We usually go to Estes Park around this time of year to see the elk perform their annual mating ritual, aka rut. This year, after the floods, we weren't quite sure what we would find. Our route would be different, that we knew, as 34 and 36 are still closed. The "Peak to Peak" Highway, what we call the back way, is currently the only way in to Estes and the Rocky Mountain National Park, and it's about a 2.5 hr drive from Denver.
The highway itself is in pretty good shape with some areas already repaved and much road work underway. In areas where the road had no shoulder, you could see the effects of water erosion that had nibbled away at the asphalt, but it was not enough to cause concern. However, occasionally seeing a five-foot ditch at the very edge of the road does cause you to slow down.
The area around the St. Malo church was impressive, as the flood had obviously poured across the road and left a large debris field around the church. Thanks to Ian Stearns for posting:
The traffic was sparse, but it was a weekday. Estes Park's main drag was nearly empty. The shops that were open had an official "inspected" sign in their windows, but many shops were closed.
|Master of his domain|
|Large calf nursing|
|That's the calf on the right|