Rocky Mountain Magic and Mishaps

 

After leaving Woodland Park, we headed due north to the Rockies. We stayed in one of the most picturesque campsites that I can imagine. The Reverends Ridge Campground was voted one of the most romantic in the area, and I agree!

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Aside from worrying about being eaten by bears (there were signs everywhere!) it was a total relaxation experience. On our second day there, we set out for Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park. After driving above the timberline (around 11,000 feet), we happened upon a wicked surprise snow! Clint was full on freaking out. I guess I can now say that I have seen snow on June 2nd!

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Unfortunately, that would not be our last run in with precipitation of the frozen variety that day! We drove through many tunnels of snow drift during our descent before stopping for a photo op on a beautiful snowfield. It was level and the snow looked hard packed and about a foot deep. Ohhhh so wrong we were! The harrowing result of sinking more than two feet deep in a snow drift. While wearing flip flops. And crop pants.

And that’s not all! Just after this lovely experience, I convinced Clint to carry me the few feet out to the car. Upon picking me up, he immediately sank into the snow up to his waist. This left me with one leg about two feet down into the snow. As I scrambled to get to the car (shrieking, out course), I lost a flip flop. Clint managed to save my shoe, but he could not get a hold on one of his own. He gets in the car and just says, “Leave the damn thing there!” So somewhere under the Colorado snow banks, there lies a men’s size 10 Salomon trail runner. May it rest in peace.

The hot sun and red rocks of Utah are next!

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Getting High in Colorado

First things first, we’re not getting that kind of high here in Colorado. I’m talking about the altitude! We could catch glimpses of the Rockies from about an hour away from our destination, in Woodland Park. Once we arrived, the views were absolutely incredible! We checked in at a state park campground for two nights. Two very cold nights! It got down to 35 inside the tent – I was unprepared and suggested that Clint try to zip me into his jacket. No luck there… I had to sleep with leggings, pj pants, a long sleeve t shirt, a fleece jacket, and a scarf. I was quite the sight. Especially with no showers for two days! The campsite view was worth it, though.

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During our next full day, we ventured out onto Pikes Peak. Clint was looking forward to the snowdrifts, and he got his money’s worth! The road to the top is a bit treacherous, and Clint is afraid of heights. The 19 mile trip was slow and steady. The temperatures fell as the altitude increased, and it was a blustery 33 degrees on the summit!

After our trip to the top, we headed back down to another extreme at Garden of the Gods. This was a surprisingly nice little trip that we had on a whim. It was warm and sunny – hard to believe after the weather we saw a few thousand feet above! I loved scampering all over the rocks. The views here of Colorado Springs were great, too!

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I cannot wait to write about our interesting experience in Rocky Mountain National Park. Let’s just say that it involves a snow field and flip flops. Until next time- I’m back into the wilderness!