Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Old Postcard Wednesday--Dream Lake and Hallett Peak, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

I am in a somewhat peculiar mood right now and as I was reading about hiking trails in the areas around Dream Lake and Hallett Peak I was completely distracted by thoughts of the song The Happy Wanderer. I found two videos to accompany this postcard and your reading of the short synopsis of info I gathered. Please click on links for more about these glorious spots in Rocky Mountain National Park.
Dream Lake -- This very popular short hike offers scenic views and a closeup view of the Continental Divide.

Distance: 1.1 miles one-way

Lake elevation: 9,900 feet

Trailhead elevation: 9,475 feet

Net elevation gain: 425 feet
[Source: The Spirit of the Rockies: Hike Profiles for Rocky Mountain National Park and Surrounding Areas]
Dream Lake
With Hallett Peak and Flattop Mountain forming a backdrop, Dream Lake is one of the most beautiful lakes in Rocky Mountain National Park. At a relatively easy 1.1 mile hike, it is one of the park's more readily accessible backcountry lakes. Trail passes by Nymph Lake, and offers magnificent views of Hallett Peak, Longs Peak and Glacier Gorge along the way. . .
Dream Lake In Winter

Even during the winter the Dream Lake Trail is very popular, with more than its fair share of hikers. Nevertheless this trail is, if anything, more beautiful in winter than it is in summer, surrounded by the snowcapped Hallett, Flattop and Longs Peaks.

Depending upon conditions, snowshoes are not always necessary, however they are highly recommended, as any excursions off of the packed trail will find you post-holing in deep, powdery snow. I usually strap my snowshoes onto my pack and carry them for the first part of the hike, putting them on beyond Nymph Lake.

The first part of the trail from the trailhead to Nymph Lake is typically well packed, but sometimes icy - a great place for Yaktrax or other traction devices, if you prefer not to wear your snowshoes. Nymph Lake is usually frozen except for early and late season. I prefer to walk across the frozen Nymph Lake, and continue up the same trail used in summer. However there is an alternate winter trail that diverges at Nymph Lake, following the east and south edges of the lake clockwise, rather than the counterclockwise summer route that continues around the north and west sides of the lake. It then climbs up the steep canyon toward Dream Lake.

Continuing up the summer trail, the snow is often deeper (or at least less packed) beyond Nymph Lake, so putting on your snowshoes before you start the climb away from the lake is a good idea. Soon you'll arrive at the ridge that overlooks Nymph Lake, with stunning views beyond of Hallet Peak, Longs Peak and the other mountain peaks that surround Glacier Gorge. Continue on, and you'll reach the point where, in summer, the stream continues straight up to Dream Lake, and the trail turns to the right and makes a switchback before continuing up to the lake. In winter, you can avoid the switchback by hiking the short distance up the streambed.

The beauty of the frozen lake and surrounding terrain, and of the towering peaks covered in their mantle of snow, makes this winter hike a rewarding destination for those willing to brave the elements. [Source: ColoradoHikingTrails]

And now....Happy Wanderer videos, from the sublime to the ridiculous (or vice versa depending upon your taste!):

The Happy Wanderer or Der fröhliche Wanderer in German was recorded by a 
small amateur children's and youth choir from the German town of Obernkirchen 
in Schaumburg County, Northern Germany.

The choir won the 1953 Llangollen International Eisteddfod in North Wales, the 
BBC aired the winning performance, on 22nd January 1954 the record entered 
the UK chart reaching #2, it stayed on the chart for 26 wks a feat made all the 
more remarkable as the chart was only a top 12.

Description at youtube: "Tribute to Broadway" is what he calls his various, random 
dances in his films. Hence, this video.



mythopolis said...

Well, you just made my morning! I remembered from my childhood, singing The Happy Wanderer in 4th grade music class! hahha!!

I couldn't get the German choir video to play,(It said: An error occurred, try again later.) But the Christopher Walken one was wonderful!!!

Stickup Artist said...

Well, this post speaks to the "Happy Wanderer" that lives inside of me! So many places to wander, so little time. I didn't realize Christopher Walken was so nimble! He should change his last name to Dancen :-)

susan said...

Dream Lake sounds like a wonderful place to hike. Is that something you enjoy doing? I've been through Colorado but never stepped out of the car for any long walks - just stretchy ones :-)

Funny but I remembered that very old version of the Happy Wanderer. The other one is good too but I wonder if you've ever seen Christopher Walken's dance video Fatboy Slim's 'Weapon of Choice'. He's pretty amazing.

hedgewitch said...

Just a delightful post, Lydia. It's odd how our minds pull this stuff up from the bottom--at least I assume the bottom, unless this is your normal daily musical fare, which would be quite cool. I had absolutely no idea Walken had moves like that. Phew. (And the Lake and stuff sound neat, too.)

Lydia said...

mythopolis~ I learned The Happy Wanderer in fourth grade also! There must be something about it, the joy in it, that imprints on kids for it to stay with us this way.
Sorry about the German choir not playing for you. It works fine on my blog, so I am clueless...

Stickup Artist~ I read your comment earlier in the day and all day long your "Dancen" idea came to my mind and made me smile. :)
I didn't know he was that nimble either (see susan's comment for add'l info!).
Thank goodness you wander, because you photograph those places and it's wonderful.

susan~ I have never hiked anywhere in Colorado, not that I wouldn't want to! Yes, I love hiking...or I should say that I loved it when we did it all the time. Then came the two big dogs and not trail dogs at that. This summer I want to board them with a woman who opened a new dog-sitting business in town, and get out in nature. Long overdue.
I absolutely did not know about "Weapon of Choice" and will go view it now. Thanks!

hedgewitch~ No, it is not my usual musical fare...but I guess if it springs to mind it is lodged deep somewhere deep down. It was uncanny how it interrupted any normal kind of post for this particular postcard (truth be told I was not much in the mood to do lots of research reading last night!).

Don't Feed The Pixies said...

I'm running late for OPW this week as yesterday was a very odd day workwise and i had a new saxophone reed to try out in the evening (previously on 1.5 reed, now on 2 and you wouldn't believe the difference half a point makes to tone)

Anyway - your comment about The Happy Wonderer reminded me of Scottish Comedian Billy Connolly

At a concert he was giving a member of the audience arrived late whilst he was on stage and Connolly, famous for hating tardiness, said to the audience "no - its ok - he's keeping the aisles open as public footpaths" and got them all singing The Happy Wonderer

It also reminded me of a busker we used to have locally who played the harmonica and the one song he knew was The Happy Wonderer - and at the laughter bit he would stop playing and laugh uproariously - it was slightly scary to be honest!

on the subject of Christopher Walken (whos appearance can always make a film worthy of a watch) am i right in saying he appeared in a pop video dancing?

Don't Feed The Pixies said...

Christopher Walken's dance video Fatboy Slim's 'Weapon of Choice'. - as per Susan's comment



Related Posts with Thumbnails