After the hike, the four of us went into the town of Estes Park to get some food supplies and ice cream. What a mistake! It was a tourist zoo with too much traffic, but the ice cream was good and we got our groceries and hightailed it back to the national park. At the campground, Amy discovered the most gorgeous bird, which we identified as a mountain bluebird. After a spaghetti dinner and chatting around the campfire, we went to the ranger program, "the bear-naked truth." The stars were incredible.
Sophie made us delicious pancakes for breakfast - she calls them "camper's favorite flapjacks" - and then we slowly pulled ourselves together for a hike. This time we took the shuttle bus to Cub Lake. We had been told there would be fewer people, but we weren't told that it was a horse trail! We started out following 3 horses but it was so stinky behind them that we took a couple of early breaks until we lost them. We walked through a meadow, where we added a dusky grouse to our list of new wildlife, then climbed a wooded section up to Cub Lake where we had lunch on a huge boulder with the ground squirrels, then made a steep ascent into a burn area that was unlike anything we'd seen - both somewhat ugly and very interesting, and finally walked down along a pretty stream to the end of the trail. Everyone did well on the 7+ mile hike.