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Last weekend's diary was about a journey to view fall foliage in Colorado's high country.  This weekend's trip was along the Colorado Scenic Highway, the Peak to Peak highway, and up to Estes Park for a weekend outing. Here is Mount Evans, towards the start of the trip.

The weather took a sudden turn in the middle of the week when the presidential candidates blew into town for the debate.  From a high in the lower 80's Wednesday afternoon, the temperature dropped and Friday morning much of the Denver area awoke to up to an inch of snow.  The snow and cold would hang around for a couple of days and provided some beautiful images, though it damaged my tomatoes.

The Peak to Peak highway starts west of Denver up the Cold Creek Canyon by Black Hawk.  Some of the highlights along the way include Nederland, which holds the Frozen Dead Guy days in March, a variety of small towns and beautiful scenery.  

Beautiful Quaking Aspens, showing a mixture of fall colors and snow

The church at St. Malo was one place where Pope John Paul II visited when he came to Denver in 1993.  Shown here in fog that came and went during the drive, the church was where Mrs. Colotim first married me.  Her being a recovering Catholic, she still believes in it, so one night after midnight, we had stopped to look at the church on another trip to Estes Park and she said the "I wed thee" three times.  This was long before I ever got around to proposing.  So yeah, it's special to us.

The first morning in Estes Park we awoke to a beautiful view of Long's Peak, with a fresh dusting of snow.  

The main activity of the day was having some fun at the Estes Park end of the season "Surprise Sidewalk Sale".  My wife and friends who had come up from Denver with us have perfected the art of shop, shot, shop, shot, where they shop for a few stores, then when they come upon a bar they go in and have a shot (or other drink), then back out for more shopping till the next bar, and so on.  By the end of the street, they've got a serious buzz on.  I get to be the designated driver.

Back close to the house, we found one of the major attractions of Estes Park, especially in the fall.  Elk, second largest of the deer family in North America, are found in over-abundance in Rocky Mountain National Park and they move down through Estes Park, right in and around the houses.  During the fall, bull elk gather the cows into harems.  The old strong males have the largest harems but they also have to fend off challengers from bulls that otherwise have to do without.  

The bull overseeing this harem has lost most of one of his antlers, probably in a battle, but it was clear watching him move his harem away from some battling bulls that he still controlled his world.  

Sunday, as we left to return to Denver, we had bright sunshine and I took this photo at a welcome sign to Estes Park.

South of Boulder the Flatirons are one of the most distinguished features of the whole foothills.  Here is the view looking back towards Boulder.  At the lower right of the Flatirons, one of the prime research centers for Atmospherics is the National Center for Atmospheric Research, NCAR.  Of course, it's not a favorite of the anti-science crowd.

Finally, a political photo to make you all smile.  This is a photo of the Estes Park Republican headquarters, at 11:15 AM on the last Sunday prior to the end of voter registration.  Somehow I doubt there would be a "Closed" sign on any Democratic headquarters on this day.  

So much for their being re-energized by the debate last Wednesday.  Now GOTV!

Originally posted to ColoTim on Mon Oct 08, 2012 at 05:48 AM PDT.

Also republished by Colorado COmmunity.

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