It’s been a memorable 4th of July weekend at Jellystone Park of Estes, near Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado. We made presentations on Saturday and Sunday in the Jellystone open-air pavilion, and engaged our audience in Leave No Trace PEAK Pack games of “What Principle Am I?” and “How Long Does It Last?” The younger generation had spirited debates with their parents as to how long it takes a wool sock (2-5 yrs.), orange peels (1-5 yrs.), and a disposable diaper (10-20 yrs.) to decompose, and everyone was pretty amazed to learn that a plastic bottle decomposes in 200 to 400 years. Based on the audience response, we’re thinking that there will be a few more folks carrying trash bags on their next hike, prepared to pick up litter along the trail. We talked with the chief Jellystone Ranger after our Saturday presentation, and he welcomed the chance to use Leave No Trace materials on future nature hikes with campers.
On Saturday afternoon we drove into Rocky Mountain National Park to take a heart-pumping hike up Deer Mountain (elev. 10,013 ft.). At the top were panoramic views of the Estes Park Valley, Beaver Meadows, and Moraine Park, with Long’s Peak (elev. 14,256 ft.) dominating the view to the southwest. As we hiked back down to the trailhead we were accompanied by the melodious song of the hermit thrush as the sun set over the Mummy Range.
Back at Jellystone Park on the 4th of July we attended the flag-raising and cheered on the “Pots and Pans” parade with Yogi Bear leading the way. Several campers asked about our brand new Coleman E-1 pop-up camper and we compared notes and got some useful tips from our neighbors who were long-time Coleman pop-up owners. Our Jellystone hosts were really hospitable and helpful, and the Jellystone community was most welcoming!
Peggy and her new friend, Yogi Bear!
Hope to see you down the road,
Barrett and Peggy
PS: Our new e-words are “ethics” and “eternity.”