We bid farewell to the Super 8, with one more shower and a top up of the ice in the cooler, not to mention first and second breakfast. We followed the Google Maps fastest route to our campsite in Rocky National Park. In retrospect I should have been a bit more inquisitive about the roads. Turning onto Colorado Highway 1 there is a friendly unofficial sign: “IT’S A DIRT ROAD TO HIGHWAY 9 BUT YOUR CAR WILL BE OK”. I checked the distance to Highway 9. It’s 22 miles. Paula, who does the driving was not amused. As dirt roads go it was a pretty good one, though, wide and relatively smooth, though with a fair amount of gravel in patches, and dogleg bends up the hills. We survived.
Trail Ridge Roads crossed Rocky Mountain National Park from East to West, climbing up to the highest visitor center in the entire National Parks Service, at over 11,000 feet. The views are spectacular.
However, we did not spend much time admiring them, as it is really cold up there, and we were dressed for the desert. How cold was it? A few minutes after we arrived it started hailing. We headed down the eastern side of the mountains to Moraine Park Campground.
Yep, we are camped on a moraine, lumpy and wooded. It’s a pretty nice spot. There are mule deer wandering through, and down in the valley a herd of female elk are eagerly awaiting the start of the mating season.