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Congratulations to our Buyers who JUST CLOSED on their new home in beautiful Southmoore Park!
Now it's time for summer bbqs, swimming at Kanemoto Park, riding bikes on the many bike paths and meeting new neighbors!
We wish you the best, can't wait for your housewarming party;), and appreciate you allowing us to help you along this journey.
Bask in the light of the full moon in Rocky Mountain National Park this Sunday 12/3.
What better a way to get into the holiday spirit!
Photo Credit: NPS/Russell Smith
The Rocky Mountain Rangers lead Full Moon Walks in the winter months, the first one this coming Sunday. Groups leave from Beaver Meadows at 5 pm. Reservations are required and can be made in person or you can call the Beaver Meadows Visitor Center at 970-586-1223. Maybe there will even be a little fresh snow from the system that passes through Sunday - fingers crossed!
...when you drive into this park, you forget about everything else. You hear the water, hear the birds, you hear the wind ruffling through the aspens. Everything else disappears and all you have are the sounds and your thoughts." Blake Crossland
Image Credit PARK CHAMPIONS // 02 // Rocky Mountain National Park from Compass Coalition on Vimeo
Blake Crossland grew up in the Rocky Mountains, through which he developed a deep appreciation for exploration and adventure in the outdoors. Now, he is dedicating his life to returning the favor by becoming a trail crew leader for the Rocky Mountain Conservation Corps.
Image Credit PARK CHAMPIONS // 02 // Rocky Mountain National Park from Compass Coalition on Vimeo
Blake's crew is responsible for trail construction and maintenance. They focus on making trails more sustainable, so they last longer and are more enjoyable for the public.
Image Credit PARK CHAMPIONS // 02 // Rocky Mountain National Park from Compass Coalition on Vimeo
The main goal of the Conservation Corp is to get kids involved in conservation work. Younger people will determine our National Parks' futures. We need to connect young people to the public lands and parks and continue to protect these treasured places!
Thank you Blake!
Colorado's Rocky Mountain National Park is one of the 10 most-visited national parks in the United States, coming in at number 4 behind (1) Great Smoky Mountains NP, (2) Grand Canyon NP & (3) Yosemite NP.
Photo Credits: Michael Hodges, Jim Osterberg © 2012 RockyMountainNationalPark.com
The number of visitors each year (over 4.5 million this year!), specifically concentrated during the peak season (June to September), is taking a toll on the park. From roads and bridges to campgrounds and restrooms, the infrastructure is aging and the National Parks Service is proposing raising rates to fund improvements in RMNP, as well as, 17 other popular national parks.
Photo Credits: Grand Lake Chamber of Commerce
Current Rocky Mountain National Park entrance fees are $30/week and $10 dollars for pedestrians, bicyclists and motorcycles. If the proposed rate increase goes into effect, it could cost $70 to enter RMNP in June of 2018.
Photo Credits: CBS Denver - CBS Local
The National Parks Service says if implemented, this increase could boost park revenue by $70 million/year. But, there's no guarantee that this will happen. A public comment period is open through November 23rd. Learn more and share your thoughts in the Comments section here: http://bit.ly/2yMe5IB
"With each passing year, fear [of aging] creeps a little closer..." As we age we think more and more about prolonging our lives. Maybe we feel we missed out on some aspect because of the choices we made, or maybe we just want to feel we lived our lives to the fullest until the very end. Whatever the case, most of Western society continues seek the magic pill to feeling, looking and performing our best. Is there a secret to perpetual youth and longevity? Maybe the answers are simpler than we think?
Aging pro freeskier, Mike Douglas, traveled to Japan seeking youth. Not only are there 500 ski areas in Japan, making the destination an easy choice, the Japanese are also the longest living population of the world's major industrialized countries.
At the end of day, the secret to growing old with grace is probably not found in complicated diet formulas, yoga rituals or workout routines (not that any of those things are detrimental to our health), but more about eating well, giving our bodies respect and time to strengthen and recover, setting goals and not rushing our success.
Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished. ~Lao Tzu
Yuichiro Miura, famous for being the man who skied down Everest, and "...the most badass old dude on the planet" now 88, skis over a 100 days a year, and attributes part of his success to goal setting. He says, "at any age, you should have a goal set to always be stronger and healthier than you are right now".
We all have the secret to longevity living inside of us. Create attainable goals, be forgiving of yourself, wake up every morning and choose to be a better version of you than yesterday, be strong in your convictions, laugh, take time to nourish your body and keep sight on your destination. Get out there and chase life!
"My plan never included this many roadblocks. But maybe the only difference between 'roadblock' and 'adventure' was my perspective..."
Life often doesn't go quite as planned. In fact, many of us are familiar with the old saying, "The only constant in life is change." Depending on the day and your mood when such change strikes, it can be difficult to embrace it fully for the adventure that it is! REI's short film "Adventure in Real Life" touches on the importance of changing perspective in order to appreciate experiences as they come; for better or for worse.
(Video Credit: REI)"Slowly I discovered that nature was all the more beautiful because of the unplanned and the unexpected."
"I guess life is like that; full of setbacks and roadblocks. But when we love something enough, we can turn any obstacle into an Odyssey. The truth is, life isn't going to go as planned... The only question is will you choose to call it an adventure?"
Nothing forces someone to embrace a humble attitude like a tough challenge. You're bound to become kinder and more sympathetic to others and their own obstacles, too. Embracing your failures will better prepare you for your next great adventure, and remind you that you are indeed human.
The most efficient use of your mental and emotional energy is to focus on yourself first; what do you think of your efforts? How do you prioritize personal growth? What makes you truly happy? What makes you feel accomplished? While the validation of others can be a temporary relief, your own validation will provide long term satisfaction in any situation.
"I think that's what I like the best is understanding more about how things work, and what's living there, and how it interacts with all the other organisms in that system."
- Erin Borgman
The National Park Service's video series, Stay Curious, most recently selected and interviewed one of Rocky Mountain National Park's very own. Erin Borgman is an NPS Ecologist and Field Coordinator with the Rocky Mountain Inventory and Monitoring Division. In short, her job is to keep a close eye on the vital signs and overall 'health' of important streams and rivers within the park. These bodies of water are the most important resource to the park's habitat and wildlife inhabitants, making her mission a crucial one!
Check out the video below to learn how Erin began down the path of Ecology sciences and the advice she has for anyone else trying to discover their place in the world around them.
"Love creates a communion with life. Love expands us, connects us, sweetens us, ennobles us.
Love springs up in tender concern, it blossoms into caring action. It makes beauty out of all we touch. In any moment we can step beyond our small self and embrace each other as beloved parts of a whole."
- Jack Kornfield
We know all too well that the world can be a scary, overwhelming and confusing place; and lately there seems to be a lot going on. Between natural disasters and acts of violence, headlines are dreaded and draining before the day has even begun. Despite the darkness during challenging times, there is something else going on that's worth noting.
People are donating their time and resources to charities and various efforts of all kinds. They're giving all that they can, however they can. It's during the darkest times that humanity can shine the brightest! That light is putting love and kindness into action, and we're all capable of putting this energy into practice.
Beyond becoming involved in your community and in charities that speak to you, inward reflection is an essential aspect of processing tragic events that are beyond our control. Truth be told, the majority of us can only control how we react to such things. A simple meditation practice can cultivate the love & kindness that is so important following disasters, and can even be done in spare moments throughout your daily life.
Begin by finding a quiet or special space where you feel comfortable and relaxed. Take deep breaths for a few minutes, focusing on a soft heart and releasing all plans and precautions. First, recite the below phrases inwardly and focus on your own well-being.
May I be filled with loving kindness.
May I be safe for inner and outer dangers.
May I be well in body and mind.
May I be at ease and happy.
While repeating the phrases, allow images to come and go naturally, and focus on allowing the feelings to fully permeate your body & mind.
