RMNP Tour Notes

The following prose represents a few Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) tour notes from Saturday August 1 through Monday August 3, 2009 trip. This year the third time shifted wedding anniversary vacation weekend involved traveling to RMNP. Without question or argument, every American should time the time to visit RMNP. The National Park Service provides Americans with access to truly beautiful surroundings. The scenic vistas and glorious natural spender of RMNP are truly without question a real national treasure.

The advent of digital photography has transformed the technology people utilize while touring national parks. For example, the current panoramic photography project endeavor involves attempting to visit every national park. In response to the demands of the project, several national park tours have involved amassing hundreds if not thousands of digital photos during the past few years.

Each national park tour has unique merits. Based on personal preference and informed observation one national park stands above the rest. Tours of this particular national park have been more frequent than any other park under the current panoramic photography national park tour project. RMNP located just outside Estes Park, Colorado is within driving distance of Boulder, Colorado. With good traffic conditions, a responsible driver can travel from Boulder, Colorado to RMNP in about one hour. The proximity to Boulder, Colorado probably helps drive traffic to this national treasure.

Before the vacation, it seemed like a good idea to visit at least one Colorado winery. During the recent trip, two wineries in Colorado received consideration. First, the Snowy Peaks Winery and tasting room resides within the borders of Estes Park, Colorado. Second, located in Lyons, Colorado the Ciatano Winery resides between Boulder, Colorado and Estes Park, Colorado. Both winery tastings went well. Colorado wines are interesting and the process of growing grapes in Colorado merits further study.

Without question, RMNP provides scenic visits within reasonable hiking distances. Colorado residents have noticed the recent heavy rains throughout the state. Some of the trails throughout RMNP were very muddy and the streams and lakes were very full. Joni thought it would be a good idea to hike to a few lakes including Bear Lake, Nymph Lake, Dream Lake, Lake Haiyaha, and Bierstadt Lake. The switchback hike from the Bierstadt Trailhead to Bierstadt Lake was surprisingly panoramic. Strangely enough, the park service has noted, “Temporary closures may occur at picnic and trailhead parking areas as park staff remove trees killed by an outbreak of native pine beetle.” The native pine beetle could really damage the natural splendor of RNMP. I hope the National Park Service is able to combat and defeat the native pine beetle.

After visiting the Ciatano Winery, it seemed like a good idea to visit the Wings West chicken wing emporium to get an afternoon snack in Estes Park, Colorado. During the middle of the afternoon, very few patrons were frequenting the establishment. The BBQ wing sauce was mild and pleasant. The habenero flavor in the Super Hot wing sauce provided a slow burning aftertaste following the flavorful initial rush of spicy chicken wing sauce. Overall, the Wings West experience probably would be better during happy hour to get the full fledged chicken wing experience.

After visiting the Ciatano Winery and Wings West, it was time to get ready to visit the Twin Owls Steakhouse.

Review of the Twin Owls Steakhouse

Dinner at the Twin Owls Steakhouse in Estes Park, Colorado provided to be entertaining when the sprinkler system caused a marmot to run by the dining room window. For a Sunday night during the peak of the summer vacation season, the Twin Owls Steakhouse was remarkably slow. I had made the reservation about one month in advance. Keep in mind the Twin Owls Steakhouse typically only takes reservations starting at one month before the reservation.

Joni and I decided to forgo appetizers. After reviewing the menu, none of the appetizers seemed well appetizing…

In terms of entrees, I ordered a very decent, but not spectacular New York strip steak from the menu with a ranch house salad. The chef decided to put a few craisins on the salad. The New York strip steak preparation involved a combination of black and green peppercorns blended into a bourbon sauce served with mashed potatoes and seasonal vegetables.

Joni decided to order and was very pleased with the stuffed pork tenderloin. The chef stuffed the pork tenderloin with asadero cheese, black beans, and a very interesting green chili stuffing. Combined with mash potatoes and seasonal vegetables, several slices of the pork tenderloin were plated with a creamy sage sauce. Joni had and enjoyed the chef recommended Carmel Road Pinot Noir with the stuffed pork tenderloin.

Dinner concluded with dessert. In this case, dessert involved a classic raspberry cheesecake.

Overall, the Twin Owls Steakhouse is located within beautiful surroundings in Estes Park, Colorado. The food was very good, but the preparation and style feels somewhat old-fashioned. However, given that the dinner was scheduled as part of a wedding anniversary weekend getaway vacation everything was perfect.

