Rocky Mountain National Park – Day 2

Our second day at Rocky Mountain National Park was very different from the first day.  Day 2 was less crowded, but also very cold and instead of lakes we saw lots of snow.

We drove the scenic Trail Ridge Road and stopped at many of the viewpoints and some hiking trails along the way.

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The higher up in elevation we got the colder it got.  They call this the tundra — I called it the frozen tundras. 🙂

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We saw some elk and big horn sheep way off in the distance, but these cute marmots were the only wildlife we saw up close.  They were so cute and not even afraid of all the people around.

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Playing in the snow in July!  It’s funny, our kids have seen more snow this summer in Colorado than they have seen in their entire lives!  As usual, we were not dressed appropriately for playing in the snow.  We always start out at a much warmer, lower elevation, and don’t realize just how cold it will be as we get higher. You’d think we would have learned by now.

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We did the Alpine Ridge trail hike that was mostly walking up stairs.  It was a somewhat short hike, but it was really hard!  It’s amazing how out of breath we got up at 12,000 feet.  It made me feel really out of shape when I could hardly catch my breath, but then I read this sign which explains it.

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The sign we’re standing next to is pretty faded, but it says we are at 12,000 feet.  That was at the top of the stairs.

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It was 54 degrees up there with 40 mph winds.  It was so cold with the wind!  But how could we complain when pretty soon we had to head back to our campground where it was 100 degrees?

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The views were so amazing up there, but it was time to head back home to the sweltering heat.  The boys also earned their Junior Ranger badges.  I think they now have 18 national park badges!

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We stayed at St. Vrain State Park just north of Denver.  It was a nice park and we had a great site on the lake with a beautiful view.  You can even see the Rocky Mountains off in the distance.

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Unfortunately it was close to 100 degrees most of the time we were there, so that wasn’t fun.  It’s not easy to keep an RV cool in that kind of heat.  At least the evenings and mornings were cool though.  We had some beautiful sunsets and as soon as the sun started to go down the temperature cooled down a lot!  Then we could go outside and play.

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One evening a funny thing happened.  A family pulled up and parked at our campsite.  We were wondering why they were parking at our site.  They just wanted to fish at the lake in front of our site, but it’s still a little strange for someone to just park at our campsite.  Then later they wanted to use our grill to cook their dinner.  We didn’t mind because they were nice.  And Chris who is always so hospitable made them some of his “world famous” homemade french fries to go with their dinner.  They had some extra fishing poles and let the boys use them since the poles we used to have broke and we haven’t replaced them.  I’m not sure if I should mention this because of all the racial hatred going on right now, but just so you know, not everyone in this country is a racist.  This family was black or I guess I should say African-American if I’m being politically correct (which I’m usually not).  Regardless, we had a great time with them that night and really enjoyed their company.  I wish they would have come back again while we were staying there.  Their granddaughter was Jake’s age and she was so sweet!  She loved Chris’s french fries and would hardly let anyone else have any. 🙂  And she was very patient with me as she tried to teach me how to fish.  I wasn’t very good at it.

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The best part about our week at St. Vrain was meeting up with another Fulltime Family there that we met a few weeks earlier at the rally in Montrose.  Jake and Jesse love playing with their son Dylan!  They played together for hours every day and they are really going to miss each other.  But I’m sure our paths will cross again at some point.

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There is so much more to RMNP than we had time to see in just 2 days.  Just like most places we’ve been, we want to return again someday and explore some more.  There is just so much to see and do in this country and so little time!  Are you getting out and exploring the national parks?  This year is the National Park Service’s 100th birthday.  Perhaps that’s why the parks are so crowded this year?  I don’t know, but before we started traveling I had no idea what we were missing.  I hope that my posts will inspire some of you to get out there and explore these amazing places.

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