Estes Park

July 18, 2018 - The drive from Limon to Estes Park was nice and easy.  The topography was still flat but the land started taking on some bumpiness and hilliness to it hinting that mountains were not too far ahead.  A few miles out of Denver we began to see the mountains through the misty skies.  Rather than drive through the middle of town we took the bypass around Denver and admired the skyline from a distance.  Before we knew it we were snaking our way through a gulch and heading into Estes Park.  Destination: Campground at Mary’s Lake.   

The campground was nice enough and our spot was on a corner with the van facing due west.  It was in the lower 80’s.  We took Chase for a walk around the RV park and were just in awe at the scenery surrounding Mary’s Lake and Estes Park.  There were beautiful homes on the mountainsides around us and we even found a home that was so well blended with the environment that it could not be seen by the naked eye at first.  We had what looked like two young families next door from Texas.  They were on our blind side so we never saw them much.  We were basically on a corner so the the only other adjoining neighbors we had were behind us camping in tents.  In front of us was a tent area and kind of a parking lot / mixed use area.  We were easy in and easy out so once we set up our outdoor room we looked to go explore.  

It was still early in the day so we headed to Rocky Mountain National Park.  Our plan was to drive the “tourist” loop which climbed up into the Rockies with several vista points where one could pull off and marvel at the scenery.   We entered the park at the Fall River entrance station and drove up into the mountain.   We had visited here 30 years earlier when we flew into Denver and rented a Jeep to tour the countryside.  Thats another story.  We stopped at all the pull-outs and took pics and panoramas and videos.  On our previous trip here we could take only limited photos for the cost of processing was preventative.  Now we’ll have hundreds.  This time we decided to take a side trip up to Bear Lake which was a winding road that ran past a couple lakes and some campgrounds within the park. Unfortunately this part of the park is very popular and before we even turned to go to Bear Lake there were signs informing travelers the Bear Lake parking lot was full.   We kept going anyway for other’s always some place Chappy will fit.  Not this time.  We just drove through and headed back the way we came stopping at all the vista points we came upon.  The drive up from Limon and the mountain climbing made Chappy and everybody else a little jet lagged so we drove on back to Estes Park and completed the “tourist” loop of the adventure.  

By the time we got back to the campground it was late afternoon and a few hours away from sunset.  The sun was bearing straight down on the front of our van and the tall vehicle offered no shade whatsoever except at the rear doors which faced another campsite.  We got a few channels on the TV so we went inside and watched the wall until it cooled then fixed dinner and called it an adventurous day. 2018