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Harry and Judy's RV Trip
28th Jun 2013 - Summer 2013
Day 23-June 28, 2013-Rocky Mountain National Park

Day 24-June 29, 2013-Rocky Mountain National Park
Cool last night, needed an extra blanket.
We decided to drive up the 22 miles on Trail Ridge Rd. to the Alpine Visitors Center at RMNP and first stopped at the Ranger’s station where they warned us of lightning because it looked kind of black at the top of the mountains and it had started to rain. We got as far as Many Parks Curve and got out to take pictures. We were parked about as far away from the car as you can get when we simultaneously heard a clap of thunder, saw lightning and it started to rain. RUN! Of course we got soaked and then it started to hail so we sat in the car ‘til it let up. We couldn’t have been in a better place for this (we could have been on the road where there’s no railings or places to pull over). The road closes here in the winter (Oct. to Memorial Day) because of snow. Our next stop was at Rainbow Curve where one view was clear blue skies and when you turned the other way there was that ominous black cloud. We brought lunch and this was a great place to eat it. Still drizzling as we ascended to Forest Canyon, gorgeous views of black snow covered mountains with green valleys and lakes below. It was only 50 degrees here and we saw a couple of marmots sunning themselves on rocks. Drove through Iceberg Pass with snow on all sides of us to Lava Cliffs, the highest point on the road at 12,183’. That black cloud ahead is getting bigger and blacker and we’re starting to hear thunder again so we started back down. It took us over two hours to get up and about 45 minutes to get back down. Went to Sheep Lake where we saw the herd of elk the other evening but they weren’t there today. This is a big horn sheep area too and the ranger said there was an ewe and her baby earlier but nothing lately. By now the sun is back out but it’s still cool.
We came back to camp and checked out the campground. It has quite a history. Some scenes for the TV series “Bonanza” were filmed on this property in 1967. The office used to be a brothel in Central City before it was moved here. The mahogany bar in the lodge was built in 1879 and used to be in the Windsor Hotel in Denver. It used to be studded with 3,000 silver dollars. They say the bullet holes in the bar are from Calamity Jane when she found out the bar didn’t serve women. Over the bar is a portrait of a woman with six toes. Supposedly the owner commissioned the portrait of his wife and when he saw it was a nude he refused to pay for it. The painter was so mad he gave her an extra toe. The lodge now not only has the bar but tables for dinners, another room for breakfast buffets, free coffee for campers all day long, a reading room, game room and other rooms I never went into to.
We then filled up the propane tanks, came back to the RV, read a bit, had dinner and drove back into town for a last look.  On the way out of the campground we saw a herd of elk in the lot where they store the RVs.  Beautiul site!  The campground is called Elk Meadow because it used to be an elk meadow and I guess they still come back.

Packed up to leave tomorrow.



Next: Day 24-June 29, 2013-Rocky Mountain National Park
Previous: Day 22-June 27, 2013-Rocky Mt. Nat'l. Park & Estes Park


Diary Photos

Windy Road

Our campground

Stanley Hotel

Snow covered mts.

My slogan for the day

Estes Park

Lunch at Estes Park

Us in Estes Park

Me on Bear Lake Path

Bear Lake

SNOW!

Rocky Mt. National Park

Storm brewing

Lightning

Storm Clouds

Diary Movies

Estes Park, CO

Stanley Hotel, Estes Park, CO

Lightning from campground


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