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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Ouzel Lake




Google Searched “Great hikes in Estes Park.” I was led to Calypso Cascades. And I couldn’t wait until my feet did the same. After a drive through Allenspark, must be a very desirable place to live because there is a spring there…free drinking water for all. But with a population of only about 500 people, that wouldn’t be so hard to do. You probably don’t even have to wait in line. After seeing most of the town, a few restaurants, a post office, we were ready to get wild!

We headed to the Wild Basin area. If you are anywhere in the Rocky Mountain National Park, you are set to have one of the best hikes, views and times. Waterfalls draw me in, not literally luckily. So when I read we would be walking along a stream to a waterfall, I clicked that red X on the internet page, no need to look any further.

The plan was set. Hike to Calypso Cascades, out and back, about four miles roundtrip. But then there was a wooden carved sign telling us if we kept going another mile we would be to Ouzel Falls. Done! And then would you look at that…another wooden sign, two more miles and we would be to Ouzel Lake. By golly, how could you not keep trekking? A snowy ridge was ahead and a couple coming down the trail warned us…but sometimes you have to experience it for yourself.

Keeping our heads down to avoid wind burn and snow in our eyes, it was a debatable decision to turn around. Shoes soaked from water puddles, I was getting the chills, and they were multiplying, but I couldn’t lose control….or focus! A wooden sign sang to me, and etched out the words “Ouzel Lake .5 miles.” Ohh ya we had this. The falls were great, the trails clear and people friendly while we were in the timber…but I stepped into something different at Ouzel Lake. A postcard. The serenity of it even took the chills out of my feet. A ten mile hike worth every snow covered step.

And another wooden sign…Bluebird Lake only 1.5 miles away?! Do we dare! Luckily there was a wise man that was also enjoying the hike, and talked us out of it due to the conditions. Summer is not so far away…and Bluebird Lake will be better enjoyed then.

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