Today we are up early, had a quick breakfast and then we are heading out to explore Rocky Mountain National Park. The first of many National Parks that we will visit this summer. In the breakfast room of the hotel is a neat piece of folk art. A map of the USA made out of State licence plates.
We stopped for a photo opportunity at Lake Loveland.
We followed US 34 out of Loveland and headed towards RMNP.
Stopped at the side of the road to take some photos of 3 Big Horn Sheep that were along the side of the road. All the road signs warn you to watch for wildlife.
We entered RMNP and bought a National Park pass that is good for a year and will allow us to enter each of the National Parks on the rest of our vacation for free rather than pay the entrance fee at each park.
US 34 through the park is also called The Trail Ridge Road. The elevations on this road are between 8000 and 12000 feet. It is the highest continuous paved highway in the US. As you will see in our photos, it is also the highest road construction site in the US as the road crews and equipment tear up and re-pave the road. There were several 15 minute delays due to construction. We are here for the scenery, so to be stopped for 15 minutes is not such a bad thing with all the spectacular scenery around us.
We drove through the rock cut and stopped at the Alpine Visitors Center for more photos and a bite of lunch. You can see the logs on the roof of the Visitor Center, these logs actually hold the roof onto the building because during the winter, the winds can be as strong as 150 mph and would tear the roof right off the building.
There is snow up here at 12,000 ft. The temp is 12 C. Rather chilly for shorts and T-shirt.
Road construction and heavy equipment
You really must visit my FLICKR site to see all of the photos, I took 200 photos today and there is just no way to put them all in this blog.
We crossed over the Continental Divide.
Saw a herd of Mule Deer.
We also saw an Elk that was grazing along the side of the road.
We drove along the Bear Lake Road till it dead ended at Bear Lake.
Then drove US 34 back to our hotel in Loveland CO.
Tomorrow we will head North from Rocky Mountain National Park into Wyoming.