When you are feeling a strong sense of self love, you can then feel confident in expanding the meditation to include others in your own social circles, then your community, and finally, humanity as a whole. Repeat the same phrases as above, but imagine sending the feelings outwards to others.
May you be filled with loving kindness.
May you be safe for inner and outer dangers.
May you be well in body and mind.
May you be at ease and happy.
Closures to protect the elk during the annual bugling season are currently in effect throughout Rocky Mountain National Park. Horseshoe Park, Upper Beaver Meadows, Moraine Park, Harbison Meadow and Holzwarth Meadow will all be closed through October 31st. In addition, fishing in the Fall River, Thompson River or Colorado River during the closure period is prohibited."The purpose of the closures is to prevent disturbance and harassment of elk during their fall mating period and to enhance visitor elk viewing opportunities," states Kyle Patterson, park spokeswoman.
The park reminds visitors that elk calling, shining headlights for better nighttime visibility and generally harassing the elk is not only prohibited but dangerous. The majority of issues are caused by people directly who get too closely to the elk, or "elk jams" due to so many viewers parked alongside the roads.
In order to enjoy the rutting season and visits to the mountains responsibly, maintain your distance!
Throughout human history, people have gone out into nature in search of self discovery, connectedness and transformation. At times when we're feeling most unsure of ourselves and our place in the world, venturing into the wilderness can provide clarity and motivation. In a day and age when we're bombarded with technology, constant bustle and triggering stresses, removing yourself from your immediate environment can reveal the potential for seeing yourself elsewhere in the world.
Someone's perception may shift along with a new vast and calming landscape....
Nature may initiate change help you to abandon your obsession over problematic frames of mind. Through that clarity, unexpected solutions will begin to form....
Mental static will melt away and the attachment to your version of reality will in turn begin to loosen, becoming fluid and neutral...
Join 5 women as they traverse from Daniels Lake to Skwawka Lake in British Columbia. Along the way they discover that the wilderness truly is where they belong, despite the doubts that everyday life can instill. Though they were each hesitant to make such a trek solo, collectively their knowledge and spirit lifted them all up to greater heights.
(Video Credit: Arc'teryx)"We're walking on the back of history and then it invites us in... We listen to it breathing. What we do is keep moving; we make a decision, we go. This is our real life. This is where we belong."
Nature invites us to open into awareness and discover where we belong - when will you answer the call?
Beginning in late August each year, the aspens in the highest parts of Rocky Mountain National Park embark on their annual transition of 'quaking'; a term use to describe the leave's behavior in the breeze and unique color changing process from green to brilliant golden yellows, oranges and reds.
(Video Credit: Colette Bordelon)
If you have yet to visit the park during the fall, you must add it to your to-do list! The hues painting the mountainside change with each passing day until mid to late September, accompanied by the elk's rutting season and migration down from the high country. Tourists, photographers and nearly everyone else believes the park is in it's prime during this time of year, though there are certain spots that are recommended above others if you're chasing colors....
Far from hidden, this popular spot is a favorite among wildlife enthusiasts as a place where elk gather in large numbers, backdropped by fiery colors. There are numerous viewing spots along US 34 on the SE facing hillsides. Have your cameras ready! Elk show up with little warning and you may miss the ideal opportunity if you're not prepared...
Glacier Gorge Trail
All the way up to Alberta Falls on Glacier Gorge Trail, you'll be snapping pictures and looking on in awe; this hike is a beautiful one. Aspens line the path and fallen leaves float along the creek, welcoming you with a flurry of color.
Bear Lake Road
This road runs parallel to the Glacier Creek and is worth the time it may take to travel all the way to the end. You'll begin at Moraine Park and will want to pull off the road any chance you get because every turn will offer a new and interesting view! If you'd prefer to hike or relax at an overlook, there are many opportunities along the way for that as well.
Because the trail head is located just outside of the park's boundary (approximately 6 miles from Estes Park), this hike is a favorite for those who prefer a more secluded experience. If you've brought your camera along, be sure to get an early start to the day for the best lighting.
