Friday, July 11, 2008

Continuing Our Rocky Mountain Interlude

Wednesday and Thursday

How lovely to wake up in Rocky Mtn Natl Park. Wednesday was an especially cool morning – 45 degrees outside and 57 degrees inside our van. Alan turned on the van furnace and within ten minutes the temperature rose to a toasty 67. It was quiet with lovely views and mixed sites – so on one side of us were tenters and on the other side a bus-sized RV.

We hiked both days, six to eight miles, starting out between 8 and 8:30 am. We like to get out first thing in the morning, because we are both more energetic and also to avoid the hot sun or thunderstorms more prevalent later in the day, and certainly to escape the crowds.

First day we walked about a mile to the trailhead and then took Cub Lake Trail to Fern Lake Trail, and the Pool,. Thursday we drove to the Glacier Gorge trail, walked past Alberta Falls and on to Mills Lake and Jewel Lake.

The trails presented many wonders including a variety of wildflowers, running water, calm lakes with shallow pristine water, rock ledges, and narrow tree bridges. The paths were uneven and variable, changing from relatively flat dusty areas to stone steps to stone outcroppings, with shaded and sunny open parts. Steep climbs and hardy elevation changes – the campground is at 8100 feet and we rose another 750 feet each day (but the day we drove in we started much higher and ended at almost 10,000 feet) – an added challenge!

When we returned from the hike on Wednesday, we decided that we would like to extend our time there. Our original reservation was for two nights so we walked over to the ranger station to make arrangements. Suffice to say that this encounter renewed our skepticism about federal workers, at least enough to balance out my previous idealization of their intelligence coupled with the knowledge and commitment I’ve written about.

Other highlights of those two days…Tuesday was the first day since we started that we did not drive at all. A pleasure. We also tried the on board shower. It is small and reminiscent of the first European “water closets” that I encountered in the early 1970s. The shower is the bathroom with a drain on the floor. But this one even smaller than even the ones I used in B&Bs many decades ago. Still, wonderfully refreshed when done (as my good friend Barbara says, attributing it to her college room mate, “Take a shower, you’ll feel like a million bucks.”

So what did you do today that made you feel that pricey??

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