We drove back towards Denver, heading for the Rocky Mountain National Park this morning. It was a long but beautiful road with dramatic scenery all the way along. We arrived at the Park Entrance in the early afternoon and drove the Trail Ridge Road up into the Park and across to Estes Park our next – and last – stop.
The views from this road were absolutely stunning. The weather had turned much colder during the drive and as we gained elevation. The car recorded a low of 42 degrees F during the afternoon. It really does feel as though you are driving across the top of the world here – it js just so remote and beautiful. We crossed the Continental Divide and did a couple of short hikes to get a feel for the Park.
It was absolutely FREEZING cold on the top – we had reached an elevation of 12,000 feet by now. It gives you a whole new level of respect for those hardy little mountain tundra plants.
We reached the Wildwood Inn by early evening and checked in. This isn’t a room – it is a small house! As we had full kitchen facilities, We decided to self cater for a couple of days. Shopping in the nearby supermarket was a whole new experience. Everything seems so much larger and more colourful here than back home. Finding the things you are used to being able to buy back home isn’t as easy as you would think though. We felt like a small bag of kettle chips as a treat – all they had was massive bags and no plain – all the flavours were very strong (BBQ, jalapeño etc.), so we made do with Pringles. (I have fancied one of those ever since we sat next to the family who had remembered their picnic at Riverside geyser mind you!). We wanted some orange juice for breakfast a2litre carton was the smalles we could find! Even though we share the same language, this country suddenly felt so foreign to me in so many ways. I am interested to see what the applewood smoked bacon rashers we bought will taste like tomorrow morning and am also looking forward to my first cup of English tea in what seems like for ever …