31 May Life on the Wetter Better side of the Rockies
My site this summer is Rocky Mountain National Park on the west side in the Colorado River District, or as we like to call it, the Wetter Better side. To be fair, we get marginally more rainfall and snow on the west side than on the east side, but it still counts! I will be keeping busy here, not only in the Kawuneeche Visitor Center, but also leading Fly Fishing Programs, Junior Ranger Programs, and Bird Talks! I could not have asked for a better position and responsibilities because I can’t wait to get out there and be interactive with the kids’ programs, as well as inform the public about all the beautiful wildlife we have to offer right here in the park.
For a little overview, Rocky Mountain National Park was one of the first parks established way back in 1915. It is also the 6th most visited park in the country, with over 4 million annual visitors. More specifically, the Colorado River District side of the park has a lot to offer, with an average of two Moose sightings per day and endless trails that give breathtaking views of the Kawuneeche Valley and the headwaters of the beautiful and ever-flowing mighty Colorado River. Visitors come here from across the world for a glimpse of the impeccable wildlife and deep history of what the Colorado River means to this Valley.
My first Junior Ranger program will be held this Thursday, June 1st, and the main theme will be birds! I will be teaching them about different bird adaptations, such as bills, feet, and wings. Another fun activity will be Bird Bingo, where they have to find birds on their card and try to get three in a row to win! Lastly, we will be playing everybody’s favorite activity, the Migratory Bird Game, where Junior Rangers have to avoid dangers and try to make it to the end of their migration. Junior Ranger programs will be held every Thursday, with a new theme every week.
My first Fly Fishing program will start on June 7th and continue weekly on Wednesdays. The most exciting part about this is that we will be fishing in the headwaters of the Colorado River! It’s a fisherman’s dream.
All in all, my time so far here in Rocky Mountain has been a whirlwind of an experience, and it has yet to settle in that this is reality. The weather is amazing, the interpretive staff here is amazing – they want to engage and inform the community about the park. And let’s not forget about the moose, they are amazing here. The moose-to-people ratio could be 1:1 at times, but I cannot complain about life out here on the Wetter Better side, which is truly wetter and better.