A Rocky Mountain High

(Love this vintage sign in Steamboat Springs)

Leaving my friend in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, it was time to continue east.
We headed over Rabbit Ears Pass through the city of Kremmling

(the road to Granby)

fueled up in the town of Granby had lunch at the Granby Garage Roadhouse. It was a rainy day and the skies were gray. We headed through the beautiful town of Grand Lake to the western entrance of Rocky Mountain National Park. When we pulled up to the entrance gate,we didn’t realize that we needed a timed ticket to drive through the park on U.S. 34 aka Trail Ridge Road to reach the town of Estes Park—our final destination. While waiting in line the ranger informed us about it and that he thought there might be a slot we could get right away. I logged on to the government parks app on my phone and was able to quickly purchase a ticket. Showing my e-ticket on my phone  to the ranger at the gate house,we were able to successfully continue on (technology never ceases to amaze me!). The landscape was scorched due to a series of huge fires in the fall of 2020. We were shocked to see how many miles of forest was burned —they looked like black spikes.

(Even the entrance gate house was burned by the fire.)

The road then started to climb through the Rocky Mountains and we stopped at many scenic turnouts to enjoy the views.

We did this for several miles until we reached the treeline. The roads and turnouts were crowded with people but not as many as I expected. The road then looked out over miles of sky high 10,000 feet peaks to the one of the highest points in the state of Colorado: Longs Peak at 14,259 ft. It was like a pale green lunar landscape.

I was glad I was wearing jeans–it was cold at the top! The road reached it’s highest point at 12,183 feet, making it the highest national park road in the country!
 
We then started winding our way down the mountain to the city of Estes Park, our home for the next two nights. Arriving at  the Spruce Lake RV Park, we were greeted by a herd of ten elk who were feeding from the trees and bushes along the Big Thompson River.

Our crowded campsite had a beautiful view of the mountains we had just traversed.

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Loving Sculpture in Loveland

Sadly leaving Estes Park we headed east on US 34 through winding canyons along the Big Thompson River until we reached the City of Loveland, Colorado. I had last passed through Loveland about 20 years ago when I was investigating job opportunities at the Boulder Daily Camera newspaper(how the world has changed).

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Taking the High Road From Taos

Leaving Santa Fe we drove through Española up New Mexico 68, stopping in the little town of Dixon along the way for a cup of coffee. We found one at the grocery/ deli/ town gathering place—you couldn’t miss it for the front end of an old car emerging from the wall of the building OVER the entrance.

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