01 Jun Living in the rockies – William Tsai
Now that I’m settled in, my initial awe of giant mountains has subsided a bit. By no means am I saying these mountains are any less gorgeous, I’ve just gotten more used to them. Having driven- and worked- throughout ROMO in these last two weeks, I’ve become more familiar with the views of the park. Furthermore, because I have to drive from McGraw ranch to ROMO headquarters (about a 20 minute drive) on a semi-daily basis, I’ve become pretty familiar with Estes Park. Although I feel like I’ve become more familiar with the park, I know that I’ve only seen a miniscule fraction of the magnificent Rocky Mountain National Park.
Because I’ve been settling in over these last two weeks, I haven’t had the opportunity to actually explore the park; while I’ve seen some great views, I’ve only really driven through the park. Now that I’m familiar with the park layout and where the trailheads are, its time to get my boots dirty and explore these trails!!
The mountains and differences in elevation creates tons of unique terrain. Elevation creates different ecosystems including montane, subalpine, alpine tundra, and glacier. While montane ecosystems are somewhat similar to that of a meadow or valley, the higher alpine tundra ecosystems often lack vegetation due to their harsh cold temperature and winds. Because of the variation of elevation and terrain, this results in tons of biodiversity and areas to explore!
Last week I went out to my research site- Wild Basin- and was stunned by how nice it is. With running water everywhere and many beautiful waterfalls, it was extremely tranquil. My lead and I installed trail counters throughout Wild Basin. Following that, on the weekend, I hiked the twin sisters peak mountains which topped off at around 11,500 ft of elevation.
I’m excited to explore the trails of Rocky Mountain National Park, I’ll keep you all posted with more info!