We took a huge day trip – as in over a 200 mile day trip – through Rocky Mountain National Park. It is one of the larger and oldest of the National Parks. It is a very alpine park. It has 72 peaks that are above 12,000 feet in elevation. Nearly one third of the Park is above the treeline at 11,400 feet of elevation in this area. It has the highest major through highway in the United States – Trail Ridge Road -- topping out at 12,183 feet above sea level.
The Road has only been open a few days so far this year. Here is a shot of the sign at the continental divide that had to be shoveled out to be seen. The Road conditions were very good, but Gary had a bout of “height fright” as we were approaching the highest altitude of the road. He was doing great as we came up through the trees, but as we went up above the trees, not only were the trees gone that could hold you back if you went off the road but there were no guard rails either. We were still doing great as were were on the inside lane as we traversed the mountains, but then there was a hairpin turn switchback that put us on the outside lane for the next cross of the mountain. There was a visitor’s center right at the switch back so Gary pulled in there for a break. He didn’t feel comfortable to drive that next stretch across the side of the mountain so I drove it even though I was about as scared of it as he was. But we made it on up to the top and back down again, but for us it was about as scary a drive as it was beautiful a drive.
We’ll have more to report from Rocky Mountain in our next blog.