Tuesday, June 03, 2003

Day off. Slept in this morning until 9:00am. That was after going to bed at 10:30 last night. Must have really needed sleep. Thus I was rested for my trip into RMNP.

Had to gas up before going in. Found what I think is the least expensive station in Estes: $1.74 at the Texaco on CO HWY 7--one of three Texacos in town. Had to get cash from the ATM, too, meaning a $2.25 surcharge. The downside to living in a tourist town is everything is ridiculously expensive. And I'm supposed to live off $155 a week? (Sarcasm: I probably lived off $15 a week at school.) Guess I'll just have to rough it....

Drove Trail Ridge Road to the Alpine Visitor's Center, which is not quite to the Continental Divide and is still surrounded by drifts of snow. The middle of the parking lot is full of port-a-potties because the center does not yet have water.

Went on a short tundra hike at 12000ft and got pretty winded. But it was beautiful; didn't see any marmots or the other rats whose name I can't remember, but plenty of rocks and alpine greenery. Then went back down the mountain to Bear Lake and hiked to Alberta Falls. Sat around there enjoying the view and was inspired to compose a poem--which I only now remember doing three hours after the fact. Should carry a pad and pen with me when inspiration hits.

Have tomorrow off, too. Might see if I can't round up a few other people and travel to Loveland or Ft. Collins for some less expensive shopping. Need to find some good hiking boots.

Am planning on taking a hikemaster's course the Y offers. It starts this Wednesday with "Snow and Ice Techniques" and goes every Wednesday until a written exam on August 13. Reasons for doing this are twofold: will keep me busy while doing something I love and will give me the opportunity to rise from the slums of housekeeping to the glory of hikemaster should I decide to return next summer. Will let you know how it goes.