Brat enjoying the summer tundra
We get asked often during these summer months if Brat is around the property. We normally don’t see too many elk here during the summer season as they love being up in the alpine when the weather is nice and the grass is green. It’s no wonder as we do the same thing! As the trails and the tundra open up in the higher elevations of Rocky Mountain National Park with the melting of the previous winter’s snow, we get up there as often as we can to enjoy the cool weather, the grand vistas, the wildflower, and to simply take advantage of being in such a special and unique landscape.
In order to find the elk herds we send folks up for a drive along Trail Ridge Road and it seldom disappoints. We had some friends in town from Texas and decided to take them up the iconic road to see what we could see! We poked along, stopping at all of the sites, made it to the Alpine Visitor Center, and as we were heading back we noticed a crowd around a huge bull laying in the tundra grasses near Rock Cut. As we were driving by the bull turned his head and Brat’s unmistakable left ear revealed itself so I found a spot to park and went up to say hello!
He was just hanging out and didn’t mind the crowds he was garnering. Every few minutes he’d reach his neck out and snip off a few flowers for a nice snack. He must of wanted a bit more of a feed so stood up and ambled around the gentle tundra slopes filling his belly on the fresh mountain goodness up there. We watched him for about 15 minutes and then made our way back towards town for some grub ourselves.
Crowds enjoying Brat.
So when you’re up there taking in the views and watching with wildlife, keep an eye out for Brat! He’s certainly around! Soon Autumn will set in up high and the tundra foliage will turn a rusty gold as the elk start to move down to lower elevations in preparation of breeding season. Summer is fleeting in the high country, so get up there and enjoy every second of it! Brat sure seems to be.
Grazing on some tasty flowers.
The other day, Chris was filming a little blurb about what a nice day we were having, talking about the elk, etc… when he noticed something moving up on the mountainside above the lodge. Turns out it was a Sasquatch. After the shock wore off and we were able to asses the situation, we came to find out that Sammy, as he calls himself, was simply looking for a job. We know times are hard for these guys as Squatch discrimination is at an all time high. We decided to give him a chance… let us know if you think he’ll work out or if we should cut ties and let him go.
We’re starting a new little series titled “McGregor Minute” that will feature a certain aspect of the property or the business here at McGregor Mountain Lodge. Our first installment is meant to simply highlight a typical Fall afternoon around the lodge. Cool mountain breezes blow through the golden leaves as that Colorado blue sky watches above it all! Enjoy!
A little time lapse of this wonderful afternoon rolling by. Enjoy!
We heard rumors of elk bugles around town and in the National Park. Having heard a few rouge bulls practicing in the few days before we wanted to go see what was going on around the usual stages for this annual show. We piled the kids in the car and took off for Moraine Park. There wasn’t too much action there. One smallish bull (5×5 and puny) had a harem of about 10-15 cows that he was chasing around fairly aggressively. No doubt he’ll lose his prized ladies pretty soon once one of the larger bulls takes notice of his sly little trick.
So we boogied on over to Beaver Meadows and found a decent sized bull with a respectable harem right next to the road about a half mile into the meadows. He was just standing under a large Ponderosa for the first 15 minutes with the occasional bugle, but as the sun got closer to setting behind the divide to our right, he woke up and was in full on rut mode. Bugling at any other elk, chasing off the younger fellows, and pursuing the pretty cows with every ounce of his hefty self. It was fantastic. There was a cold breeze blowing and with the sounds of elk bugling through the meadows it sure made it truly feel like autumn! The tundra is now a rusty red color as fall is winding down up there, and there are some leaves turning gold at the lower elevations!
If you’re coming out over the next month or so, you’re in for a real treat!
Enjoy the photos!