by Deborah Leedale-Brown, Lifestyle & High Performance Coach
7 Day Blog Series of the Inaugural Womenâ€™s Wellness Camp.
DAY 7 – Hiking the Lakes; Nymph, Dream and Emerald
Our last day had arrived. Yet again, we were greeted by a clear blue cloudless sky and warm temperatures. I was so excited, as the hike I had planned for the group was the most scenic yet and it would take us to an elevation of over 9500ft. Because we were once again heading into the Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) and it was a weekend I felt that we needed to be starting our hike on the early side to guarantee we could get a parking space at the trailhead. We had a great healthy hearty breakfast that included; granola, greek yoghurt, fruit, oatmeal, scrambled egg whites and wholegrain toast and then organized our daypacks for a Â¾ day on the trails. One member of our team had been suffering all week from mild altitude sickness and even though she had been a trooper and had not let it affect her the whole week, she felt that a higher altitude hike was going to be a little too much. So it was sad that our whole group would not be together for the last hike but I knew she was making the right decision. So as we headed through Estes Park we dropped off our lone adventure women and she planned to stay at the lower elevations and hike around the beautiful lake and as we found out later when we got back together â€“ she also had a kayak adventure too. There really was no way of keeping our ladies down!
So for the final time we drove into the RMNP, actually we caught a glimpse of wildlife even before we drove through the gates. We happened to catch a rare and pretty close up view of a Black Bear that was up a tree right on the roadside. I have been taking trips to Colorado for the last 5 years and that was the first bear I had actually seen. We drove to the trailhead which was already getting busy with people and set off on a gradual incline trail that would wind its way past 3 beautiful glacier lakes, Nymph, Dream & Emerald Lakes. This hike was probably the most strenuous of the week and was definitely the highest altitude, but after a week of progressive acclimation all the women were managing it quite comfortably, catching their breath while they stopped to take numerous pictures. The hike was an out and back and we stopped and our end point was Emerald Lake. I donâ€™t think that anyone wanted to go home the next day and so we soaked in the scenery for at least 30mins. We took slightly less time hiking back down to the bus and once down our plan was to drive back into Estes Park to pick up our absent hiker. We did take a quick stop on the way out of the park to capture a shot of some more Colorado wildlife. We spied a large female Moose and her calf eating in a pond not far from the road. She had already gathered quite a crowd of onlookers and did not seem spooked at all the pictures being taken.
Once down in Estes Park we all met up and the ladies decided that they would like to take a closer look at one of Estes Parkâ€™s slightly famous landmarks. The Stanley Hotel â€“ this was Stephen Kingâ€™s inspiration for his novel â€˜The Shiningâ€™. So dressed smartly in our hiking gear we headed to the hotel for a little look around. Once there one of the ladies decided it would be a nice end to our week to reward ourselves with a little drink outside on the hotel porch. It was truly wonderful to toast our week with a cool glass of white wine and look over the Rocky Mountains one last time.
Once back at the house everyone was busying themselves with packing as we had an early departure for Denver the next day. Our final evening meal was a cookout of organic, grass-fed burgers, fresh salad and some homemade sweet potato fries. It was an extremely fun last evening, we chatted about their experiences and I had prepared a little summary of the week for each of the women. Totally unexpected and a complete surprise to Lisa and I was the kind gifts and thank you card that we both received from the group. We had been together for 7 days I already felt that we had formed some great friendships over that short time. Most of us retired to bed pretty early so that we were ready for our travel home the next day.