Once inside Rocky Mountain National park, it's hard to decide what to do first. Thank goodness we were given a park map at the entrance. By the way, the elevation at the park entrance is over 8,000 feet; you only go up from there. I learned quite a bit about mountains, elevation, valleys, gorges, passes, weather, and water on this trip. I'd really never thought about lakes up in the mountains before. I don't live near mountains so the concept never connected in my brain.
This is a picture of Bear Lake. It was a cool, cloudy day and we really weren't prepared for the hike around the lake, but I'm so glad we did it anyway. Note to Southerners: Always take a jacket or sweatshirt with you. The temp can be as much as 20 degrees cooler in the mountains depending on the time of the year. We're fast learners. We had a Rubbermaid tote in the back of the truck wherever we went afterwards. It came in handy, actually. We also learned that water was essential, so each day we went out we just packed food/snacks, water, and coats/jackets and prepared ourselves to be gone for the day.
But wait...there's more.