The Rocky Mountains

In the Rocky Mountain National Park

25th June – 216 miles from Pueblo, Colorado, to Lyons, Colorado

From Pueblo we headed north to Colorado Springs, where we bought lunch and ate it in a small park just off of the main road. The route was very scenic with an abundance of stopping points. From one wide open vista we could see gathering storm clouds over the distant mountains.

Storm gathering over the Rocky Mountains

Along the way we found several roadside stopping points with short trails, and took one of them down to a waterfall that was in full flow. With no tripod, I wasn’t able to try the long exposure water blurring that’s popular for moving water.

Waterfall approaching the Rocky Mountains

We bypassed Denver in search of accommodation near to the start of the Rocky Mountain National Park. Boulder proved too expensive for our tastes, so we ended up in the small town of Lyons. After a wander around town, we had dinner in a Mexican restaurant followed by a game of pool in a small bar.

26th June – 154 miles from Lyons, Colorado, to Frisco, Colorado

Estes Park, Colorado

The Rocky Mountain National Park was our goal for the day.

We had lunch by the lake in Estes Park on the edge of the national park, a town I was familiar with from its appearance in Michael Connelly’s novel, The Poet, which features scenes around the same lake.

Climbing up through the Rocky Mountains

The road through the park climbed gradually to over 12000 feet, over the snow line, and the landscape gradually changed from Alpine forests to tundra.

Road through barren tundra high in the Rocky Mountains

At one of the highest points we took a short trail to see some strange volcanic outcrops. Even walking a short distance uphill at that altitude left us breathless, having had no time to acclimatise to the sudden gain in elevation. It was also much colder and extremely windy, so we didn’t linger.

Volcanic outcrops high in the Rocky Mountains

Continuing through the park, I started to develop a headache, possibly a result of the altitude. Once we’d gone lower, I took a nap in the car while Spencer walked one of the shorter trails.

Another scenic view in the Rocky Mountains

Our stopping point that night was in Frisco. Accommodation was expensive but largely aimed at skiers. Out of season in late June, it was easy to find a room and we stayed in the newly opened Alpine Inn. Although it was a pleasant evening, we ate inside a restaurant in town to avoid the mosquitos the plagued the outdoor seating.

The Alpine Inn, Frisco, Colorado

Back at the motel, HBO was showing a programme of TV from around the world, where, quite bizarrely, England was represented by Eurotrash.

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