We were up and refreshed in the morning after leaving a little breathing room the night before. Another general note about campground bathrooms: I know that we may be conserving our brightest minds for designing Mars rover landings, thin televisions, and crispier bacon…but bathroom stalls…yes, this isn’t rocket science…but if you simply must make the stall so small that your feet are sticking out from under the door when you are sitting, you CANNOT make the door swing inward. Take a note.
The impending RV trip brought my wife to the internets, where she discovered a great way to make 4 omelets at once, all while keeping the cookware clean. Eggs and other stuff, mixed in a ziplock bag, and dropped in boiling water.
We shared the campground with another CruiseAmerica RV. In addition to having the beautiful landscapes on the sides of their rigs, they frequently have fake pictures in the side window that often make you do a double-take. We kept seeing the same one in Yellowstone with a golden retriever, but this picture seems a bit creepy. It’s like the girls have been kidnapped and while they appear to be smiling, they really want you to call the authorities.
First order of the day after leaving the campground is the much anticipated Howler Alpine Slide. First you need to get to the top of Howelsen Hill.
There’s just non-stop wildlife on this trip. This is some kind of marmot.
You get to the top…take your requisite family photo with Steamboat down below…
Waiver signed. Rules everywhere.
This was a complete blast – We caved and allowed 2 more rides, but then we had to get back on schedule. Though the kids would have stayed all day and night if allowed.
Next stop, Rocky Mountain National Park. This is (I think) Lake Grandby on the approach to the park. Lots of varying levels of accommodations along this route, from luxury homes to trailers and worse. Many of them not even arrayed in what seemed like a logical direction.
On to the park!
And immediately we are treated to our first official moose sighting by all four of us at once. Right off the road inside the park, and only about 30 feet away at most.
And then a short trip down the road, again a moose. This time with youngster in tow. Though she wasn’t very cooperatively posing.
OK, sure, 3 moose in a span of a mile. But I still wanted to see a bull moose. Oh well.
As you continue along, the road rises and you start getting above the treeline. Here is the approach to the Alpine Visitor Center. You can see it up ahead above in the distance.
And here we are.
This is the view from the rear of the visitor center.
The road doesn’t leave a lot of space for error, and I imagine if you were to go off in many places, you probably wouldn’t stop for a while. I assumed these poles were so that a plow knows where the road ends. Again, to avoid rolling down the hill.
Trail Ridge Road, as it’s called, offers some pretty amazing views.
There were many elk to be seen, but this bull elk seemed to be a rarity during our visit.
And this is zoomed out to give you an idea of his location.
Continuing on along the road.
And this is where they are filming the Blair Witch Project 2. Wait, what? OK then, Blair Witch Project 3.
Actually, they were stacking up beetle-ravaged tree remains for burning.
We stopped at the Beaver Meadows Visitor Center and saw a ranger program about wildlife of the tundra. Great stuff.
It was too late to explore down to Bear Lake due to massive road construction. It would have to be out for tomorrow as well. As it became dark, we drove through and past Estes Park and fumbled our way to Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park of (kind of) Estes Park to set up for the night.