Saturday morning we woke up to a glorious day, warm and sunny, picture perfect. We treated ourselves to a big Cracker Barrel breakfast and headed out towards Estes Park, the gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park. It turns out we weren’t the only ones with that idea, it seemed like most of eastern Colorado was heading in the same direction. As we got to Estes Park, we saw something we hadn’t seen in a while: lots of people! And who could blame them, as I said it was a perfect day.
I had been following the Rocky Mountain NP twitter feed for a while and noticed that for over a week now, Trail Ridge Road had been closed due to snow, this is the only road that takes you from the east side of the park to the west side. As luck would have it, the road was open! But we weren’t ready to cross it yet. We had booked ourselves into a lovely little RV park by the river and were going to enjoy an afternoon relaxing. Consider it our day on the beach, lazy with a book, Niels dipping his feet into the river for a brief moment and a bbq in the evening.


Sunday turned out to be an equally lovely day and we headed further into the Rocky Mountain NP, Trail Ridge Road was still open and we wanted to get to the other side before the weather turned again. So up you go into the mountains, and you realise that the name Trail Ridge is pretty much spot on. There are times when you’d rather not look down. The higher you go, the more you realise what a tricky road this is and the more spectacular the views are. And you do go pretty high, close to 12000 feet high! At those heights you do really realise that your body is reacting in different ways, no matter how deep a breath you take, you just can’t seem to fill you lungs and Niels even became a little light headed. Luckily, no altitude sickness this time, we were taking it easy, not like my body was giving me any choice, even a small walk felt exhausting. It took us about 2 hours to cross, and it was amazing, nay it was Legen-wait for it…-dary! We felt so lucky that the road had opened again just as we visited the park, and less than 36 hours after it opened, it closed again as snow was starting to fall again over the mountains. This time it closed for the season, which meant, closed until the end of May next year. How lucky were we?!?
Happy that we made it to the other side, we staked out our claim on the campground at Timber Creek. Considering the campground on the east side of the park was full the night before, we wanted to make sure we had a nice spot for the night. Not too many people made it across the park to Timber Creek actually, that night, we shared the large campground with only one other RV. Well, that is to say, there were also plenty of elk making the campground home for the evening. This did attract quite a few people in their cars to come take some pictures. And as we were lighting our campfire for the evening and roasting our hot dogs, we too seemed to have become part of the attraction for the people in their cars, slowing down and smiling at us as they drove passed. Darkness fell over Rocky Mountain NP, no stars this evening as clouds loaded with snow were covering the area. All was dead quiet, except for the occasional bugling of the elk and the wind howling through the valley. Creepy!

Another reason why travelling in an RV is not a bad idea…

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