Aug 14 – Early AM looking for Moose, then Trail Ridge Rd.

Inspired by our late afternoon success in seeing a moose, we decided to wake up before sunup, drive all the way across the mountain, and back to the Colorado River Trailhead as well as the other small trails around that area.  We went all the way to the park’s exit, and didn’t see a single moose while driving, so we turned around, and one walked right out in front of us!  This female wasn’t very photogenic, and we really had to struggle to get a good shot, going back and forth as she would attempt to hide herself.

After a few hours of moose hunting, we decided to go back to trail ridge road to try our luck at sheep again.  No such luck.  On the way back to Estes Park, we stopped near the Continental Divide, where we spotted what we thought were the same Elk that held us hostage yesterday.  We were talking to a local photographer who was commenting how odd it was that the Elk were shedding velvet so early in the year…and then it happened, two elk started fighting!  You can see the photos in the gallery. This was very cool, as we weren’t planning to get to see elk fighting this early in the year, and we were somewhat bummed that school prevented us from waiting a few weeks before making the trip!

We took an afternoon nap, and then headed back into the park before sunset in order to find a big horn sheep.  We headed over to Sheep Lakes, but on our way spotted a fox that you see in the gallery.  Unfortunately, once again, the big horn sheep didn’t show up at Sheep Lakes.  The park has a great visitor center in this area, that keeps count of sheep, as well as what time they show up, male/female, etc.  We looked at the sheet, and no sheep had been spotted in almost a week.  On the way out, we saw another large male elk, and took a few sunset photos that you see in the gallery.

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