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Mary M. Betsworth - Omaha, Ne.
Hwy. 34 between Estes and Drake
In 2009, the first summer after losing my beloved mother, I made my annual visit to Estes Park to renew my soul for another year and remember the tranquility and simplicity of life and the Divine Majesty of the Mountains. I first discovered RMNP in 1976 and was magnetically drawn back each year with tears arriving and tears leaving. I know my soul has lived here before and it felt like home. I asked Mom,” If there is anything you can do to manifest a bear sighting I would be so grateful.” I have been looking for bears each visit for 34 years. On the final day of the vacation I was driving down the mountain on HiWay 34 from Estes to Drake and saw a big black momma bear eating chicken from a black plastic garbage bag across from a restaurant on the side of the road. I screamed,”Oh my God, Oh my God” and made a U-turn quickly. Her two cubs were in a tree playing as she ate. I sobbed with tears of joy that Mom would and could do that for me. Just a month before that, I made up a story to my grandchildren while laying them down for a nap. It was about a black bear who had wandered into town and was eating chicken bones from the trash on a family’s back porch. I have decided Rocky Mountain National Park will be my final resting place and is truly a magical place!

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