Well we are heading back from our trip to the mountains. We finally made it to Denver, where our friends live, last Saturday, July 6th. We parked the RV in the parking lot where one of friends lived. Since our friends live in an apartment complex, we backed the RV up against a stretch of grass to get out of the way of cars coming through the parking lot. When we were packing I noticed the sprinklers were on… but didn’t think much of it since I assumed they would be not be going back on for a couple days or at the very least they would come on at the same time of the day. Well that evening as I was peacefully sleeping in my RV… next to my open window… about 3:00 AM… I am awaken by a deluge of water entering my RV. I jump to my feet to figure out what is going on… especially since I was fast asleep. After finally figuring out that it was a sprinkler loading massive amounts of water into my window… I wake enough to close the window. After which, I discover my bed, sheets, blankets, and pillows are soaking wet. I suffer with the noise of the sprinklers as I try to fall back to sleep now on all of the towels I could find. I feel relief when they turn off knowing that they will not, at least, bother me for the remaining of my sleep time through the morning. Only about 20 minutes later I hear another set of sprinklers go on that is just within reach of the RV… and it pounds on the RV with a rhythmic noise. Ahhhh will I ever get to sleep??
The next day we hang out at our friend’s house preparing for our final assent into the mountains by doing laundry and last minute grocery shopping. Monday we head up to the Rocky Mountain National Park to set up camp at a campground right outside of the park. We would normally camp inside the park but since we were without propane due to the earlier blowout… we needed a place that had direct hook up to electricity. We were able to set up and move all of the food from the cooler back into the refrigerator. It was a nice campground. Our view outside of our campsite was a gorgeous mountain side. Such awesome views. It had private hot showers, and a small coffee shop.
The first day at camp we went into Estes Park (nearest town) and did the tourist thing and shopped. The altitude was getting to me and by the afternoon I was wiped out. Came back and took a 3 hour nap! They say that you must drink lots of water while in the mountains because you get dehydrated and because there is less oxygen there. The next day we went up really early to do a long hike. We hiked 2.5 miles there and back with an elevation gain of 700 feet. We hiked up to Mills Lake which was just awesome! Pictures just can not do justice to what you see there. Going up was hard, but I think coming down was even harder. My whole body was sore and tired after that… but it was well worth it.
The next day was a lazy day for most of us as we recuperated from our prior day of pushing the limits of our bodies. That evening though we went back into the park to see the famed Elk. We drove all the way up to the top of the mountain. We were above timberline, which means you are so high that trees do not grow. And as it was becoming almost so dark you could not see…. There they were… about 30-40 females and their babies… crossing the road. They were just so beautiful. The babies seem to be whaling to their mommies. Such a small sound from such a large animal. I got to see one cow (female Elk) nurse her baby calf. Although there was not enough light to take pictures, we were excited for the opportunity to see them.
Yesterday we had to leave the campsite by noon so we packed up everything in the RV and moved off site to park the RV at a nearby parking lot. In our friends car, we went back up to timberline to see if we could see any more elk. And did we ever. There was a large bull (male Elk), with 4-5 point antlers still with the velvet on them, munching on grass. He was so regal looking. The Elk are so used to tourist in the park they let you get pretty close to take pictures. We must have watched this elk for 30 minutes to an hour. It was fascinating.
After a trip up to the visitors center at the top of the mountain, we headed back down stopping along the way to take silly group pictures at various overlooks. At one overlook, there was a woman feeding a small chipmunk/squirrel. Even though there are signs everywhere that feeding the wildlife is illegal. But the chipmunk obviously didn’t know the law and happily took the food.
We made it to our friends house last night and crawled out of bed around 9:00 am this morning. I think it is the altitude that really takes it out of ya! It's about 2:30 Texas time now, and we are finally on the highway heading home! Home sweet home!