Clicking the pics will make them bigger, but unfortunately not better.
Almost there!!! Cool weather, and high altitudes guarantees a good time camping at Rocky Mountain National Park. 70° in the daytime, 40° at night.... PERFECT!
But some brand-new rules made me feel more like a person of suspicion, than an American citizen that actually owns these parks.
I'm still on the road but I left Rocky Mountain National Park and now have Internet. So pretend that I just made it to Rocky Mountain National Park today, and you can follow along day by day until I finally get back to my present time normal life.
I made it to Rocky Mountain National Park, safely of course. It's a beautiful drive up here with lots of twisty, turny, roads and plenty of ups and downs seemingly gaining or losing a thousand feet every few miles. Like I said it's a fantastic drive, and it will definitely keep you on your toes. They don't waste a lot of money on guardrails in the park, and the drop-offs are awe-inspiring, so concentrating on your driving is mandatory in the park if you don't want to end up on a YouTube video of how not to drive.
Some things have changed since I was here a couple of years ago, and I can't say I'm all that happy with what's going on at the Park.. It's now a reservation only Park and apparently you have to make a reservation for when you want to come to Rocky Mountain National Park. I don't really understand the system, and reading about it on the government website didn't seem to enlighten me at all, but I do understand that if you're camping at the park you don't need a reservation to enter the Park, and since I had a camping reservation I didn't bother to learn very much about the new entry reservation system.
I guess to make sure that no one games the system they kept a close check on me as I made my way to the campground. Coming in the main gate I showed them my geezer pass and they inquired if I was camping or not, you would think the giant Lance sitting on the back of the truck would've been a clue. They then wanted to see my paperwork for my camping reservation, which I have on my phone, and a picture ID... It seems that the only thing you don't need a picture ID for anymore is voting. Although you would think that sneaking into a campground would be far less dangerous to our democracy, than fraudulent voting.
The main gate was check number one. Shortly after I turned down the road that goes to the campground, another checkpoint was set up in the middle of the road where two armed Park Rangers, again wanted to see my camping papers, and my picture ID. That was check number two.
Driving to the campground entrance there was a line of about 10 cars waiting to get in, and a guy who appeared to be a campground host with a clipboard, requested my campground papers to see what site I was in and gave me a little map on how to get to the site, it's actually a pretty big campground. That was check number three.
I then drove about 50 feet to a guard shack where there was yet another park ranger who once again requested what site I was in and made out a tag to put in my windshield containing all the pertinent information about my brief stay at Rocky Mountain national Park, which was check number four. And only then could I continue to my campsite Unmolested.
I dare-say I could get into a military base as a visitor easier than that, and I know I've camped at Disney World numerous times with a lot less hassle than that. Used to the Rangers would say welcome to the Park, now they say "let me see your papers," If this is the direction national parks are going in the future I'm glad I've seen all the ones I want to see because I don't know if I want to do this again.
Lake Mary in Estes Park. Estes Park is the fairly large town just outside the gate of Rocky Mountain National Park. And its proximity to the Park guarantees at least a million people a year drive through town and hopefully stop for beer and snacks.
The campsite where I spent my first two nights at the Park. For those of you unfamiliar with Parks in bear country, that brown steel box is to put your food in, and each site has one, so the Bears won't tear open your tent looking for lunch. They could probably tear open an RV also but I've never heard of RV people putting their food in the Bear box.
There are those that doubt my expertise in knowing the names of birds, and even though I'm middle-aged, okay slightly more than middle-aged, my memory is still good enough to remember all their names, and this one's name is "Bob."
The fence you can see in the picture is the boundary of Rocky Mountain National Park. The log cabins in the distance are on private land, and these folks actually live at the boundary of the National Park, how cool is that That? The land was probably a mining claim, that was patented, and sold off a 100 years ago for houses.
That cloudy sky, was mostly what I saw on this trip to the Park. And it was a good thing, the clouds probably kept the nighttime temperatures in the 40s instead of the 30s.