Days 17, 18, 19: Estes Park, CO

We moved from Hermit Park to Elk Meadows Lodge and RV Campground.   This campground is wide open and set up like a parking lot. It has amenities instead of privacy. For the next three nights, we enjoyed a full hook up.  The cost was higher than camps without hookups, but it is nice to be able to do laundry, swim in a pool, and even socialize.

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Because it was Father’s Day Weekend, the lodge offered several free progtams. Friday night was Karaoke night. We went but neither one of us decided to be the entertainment. We had some sangria and enjoyed talking with the married bartenders from Louisana. Some people are just so darn sweet!  They filled us in on a great hike that you enter from outside of the park and it leads to Bridal Veil Falls. The next morning, we drove to the trailhead, but the small parking lot was full.  We ended up hiking Lumpy a Ridge Trailhead to Gem Lake.  We met a 77-year-old hiker who totally impressed us with her attitude, stamina, and friendliness.  Saturday night, a local band, Mountain Town Trio, played at Elk Mountain Lodge, which is open to the public.  The band played great 70’s and 80’s music, and everyone in the place was singing along with the band.  There was no cover, and Scott even asked me to dance to a Grateful Dead song, Truckin.

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We passed on the “free Father’s Day pancakes breakfast” on Sunday morning.  Instead, we got up early and headed into Rocky Mountain National Park.  We travelled up Trail Ridge Road, stopping along the winding road for some small hikes and photo opportunities.  The Visitor’s Center is just below 12,000’, and we optimistically climbed many steps to 12,000’.   Love getting above the clouds.

 

 

 

As we climbed to higher altitude, I couldn’t resist photographing this sign…

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…and snapping more pictures of the wildflowers with my cellphone.  [Check out Scott’s Gallery for some amazing photographs.]

 

 

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