Monday, September 12, 2011

Rocky Mountain NP & a visit to John & Julie’s

P1040288(Jan) Rocky Mountain National Park has been a favorite of ours for years. Our first trip here was as newlyweds. Since then we’ve visited several times as a family with the boys and six years ago Chuck & I returned. It’s still a magical place where you can cross the alpine tundra at the top of the mountains at 12,000+ feet or enjoy elk grazing in the mountain meadows. Our first two nights were spent in Loveland where we were joined one evening by Mick and Ann and then luckily we found a place for the next three nights at Moraine Park CG.  001

(Chuck) We took a chance last week when we reserved a National Park campsite that was listed as a 40 foot site. It turned out to be a good fit. The second day was cloudy and wet and we were planning to drive up Fall River Road and down Trail Ridge Road with Bruce and Dee who had stayed in Estes Park in their RoadTrek. We needed one more day for the sun to shine and I found a site near us which was available for the next night and booked it. Bruce and I measured it closely and found that we could overhang the back of the rig and we put our 43 foot rig into a 35 foot National Park spot. 036

Our tour of Fall River Road, Trail Ridge Road and Bear Lake was a success and we were treated with a great close up view of the Elk in their first week of the rut. That evening we were near a stream watching a large group of females who were under the watchful eye of a large bull.P1040223 We stood near the road as they crossed the stream only twenty feet in front of us. The bull followed at the rear of the group and he crossed very close to us, Dee who was near the front stepped back and we all knew that it could have been dangerous, however he proceeded on to his females and we all looked at each other and breathed a sigh of relief. It happened so fast and it was a breathtaking sight. Days and evenings in the campground were accompanied with the bugling of the male elk in the rut.


Chuck & Jan at Chasm Falls, Bruce & Dee treating us to Burgers & Fries at Penelope’s and Bruce, Dee & Chuck in downtown Estes Park.


(Jan) On Friday morning we headed south to John and Julie’s home where we034 were welcomed with open arms & Boomer hugs. John and Julie & granddaughter Taylor live west of Denver at 9500 ft elevation in a beautiful home they built by themselves; yes, framed, wired, plumbed, etc. Bruce and Dee were visiting, also, and we had a wonderful time; eating some amazing meals prepared by John & Julie, talking technology, 011listening to an Andre Bocelli concert in John’s home theatre, playing pinball and working on Sudoku puzzles together.

On Saturday, as J&J had other commitments, we and Bruce & Dee headed down the Virginia Canyon Road, also listed on the map as the ‘O My God Road’ to Idaho Springs. The mostly gravel road lived up to it’s name with it’s steep winding route past former gold and silver mines and spectacular views. We toured the town, looked at all of the ornate houses perched on the mountain side, browsed the Main Street shops and wandered through their delightful Visitors Center/ Museum that told of the area’s early mining history.

001003Sunday the six of us headed to Boulder and had a very delicious breakfast at a local roadhouse high up in the mountains. In Boulder we headed to Pearl Street, an area several blocks long with shops and restaurants open only to pedestrian traffic. We sure had a fun time browsing and shopping at kitchen stores, art stores, a chocolate shop with Cherry/Jalapeno chocolate and watching the street musicians and buskers. A drive through the University of Colorado, past the Coors Brewery and back up the scenic Mountain canyon road took us back to John & Julie’s house. John fired up the wood burning earth oven when we got back and their neighbors Bob and Marsha arrived with sour dough pizza dough for us to make individual wood fired pizzas. Julie had all of the toppings ready, Dee and I furnished salads and we had another culinary feast! The evening was spent visiting but all too soon it was time to say good night! 

012Chuck’s pizza – sauce, onions, pepperoni, mozzarella, peppers and fresh tomatoes 015 016Desert pizza w/chocolate chips

(Chuck) We left John and Julie’s this morning and proceeded to a place that I have wanted to return for several years. In 2008 we attended a Colorado Boomerang that has forever been referred to as the Mosquito Rang. That year our group was assaulted by a billion mosquitoes at Clear Creek Reservoir which is North of Buena Vista, Colorado. It is a beautiful setting in the mountains and it just did not seem fair that we could not be outside our rigs in this valley. Ever since then I have wanted to return to this place to prove that it could be done. We arrived this afternoon and there was a minor concern about internet access, however I raised our Wilson antenna on our large fiberglass pole and we have very good data access now. Good internet access has become a necessity on our lives. We will be here several days as long as the weather holds. Cool nights and 70’s in the day make this another wonderful place for us to make our home. When we leave here we will stop in Salida, then Great Sand Dunes NP, and on down into New Mexico for the Balloon Fiesta.


Jim and Bobbie said...

You're getting close to us here in South Fork, but we won't be here when you arrive. We leave Wednesday for Washington. Great blog and wonderful photos...what an experience you had with the elk!

Traveling with Dick, Beth, and Moe said...

Enjoying your blog. SOunds like more places to put on our bucket list. Hugs Dick and Beth

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