A beautiful autumn picnic on the Old Fall River Road
Rocky Mountain National Park in northern Colorado spans the Continental Divide and encompasses protected mountains, forests and alpine tundra. It’s known for the Trail Ridge Road and the Old Fall River Road, drives that pass aspen trees and rivers. The Keyhole Route, a climb crossing vertical rock faces, leads up Longs Peak, the park’s tallest mountain. A trail surrounding Bear Lake offers views of the peaks.
THE OLD FALL RIVER Road:
-11 miles long, one way uphill
-Fall River Pass is 11,796 feet above sea level
This motor nature trail, constructed in 1921, was the first auto route in Rocky Mountain National Park offering access to the park’s high country and was the first route over the Continental Divide. It follows a route traveled long ago by Indian hunters who came for the abundant game.
Today it is a one-way gravel road that runs between Endovalley and the Alpine Visitor Center at Fall River Pass. It is narrow and has many switchbacks (hence trailers or vehicles over 25 feet are not allowed) but it is a beautiful and safe drive.
The road continues along its narrow path offering views across the valley of Sundance Mountain high in the alpine tundra. The road climbs up out of the trees to the Fall River Cirque, the starting point of a glacier that carved the steep chasms of the Fall River valley.Rocky Mountain National Park.Com
Fall River Road Picnic
Driving the Old Fall River Road is a favorite annual day trip from our home in Ft Collins. Today, temperatures ranged from 69 degrees in Estes Park, to 53 degrees at Alpine Visitor Center at nearly 12,000 ft elevation. Sunny and warm, Sally though it was a perfect day for a steam-side picnic. Fresh pears, locally made Brie Cheese, crackers
Fall River Cirque
After disembarking from the Alaska Ferry and securing our campsite, we walked 50 yards to the Lighthouse Restaurant, where we met our wonderful waitress, Tiffany. This funny young lady recommended our best two meals thus far: A smoked salmon hoagie one night and incredibly wonderful salmon fish and chips washed down with an Alaska Brewing Company Amber Beer the next.
Haines is the “other” southeast town besides Skagway, having a connection to the road system. All other towns are serviced by ferry. Haines does limit cruise ships to a couple per week, so it’s much less cheesy than Ketchikan or Skagway.
Breakfasting at the Rusty Compass Café, Lee Robinson (son of Shirley’s friend Didi Robinson) served up one of the best caramel rolls we have ever eaten. Thick gooey caramel sauce, savory bread dough and a touch of cinnamon. After visiting a few museums and gift shops in town and purchasing my Alaska Fishing License (more on this later) we headed out of town to explore two nearby state parks Chilkoot and Chilkat, in opposite directions.
On the way to Chilkat we stopped at the Haines Packing Company (in operation since 1917), hoping to find local smoked salmon. To Ray and Shirley’s surprise, the woman helping us turned out to be Hawaiian from the big Island. What a sweetheart! Jolene taught us which salmon was the tastiest, fattiest and yummiest (King and Coho). We bought frozen King Salmon steaks for later grilling (we are too early for fresh salmon as the runs are typically June-September), Smoked Coho fillets and jarred Sockeye for gifts (we will see if any makes it home).
After exploring Chilkat State Park, we opted for a scenic dinner on the River.
Driving back through Haines we stayed at Chillkoot Lake State Park in campsites overlooking Chilkoot Lake. So far, Alaska campgrounds have not been crowded at all.
On our way north, we stopped at the Jilkaat Kwan Heritage Center (A Tlingit native culture center). A nice young Tlingit woman gave us an informal tour and shared native methods for processing traditional foods such as hooligan fish (similar to smelt), jarred moose meat, soapberry and seal oil. When attending college in Oregon, her family regularly sent her “care packages” of moose and seal oil. She likes seal oil on her potatoes!!
40 miles North of Haines, we crossed the border into the Canadian Province of Yukon Territory. We swiftly climbed above tree line into tundra and crossed Chilkat Pass.
A short hike to Million Dollar Falls on the Tokhanne River
The country here is unlike anything we have seen – Muskeg (soggy, springy, like a trampoline) bogs with a permafrost layer a few feet below the surface), stunted black spruce trees, 10-15 feet high, but looking in the photo like tiny plants
Tonight we camped at Discovery Yukon Lodgings, in Beaver Creek, Yukon Territory (YT). The showers cost $1 Canadian (a”Loonie”, as it has a picture of a loon bird on each coin). I had the cheapest shower – one loonie (1.5 minutes) where the others used three (6 minutes). I have found a compensation to having no hair!
Back into Alaska
After 200 lovely, friendly miles in the Yukon Territory we crossed the border back into Alaska near Beaver Creek YT
Passing through Tok, Alaska, we stopped at Donnelly Creek Campground for the night after picking up dinner from a Thai food truck. Tasty! Interestingly, Thai food can be found across Alaska and the Yukon – a culinary favorite!!
Next post: The beautiful Denali Highway!
From Paris to the world
Dior: From Paris to the World surveys 70 years of the House of Dior’s enduring legacy and its global influence. A selection of more than 200 couture dresses, as well as accessories, costume jewelry, photographs, drawings, runway videos, and other archival material, will trace the history of the iconic haute couture fashion house, its founder, Christian Dior, and the subsequent artistic directors who carried Dior’s vision into the 21st century.
Christian Dior, the art gallerist who became a celebrated couturier, generated a revolution in Paris and around the globe after World War II. Dior created haute couture expressing modern femininity, completely shedding the masculine silhouette that had been established during the war. He conceived sophisticated designs featuring soft shoulders, accentuated busts and nipped waists that marked the beginning of an epic movement in fashion history that would eventually lead to Dior successfully becoming the first worldwide couture house.
The chronological presentation, showcasing pivotal themes in the House of Dior’s history, will focus on how Christian Dior cemented his fashion house’s reputation within a decade and will highlight how his successors, Yves Saint Laurent, Marc Bohan, Gianfranco Ferré, John Galliano, Raf Simons, and Maria Grazia Chiuri, incorporated their own design aesthetic.
This exhibition is organized by the DAM and curated by Florence Müller, the DAM’s Avenir Foundation Curator of Textile Art and Fashion. It features exhibition design by internationally renowned architect Shohei Shigematsu, principal of OMA New York. Following its run at the DAM, this exhibition will travel to the Dallas Museum of Art.
Half moon with Lodgepole Pines in silhouette
Board games, hikes, cookies & ground squirrel catch-and-release……