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On our first trip to Estes Park, Colorado, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I was certainly hoping to see some wildlife to take photos of, but what I experienced was way beyond what I’d hoped for.

On about day 3 of our adventure, I drove over to Lake Estes by myself to check it out while the rest of my crew chilled in the cabin. I’m so glad I did…

Heading out for a quick swim. What a beautiful sight!

Lake Estes is right in the center of many shops, restaurants, busy roads, and a golf course, so I wasn’t sure if I’d see much wildlife.

Lots of people visit this lake to rent kayaks, paddle boards, boats, canoes, bikes, pedal carts, and equipment needed to fish. A very busy place…

As I walked slowly around a nice, paved pathway, I noticed a sign that said “Elk Calving Area – Aggressive Elk May Be Present”. Hmmmm…should I proceed? Head back to the car?

All the other people in the area were going on about their business walking, jogging, fishing, playing golf, etc… Maybe they didn’t see the sign?

For about 10 seconds, I considered going back to the cabin, but then decided that a picture of an Elk Calf would be pretty cool.

I’m sure you can imagine my excitement (and nervousness), when I finally came across the Mama Elk and her precious little calf just across a small field from where I was walking.

After a few minutes of fumbling to get my camera in to the ready position, I found a nice spot to hide and get some photos.

What a beautiful sight. I followed them (at a safe distance) for about 30 minutes. It was amazing. And after a quick swim in the lake, off they trotted into the woodsy area that I was not able to get to.

But luckily, I did get some wonderful pictures of them, and I will remember this experience always!

Estes Park, Colorado is my new happy place. I’m ready to go back and spend more time there with my camera. Maybe I should start packing now? Until next time…

And here is the sign that I’m so glad I ignored!

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