Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

mountain passSeptember 9-10, 2008

After driving through Wyoming all day, we were pretty beat when we reached Estes Park. It was around 8:00, and we stopped for soup and a sandwich at a deli. We then drove into the national park, hoping to stay at the first campground we saw. There was no one at the gate, however, so we had no map or directions, and it turned out that the campground we were looking for was on a different road.

We ended up driving over the pass in rain and sleet and pea-soup fog. For two hours we were on this windy dangerous mountain road, sometimes barely able to see five feet in front of us, creeping along and praying for a campground soon.


We were nervous wrecks when we finally found Timber Creek Campground, on the west side of the park. We pulled into one of two vacant spots and went directly to bed. The next morning, it was raining and cold, but we were pleasantly surprised to open the teardrop door and find not only a herd of elk foraging in the campground's firepits, but a moose and her baby meandering through. It made the harrowing drive there worth it. And the dismal weather easier to bear.


Rocky Mountain lake

After breakfast, we drove back over the long mountain pass road and were able to see the views we'd missed the night before and found that in the daytime, with decent weather (the rain had stopped), the road wasn't nearly so terrifying. In fact, it was quite enjoyable.

We found the Aspen Glen campground we'd been looking for initially, clear on the other side of the park, and we stopped there for lunch. It was a very nice campground, but with a view of nearby condos, and we were grateful for our more "backcountry" experience and wildlife encounter.

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