Wondering about Colorado Wine

Who would have ever guessed that grapes could grow in the State of Colorado? Parts of Colorado are in fact suitable to growing grapes for wine. People grow grapes in various places throughout the United States. Necessity of investigation might warrant the study of vineyards outside the State of California. Maybe this news will provide the possibility of learning about wine in general. A handful of wineries exist within the State of Colorado. Given the current global economic considerations, residents of Colorado might consider day trips to various wineries. Evidence suggests that economic considerations do limit traveling. People throughout the United States are avidly considering possible day trips. Colorado certainly provides hiking and nature emersion experiences that match anywhere in the world. Some people find process of making wine to be interesting. Traveling throughout the State of Colorado provides the opportunity to witness the true glory and splendor of natural beauty.

Traveling Podcasts

Eighteen hours of traveling across eastern Colorado and western Kansas really provides the serenity necessary to derive perspective. After hearing about the latest bestselling Mark Levin book the car ride seemed like a great time to check out the Mark Levin podcast. Listening to a wide variety of perspectives helps provide prospective. First, outside any discussion of politics the podcast needs better audio volume mastering. Second, Mark Levin has managed to achieve a fifty percent compression of the three hour broadcast. Third, during the radio show Mark Levin provides comprehensive political punditry of select topics. Overall, the Mark Levin radio show provides entertainment to an otherwise boring drive. The show certainly deserves consideration. Regardless of your political opinions understanding talk radio requires listening to talk radio shows.

During the trip, ten other podcasts received attention.

  1. The Dennis Miller Show Podcast
  2. ESPN Radio: The best of Mike and Mike in the morning podcast
  3. NPR: Science Friday podcast
  4. The Heritage Foundation podcast
  5. C-SPAN Podcast of the Week
  6. ESPN: Pardon the Interruption Podcast
  7. ESPN: The Sports Reporters Podcast
  8. Science @ NASA Podcast
  9. GateWorld Podcast
  10. Select episodes from the /Filmcast


Panoramic Photography Project

Nels accepted a challenge in 2005 to visit every national park in the United States of America. Living in Boulder, Colorado at the time provided an excellent base camp centrally located between dozens of national parks, which started the national parks tour off on the right path. A degree of localization will benefit the current park tour within the State of Colorado.

The panoramic photography project will involve a summer tour of Colorado parks. Several parks will be involved during the summer tour including Rocky Mountain National Park, Great Sand Dunes National Park, Pueblo State Park, Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument, and Spinney Mountain State Park. Most of the parks are within a day trip of driving from Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Given the current economic conditions, parks and recreation day trips are an excellent alternative to the expense of traditional vacations. Nels is currently considering several more extended vacations that will include traveling to Grand Canyon National Park, Creator Lake National Park, and Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park.


Will Rogers Shrine of the Sun Panoramic
Will Rogers Shrine of the Sun Panoramic



Colorado parks summer tour

  1. Rocky Mountain National Park
  2. Great Sand Dunes National Park
  3. Pueblo State Park
  4. Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument
  5. Spinney Mountain State Park

Completed national park tours

  1. Rocky Mountain National Park (20050518)
  2. Mesa Verde National Park (20050628)
  3. Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park (20050812)
  4. Great Sand Dunes National Park (20070714)
  5. Arches National Park (20070802)
  6. Canyonlands National Park (20070803)

National park tours under consideration

  1. Wind Cave National Park
  2. Badlands National Park
  3. Capital Reef National Park
  4. Bryce Canyon National Park
  5. Zion National Park
  6. Great Basin National Park
  7. Grand Canyon National Park
  8. Creator Lake National Park
  9. Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park

Sea World San Diego Review

Nels was able to experience Sea World San Diego during the Borys wedding festival weekend. Traveling provides the opportunity for unique experiences outside the confines of traditional normative processes. Routines dominate daily life. Average citizens thrive within the rigid constructs of predictable environments. Sea World San Diego follows precise schedules and provides carefully documented and managed encounters within the bounds of exhibits.

Tourists with maps wonder the exhibits. Sea World San Diego has a large number of killer whales. Trainers work with the killer whales to master certain behaviors that maximize crowd interaction. For the ticket price, Sea World San Diego should provide access to a larger number of interactive exhibits. As a transaction, the ticket purchase guarantees a guest the opportunity to experience the Shamu killer whale show and the dolphin show.

High ticket prices probably reduce the total number of guests. Overall, Sea world San Diego was very clean and has reasonable amenities. Almost every exhibit concludes with a walk through a gift shop. The total amount of merchandise available for purchase easily outpaces demand by a factor of ten. For most visitors the central motivation for taking the trip involves being able to see the trainers interact with killer whales. Dolphins of course also attract significant audiences.