Monday, June 3, 2013

Rocky Mountain National Park - Day 7 and 8

I made it across the high plains and the Rocky’s appeared on the horizon the morning of Day 7.  From 30 miles away, purple mountains majesty rose above the fruited plain.  As I got closer, they just got more spectacular.  I had an extra day before I could check into RMNP, so I decided to take a easy day checking out the Sheplers store in Denver, re-supplying some food, and washing the van.  My overnight stay was the parking lot at Sam’s Club in Loveland, CO. said it was ok as did the manager when I checked with the store.  Another freebie boon dock that was nice and quiet.

While there, I checked the oil in the generator and topped it off.  With all the boon docking, I had been running it quite a bit.  I also set the altitude adjustment on the carburetor to 5,000 ft.  The generator actually seemed to run smoother and a little quieter at the higher setting. 

Sunday was a warm, clear, and brilliant sunny day.  From Loveland, I drove west on Rt 34 to Estes Park through Big Thompson Canyon.  It was pretty spectacular.  I need to go back and get some pictures on my way out. 

Estes Park is a neat little town that sits in a valley on the outskirts of RMNP.  Lots of funky little shops, eateries, lodges, and motels.  I made a point to find Dad’s Maytag Laundromat and Showers in upper Stanley Village.  RMNP has no shower or laundry facilities.  Since I would be in the park for three days, I needed to grab a shower before I went in and do up some laundry.

I entered the park at the Fall River entrance and drove some of the roads to get a flavor for what the park has to offer.  All I can say is Wow and will let the pictures do the taking.  My camping spot was at Moraine Park campground within the park. None of the campground support large RV’s and none of the sites are level.  It mostly caters to tenters.  I got the bear warning (keep all food and trash locked up in your vehicle or in the bear boxes) from the Ranger.  She said they have had three bear sitings so far this year but no problems.  I’m hoping that “The Night of the Grizzly’s”  will remain just a book I read and not a first hand experience for me.

The campground is at 8,100 ft.  I found that since I got to Loveland I was drinking water like crazy and even more at RMNP.  I was also moving slower.  The air so dry with the humidity at 14%!!!!.  My skin was flaking and getting itchy.  The air just seems to suck the water out of me. Also, the sun is very brilliant.  I guess the UV rays are six time more intense at this altitude.  I got a little burn on my left arm just from driving.  I tried to keep covered up and wore my polarized sun glassed on all day

Here are some pictures from my first day I the park.

View from my campsite at Moraine Park

Longs Peak highest mountain in RMNP

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