LUCKY we are to have the fresh water cycle! A late August visit to Rocky Mountain National Park confirms how beautiful the headwaters can be when flowing from a source high in the mountains. Below the Fern Lake trailhead lies the Big Thompson River where it meanders as a cold, clear flowing stream from the snowfields and ground water in the middle picture. Standing in the water feels good on the feet and under a warm sun feels good splattered on the face. Though one fisherman stands in the picture the Park was far from uncrowded. A mile a way, hundreds were stopped to watch a large bull elk and his harem of cows lazily grazing in a meadow. And almost as tame as a herd of golden retrievers! Looking downstream, the river will flow through the town of Estes Park, down the Big Thompson Canyon toward Loveland, into the South Platte which will join the Missouri River and catch up to the Mississippi between St. Louis MO and Alton IL. What water does make it to the Mississippi and on toward the delta at New Orleans will not be so fresh and clean, picking up pesticides, herbicides, bacteria and viruses, sediments, and other human gunk along the way.
Fortunately, upstream is where Estes Park Brewery can pull the freshest waters from the Big T and use it to make beers. Their ales, across the menu board are all true to their styles. One style, which is unique to EP Brewing, is their Tropical Thunder – a white pale ale brewed with pineapple and passion fruit. What a phenomenal beer!! It gets the three thumbs up award for the week! To be continued… dg