I left early Saturday morning the day before the Super Bowl to see if there were interesting sights along the way to Estes Park and the Rocky Mountain National Park. I arrived at Estes Park before sunup, and did not see any wildlife on the way from Fort Collins. After a slow tour around my favorite sites within the Park, I drove to an overlook of Longs Peak and waited for the sun to rise. There were low, lingering clouds from a snowstorm the day before, so it took a while for Longs to appear. The low clouds and low-tempearature mist (it was 9 degrees) made visibility somewhat difficult. However, I did capture a couple of nice images.
About 9 am on my way down the Big Thompson Canyon, I noticed every vehicle I met flashed their lights at me. I took it to be a good sign wildlife was on the highway! I slowed down, and sure enough, 10 bighorn rams were alongside the road, right near a convenient slow-vehicle wide spot in the highway. I stopped and got out of the car to photograph them, but when they appeared nervous, I decided another approach was warrented. I got back into Big Red, rolled down the drivers-side window, and pulled forward to within 15 yards of the group. The photo alongside shows one of the rams looking directly at the camera – they did not seem to be disturbed by the car at all. This photo is probably one of the best that I’ve been able to take of the bighorns – double-click the image to see how much wonderful detail was captured.