Day 377: Rocky Mountain National Park

We left the Walmart of Fort Collins pretty early this morning and drove West towards Rocky Mountain National Park.  As we rounded a corner, we found a rock transport truck had just rolled over.  Its tires were still spinning, and the one car that was ahead of us had pulled over and its driver was running to the truck.  I jumped out and grabbed the RV’s fire extinguisher and ran towards the truck.  Despite spilling diesel all over the road, the truck didn’t catch fire.  After it was clear we could do nothing else to help, we continued on our way:

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Our first stop was the visitor center, where Trish tested one of the provided rocking chairs:

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The kids worked through their Junior Ranger workbooks and received their badges:

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The kids also handed in the Junior Ranger astronomy workbooks we picked up a few days ago and received their Junior Ranger Night Explorer patches:

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The visitor center was very well done:

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View from the visitor center:

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Next we drove up towards the Alpine visitor center, the highest visitor center in the US at over 11,000 feet, along the highest continuously paved road in North America.  About halfway there we pulled over to photograph a Bighorn Sheep along the side of the road:

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Not a bad place to hang out:

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The mountains aren’t half bad either:

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Looking back towards the road we drove down:

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A bit farther up the road, we passed a herd of elk:

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At last we arrived at the visitor center, which at 11,796 feet above sea level feels like it’s on top of the world.  At this altitude, we were in the alpine tundra biome, with no trees or vegetation more than a foot high:

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Views from the back porch:

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We stopped during a rainstorm on the way down to photograph the rugged terrain:

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Our last stop was Bear Lake.  We hiked the easy one mile hike around the lake, admiring the peaks towering above:

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After dumping and filling at a campground in the park, we exited the park to the Southwest via highway 36.  Tonight we’re overnighting at the Walmart of Longmont, Colorado.  See the trip map for driving details and our current location.

Day 376: Scotts Bluff National Monument
Day 378: Aim High

2 thoughts on “Day 377: Rocky Mountain National Park

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