further along Trail Road
Trail road is one of the beautiful roads in Summer with some of the best mountain views. But the road is accessible only until Many Points Curve Overlook in Winter. And we want to explore as much as we can.
We couldn’t decide where to stop along the road. Every scene is pretty. There are snow-covered mountains. A single tree in the middle of a huge barren land. And mountains standing tall as if they are right in the middle of a road when seen from distance. Can you feel how pretty it is?
We shared the food along the way. It is one of our first trips where we kinda created our things. Things we do to each other to show love and care. And inside jokes.
Travel can bind people together. Maybe because we go through hard and one-of-a-kind weird situations together.
The journey of a lifetime
When we spot deer along the way I had to stop, multiple times. I tried a shot standing at the edge of the road for the views. My wife started to understand how much I really like taking pictures on this trip.
We spoke for about a year after our engagement hoping it sets a better foundation. And I thought it is a good start. But we all know that everything is so much different after marriage. We are learning so much about each other even after a year. She knew I travel but understood only now how passionate I am.
The next day, before vacating the room, we did a photoshoot that I promised her before marriage. We both weren’t fond of pre-marriage photoshoot so told her will take good photos later. Today the photos came out really well and she is happy. It is one of our favorite pics so far.
Until then, I always thought that I shouldn’t change myself and she should love me as myself not changed me. But then I realized doing simple things like taking cinematic photos of each other brings happiness. And in a way giving trust to her.
On our way back, she seems out. And honestly, I wouldn’t know what she is thinking and ask her to let it out so I know.
Speaking out make things a lot better.
Finally, our trip ended with a decision that we took together – Nepal’s Cafe. For Chicken Momos, Chicken Vindaloo, and Rose Lassi. It’s a sweet ending.
Obviously, still there are several differences but this trip helped us to respect and live with differences.
Have you ever been on a trip that changed your relationship?
If not already, just take a trip. And if it didn’t work, take another and then another, and believe me someday that relation sparks. Travel does have that power.
When we couldn’t travel much during the Pandemic, state parks came to our rescue when regulations eased. Read about our first camping experience, a camping night gone wrong, or several other state parks. Go further and check out our trip to Amsterdam, Paris, Rome, or this wonder of the world in Incredible India.
How about stories to your inbox next time?