How lucky am I? The day I plan to see Rocky Mountain NP is free to everyone. It seems that the Park is celebrating its birthday, or more precisely, the day it became a national park, and to show appreciation to the public, waived the twenty dollar admission fee. This was good news to droves of tourists swarming the park, but bad news to yours truly, who incidentally, gets in free everyday. I should have waited another day, but I figured how bad could it be. As it turned out, quite bad.
The day was warm and sunny with just a slight chance of afternoon showers. I parked my van at the visitors center in Estes Park and unloaded my motorcycle. I was carefully to take extra clothes for warmth at higher altitude, and I brought a lunch I planned to eat at some picturesque spot in the mountains. Almost immediately I realized it was a mistake to insert myself into what can only be described as a traffic jam on the mountain.
The drive up the mountain highway was not that bad. Some cars would stop in the road to take in a view or watch a herd of elk but mostly keep moving along, but at the scenic pullouts and overlooks, it was impossible to even find a parking spot for a motorcycle. I finally made it to the top of the Trail Ridge Road. At 12,183 feet it is the highest major road in North America. There was still snow in patches and definitely cold. I enjoyed the ride but was glad to turn around and descend to warmer weather. When you are in the mountains it seems like they go on forever.
Tonight I am at a campground in Pawnee National Grasslands. It is pretty hot here but there are nice shade trees to sit under. I spent s lot of time this afternoon spritzing.