Hank and Marilyn Coast to Coast 2017 travel blog

Soaring to the skies

Backbone of North America

A variable skyline

Snow at 12,000 feet

Reflections of beauty

We traveled to Estes Park Colorado from the high plains of Wyoming. There trees could be found only along stream and river beds. Otherwise there were the wide open ranges for grazing cattle and horses. What a change!!! You follow the steep canyon road of a river, climbing into the Rocky Mountains. Suddenly your turn a corner and a town is laid out before you in a high valley at 7,500 feet above sea level (= Long Island and Brick NJ). After a brief respite at 65* we drove up another 1,000 feet into Rocky Mountain National Park.

We set up our tent in a site on a hill overlooking huge meadows where elk are gathering for the annual mating season. We were a few weeks early; only one small herd was present. We were also early for the annual color display, when the aspens turn the hillsides a brilliant yellow. But the splendor of the mountains and lakes was beauty beyond words. Our pictures yearn to capture something of what our eyes could see.

The mountains soar over 14,000 feet high. That is over 2 miles up. We took an old gravel road up to the summit. It was the first trans-mountain highway and in its day handled two-way traffic. Now it is one way and open only after the snow melts in May/June until the first snow in October. It ends at the Alpine Visitor Center at 12,000 feet where there is snow year round (see the picture). The views are breath-taking.

The weather was beautiful, low 70s in the day. But it dropped into the forties at night, making our tent a bit cool. We have excellent sleeping bags, so we stayed warm. First thing in the morning Hank made hot tea. Then we had a cold breakfast and started our daily exploration. We had no phone service, but every now and then a text message would come through.

We are writing this from Grand Junction CO. More about here in the next post.

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