It was time for my second National Park! I had strategically gotten an airbnb near Estes Park, which contains an entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park and has a lot of great hikes. When I drove over, I got a great view of Estes Park in the valley and the mountains in the distance. Time for another car sketch! (Don't worry, I do all of these from places they make for cars to pull over and enjoy the view. Very safe!)
After my sketch and finding breakfast in town (it was delicious), I used the app Alltrails to decide what I felt like hiking. It lets you filter options by length, difficulty, and even let's you filter for views. Views? Yes please. I ended up by Bear Lake and doing the hike up to Emerald Lake, which takes you by a couple of other lakes along the way. They were all varying degrees of frozen over, being up in the mountains and especially since they had a pretty good snow just a week before. The temperatures were in the 40's and 50's most of the day though and were very comfortable (and not as windy as the sand dunes!). I stopped a lot, though I couldn't tell if I was out of breath because of the altitude or because I was out of shape. It honestly could have gone either way.
I sketched the first two in order, Bear Lake and then Nymph Lake. My friend Matt was coming up to join me (perhaps not the best idea as he had flown in less than twelve hours before, but I don't think he has any regrets!), so I hiked Dream Lake and then up to Emerald Lake where I had fun hanging out and chatting with strangers rather than sketching. I ran into Matt on my way back to Dream Lake, and sat to sketch while he hiked the remainder. Fun was had by all! But we were definitely both winded.