We got into Jellystone Park a little later than we were expecting. Kind of figured we’d see it on the highway or be able to look it up on the old smartphone. Previously mentioned coverage issues made the latter an impossibility (we did find a slice of voice coverage, but data was not happening) and a phone call to Jellystone was apparently made after Yogi turned in for the night. It turns out that Jellystone Park was out of town quite a bit despite the Estes Park address.
We had opted for a premium lot, so we wanted to soak in a little bit of the amenities.
As you see, it’s at the far reaches of the property…out of the way of your regular campsite riffraff.
It included a wonderful privacy fence.
And well-manicured grounds with luxurious furnishings.
A great place to play hide-and-seek.
And a great place to have a bagel.
The light of day allowed us to meet up with our host.
Hi ya, Boo Boo!
I sensed a theme here.
Anyway, what are we doing playing on a playground? Just minutes from a National Park? (Look, there’s a mountain in the upper left corner, so I guess this might count.)
We had a little bit of time to re-enter Rocky Mountain National Park before heading east. Crossing back through Estes Park over Lake Estes, we could see smoke off to the northeast from the fire that we heard was burning near Ft. Collins.
The plan was to take the upper loop that we missed the day before…to see Sheep Lakes and to take some pictures of aspen trees.
Here is the mountainous area that the bighorn sheep come down to the lakes from.
In the morning, apparently. By now, it was afternoon, so I guess the sheep were long gone. As was most of the water.
Though they did leave behind some of their parts.
My wife had seen some beautiful aspen pictures and wanted to take her own pictures. We discovered many aspen trees, but it seems that a menace in the park has destroyed the bark on pretty much every tree in the park.
Unbelievably, the rangers refuse to do anything about these roving elk who are hellbent on destroying the natural beauty of the aspen! I will be firing off a letter to my Congressman as soon as I get home. They did try to give us directions to where some unmolested aspen trees. Over this stream, we found…
…even more damaged aspen trees. Yet, if you get down low enough and take your picture upwards past the offending elk line…
At this point, you guessed it…way behind schedule. We quickly pivoted and left the park and were soon in Boulder, CO. I wanted to get my picture taken wearing my rainbow striped shirt while standing on the goalposts at the University of Colorado’s football stadium, but there was simply no time. We passed to the north of Denver and past the Denver International Airport.
Forget what your map says…and make no mistake about it. Kansas begins a mere 30 minutes east of Denver.
There’s a lot of this.
Someone thought that this beautiful scenery needed a tower. I guess to get the maximum nothingness into your field of vision at once. This is “World’s Wonder View Tower”. Surveying the scene, the name seemed a bit of an overreach.
If we had more time, we would have probably not stopped at this place in a million years. The Wonder View Tower must truly have the worst view of any place in the entire world. Unless you really love fields.
Interstate 70 through western Kansas offers many miles of one lane traffic. And not a prayer of cell service. We stopped off the highway once to eat and get gas, and at the stop, the conversation returned to bears and the ranger talks concerning them. My son stated that bears get stronger during hibernation. When I corrected him and said that they don’t get stronger, but they do burn off fat while retaining all of their muscle mass. “Maybe you should look into hibernation, Dad.” Another mark in my notebook.
When we went to get back on the highway, the directional signs read “Denver” and “The Other Way”.
You can see all of the haze…which is really not haze, but just blowing dirt. The winds were out of control. I was actually having to put a lot of effort into keeping the RV on the road. And I really started worrying when I saw the flying monkeys. We turned the radio on in order to see what might be going on, but the voices were unfazed.
“The 76th annual cricket festival is next week, Jimmy’s Combines has low low financing, and (almost as an afterthought) the wind is 75 mile per hour coming out of hell.”
You know, I think there was a reason that they set “The Wizard of Oz” in Kansas. Because it would be believable that a house would fly off of the ground, as that seems to be possible most days here. We saw some horses rolling on the ground and thought they were scratching their backs. But when we got closer we realized that they just couldn’t get up from the wind. And the amazing thing was that with all of the wind, NONE of the turbines at this wind farm were even spinning. Don’t believe me? See for yourselves!
And if you look at the sign, it actually claims that the “Garden of Eden” is somewhere nearby. Not likely. There was a book written a few years ago called “What’s the Matter with Kansas?” – The answer…everything. Just when I was considering ending it all and driving us into…well…I don’t know…maybe a haystack…
Because where else but hell would you need that kind of reassurance?
Brutal, unrelenting wind…and miles and miles of absolute nothingness took their toll, and we were forced to stop in…huh. It’s Hays, Kansas again. Of all the gin joints in all the towns…
Back to the Walmart parking lot that started it all.