About 10,000 feet up on Trail Ridge Road you'll find the Fair Curve and spectacular views of the Mummy Range up to the north. You will have driven through the Kawuneeche Valley to reach this spot, so you can now appreciate the valley's color from above!
Argued by some as the most beautiful place in the park to photograph, you'll drive through 10 miles of Kawuneeche Valley along Trail Ridge Road between Grand Lake and the Timber Lake trail head. Give yourself ample time for stops on this route because it tends to be more lovely than one expects.
One can choose to go back toward safety or forward toward growth. Growth must be chosen again and again; fear must be overcome again and again..."
– Abraham Maslow
Countless people operate day to day within their comfort zone; a silent but common ailment. The longer someone stays within it's confines, the less happy they tend to be. Stepping beyond the boundaries of what's familiar is essential to finding happiness, accomplishing goals and discovering your true passions in life. So why do so many of us choose to stay there if it's slowly draining us?
Big changes take lots of energy. Everything in life takes energy, which can be translated into motivation. If we lack the motivation necessary to make big life changes, we as humans find reasons to remain in a state of stasis; after all, stepping beyond our current circumstances could end up being uncomfortable and even scary!
But if you do not journey past all that you know, you're deliberately robbing yourself of 3 beautiful things life has to offer on the other side....
You are not growing
Shawn Achor, a positivity psychologist and author, states that happiness is "the joy you feel moving towards your potential."
We've all heard the saying that if you aren't growing and moving forward, you're really slipping backwards. Progress is a key ingredient to happiness in life! As long as you remain within your comfort zone, you're not growing because you're making no movement towards progress or growth. Remember, growth is about becoming more than you currently are and without experiencing all that is outside of you, you'll never get there.
You're not out there trying new things
What are you passionate about? The luckiest of us discover what we love doing early on in life, and we're able to follow our hearts as we spend our lives mastering the art of it. But if you're anything like the majority of people, you spend the first two or three decades of life searching and testing and wondering what it is that our hearts desire.... And that's only if you're diving into one thing after another, and constantly trying new things.
Your comfort zone isn't about getting out there, challenging yourself and discovering. In fact, you'll rarely try anything new and if you do, it's typically not of your own free will.
You're becoming comfortable with settling
The worst fate of all! We all know those people that had a dream straight out of college and then life happened. They settled for a life that was good enough without being too much; they decided to remain comfortable and unchallenged versus chasing tirelessly after their passions.
And this situation alone isn't the worst of it. If you become conditioned to settle in general, you will fail at recognizing prime opportunities that come along throughout life. You'll reject them out of the fear of leaving what you've always known.
Don't worry - there is still hope! Anyone and everyone can expand their comfort zones and even wander beyond them in a healthy and enjoyable way. The real trick to beating is to make feeling uncomfortable a conscious and constant habit. The more you do it, the less resistance you'll experience to the feeling itself and to the actions associated with it.
The old adage 'one step at a time' truly comes into play here. That first step is the most essential because it's the only one where we're facing our fears directly. Second and third steps are significantly less terrifying, and before you know it you're running from your comfort zone with a smile on your face. The next time around will be that much easier, as your confidence builds.
Here are 3 things you can do to develop the self confidence and strength necessary to step outside your comfort zone regularly...
1.) Make a list of your procrastinations
What are all of the things that you've been putting off and continue to put off? Try to think of everything, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant, that you've been procrastinating on for a few weeks or more.
2.) Start checking off things from that list, beginning with the smallest
Don't go chasing the whales on your list; begin with the small fish and work your way up. It's essential that you take that first step and experience success as quickly as possible.
3.) Continue moving forward
It's all about momentum from here. Continue moving forward by stepping further and further from your comfort zone until you feel ready to tackle whatever comes your way!
Your resolve is a muscle - the more you exercise it, the stronger it becomes. Before you know it, spending substantial amounts of time beyond your comfort zone will become the new norm.
A man can be himself only so long as he is alone, and if he does not love solitude, he will not love freedom, for it is only when he is alone that he is really free.