Rocky Mountain NP Diary 2010

Diary of Linda, Meghan, and my trip to Rocky Mountain NP Diary, June 2010

06/19/10 Got up at 7:00am and was on the road by 8:00am. We had an encounter with a huge herd of cattle being driven by atv's, cowboys on horses, and Border Collie dogs on the back countryside road out of camp. We had to stop a half hour to allow passage around us. The herd do what cows do! SHIT. It splattered and flew all over the truck and the 5th wheel. What a mess. One of the cowboys said he was sorry, but there was a car wash in the town of Eagle. I did not know what he meant at the time but sure figured it out later when I saw the mess on the truck. We continued east on highway 70 through Vail and over two high passes. My truck overheated twice and I had to stop twice with the engine running to cool it down. Linda suggested turning off the AC which actually helped a bit. The last time it overheated I stopped just before a long tunnel which I did not know the slope of UP or DOWN. I sure did not want to get stranded in the tunnel. With much duress I entered and it turned out to be down. I will ever take this highway over this pass again as the grade was unmarked but probably was 8% for miles. We finally got over it and gassed up in Idaho Springs. I stopped at a nice high pressure spray car and RV wash near the city of Boulder and cleaned off all the cow shit from the truck and RV. I continued on hwy 36 on a very narrow, curvy, moderatly steep road into Estes Park. Got checked into Estes Park Campground at Marys Lake. The camp ground was reasonable priced for this tourist area at $35 per night. I had ATT phone service and WIFI. Linda's Verizon had no service. This was one of the most stressful days I have had for a long time. The overheating truck and steep curvy roads really stressed me out. I didn't even want to set up the satellite TV, but Linda finally talked me into it. I we to bed and slept 12 hours.


06/20/10 We decided to stay in camp today for rest, relaxation, and laundry duties It is a clear warm day in the low 80's. As the day went on the weather was erratic; first sunny 80 F then clouds with wind. Linda completed 6 loads of laundry so she said? We attended the Wolfwood Wolf Rescue of Ignacio, Colo presentation at the Hermit Open Space County Park. The woman Paula Watson gave a lecture with live wolf ambassadors. Before the lecture we were allowed to pet and interact with several of the wolf ambassadors. I photographed them and had a great time. The park was beautiful and the only negative were hungry mosquitoes.


06/21/10 I made sour dough pancakes with fresh blueberries for breakfast this morning. Yum Yum. After clean up we drove back to Hermit Open Space county Park with Meghan to try the Hermit Peak Trail. The hike was very steep and at 8500' elevation was only up to about 1.5 miles. The scenery and mountain flowers were awesome. Meghan experienced no slow down due to high altitude. We returned to trailer for lunch and a bit of rest. Next we visited Rocky Mountain NP Beaver Creek visitor Center for orientation. We did an hour drive into the park and returned home to the trailer. Had Costco fillets and fresh sweet corn on the cob for dinner yum yum.
06/22/10 We are still both lethargic from high altitude and did not get out of trailer until 1:00 pm. I did get lots of computer stuff done including updating my iphone to version 4 software and got my audible books account straightened out so I could listen to them on my iphone. Stan Gienger called and will be in St. Francis on Sunday when we arrive. We did a very short hike around Lily Lake which is only about 5 miles from us. I made lemon garlic shrimp, vegetables, and pasta for dinner.


06/23/10 I actually finally got acclimated to the high altitude today after about 7 days at 8,000' or more. We went to Bear Lake today in the Rocky Mountain NP and hiked about 2.5 miles round trip to Alberta Falls about 8,600'. Its the most popular hike in the park. We finished the hike around lunch time and decided to go to Smokin Dave's BBQ & Taphouse an excellent restaurant. We both had pulled pork sandwich with coleslaw and sweet potato fries. Linda and I both agreed that this was the best pulled pork sandwich we ever had. I slept for 3 hours in the afternoon recovering from the hike, got up and attended a ranger talk about photography in the park.


06/24/10 We got up and out of the trailer by 8:30am and again went to the Bear Lake area arriving at the parking lot by 9:15am. If you got there later than that, the parking lot would be full. We immediately started hiking for Emerald Lake. It was quite steep but very beautiful. We made Nymph Lake and then Dream Lake which was about 10,000'. Linda was rearing to go on, but I decided that I was too tired to continue. We return back the same way we had come. We did Smokin Dave's BBQ & Taphouse. for lunch again. I had deep fried cat fish with cole slaw, hush puppies, baked beans, and corn bread with a Guiness on tap all very delicious and filling. Again I slept in trailer, got up and took Meghan for a walk around the Mary's Lake Reservoir where we were staying.


06/25/10 We had breakfast this morning at the "Egg and I" which was excellent. I had Eggs Benedict and Linda had a delicious French Toast. The coffee and fresh squeezed orange juice was also very good. This breakfast and lunch restaurant was voted #1 restaurant in Estes Park. We did some shopping at the well stocked Safeway store in town. It was a beautiful day and we headed out for the Ridge Trail Road the main route to the western side of the park. We only drove west to the Tundra area look out at 12,000'. The view and the flowers were beautiful. I spend a full 1/2 hour taking HDR photos if the beautiful sites including a herd of Elk near buy. We returned home and started getting ready for our departure tomorrow.

Last updated on March 28, 2011