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We've only been in Wyoming for a six days, but it already feels like we've been here forever. We're absolutely smitten with the views, the kindness, and the small town vibes. Rog and I already agreed that this is our favorite home yet :)

We've checked out two local parks right here in Cheyenne already, and both were pretty great for walking and, of course, catching pokemon ;) But over the weekend, we wanted to experience the Wild West a little more up close and personal. Monday morning, we made our way to Estes Park, Colorado to spend the day at the Rocky Mountain National Park. After seeing (and hearing!) a herd of elk while driving into the park, we decided to start small and chose to start at Bear Lake Trailhead.

After checking out Bear Lake, we decided to switch gears and hike to Nymph Lake, Dream Lake, and Emerald Lake, which were all on the same two-mile trail. Nymph Lake was the first stop, and the lily pads floating all over gave it the most whimsical feel.

The hike up the mountains was no joke. We felt that altitude pretty quickly, but were so awestruck that it didn't seem to matter much. The views were incredible, and the photos of the mountains really don't do any justice to their size. We've never seen anything like them.  We learned that the U-shaped canyons in these photos are the products of massive glaciers. The park is still home to five active glaciers today.

The second lake we reached was Dream Lake. It seemed to be the biggest of these three lakes, and the water was so clear. Rainbow trout were really easy to spot, and the water had the prettiest green tinge.

The final ascent to Emerald Lake was the toughest part of the whole hike for me. It was really nothing but up, but they weren't kidding when they said that Emerald Lake was the real gem of the whole trail. It was the most gorgeous gem-stoned color, and it was fed by one of those five active glaciers. If you look closely in the photos below, you can see the little trickling stream coming off the left side of the cliff. Our phones told us we were over 10,000 feet in altitude, which was really incredible.

After our hike back down the mountain, I was ready to be done for the day. I was tired, but Rog thought we should do the extra hike to see Alberta Falls. I agreed, and we weren't disappointed.

All told, we ended up hiking around seven miles that day. It was the best way to cap off our first weekend, and we're already planning trips back to explore other parts of the massive park.

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