Sunday, May 12th
So our plan to drive through Rocky Mountain National Park was a little ambitious. The road is closed until Memorial Day. Not surprising given that it tops out at 12,185 feet. Unfortunately I made an un-cancellable motel reservation at the other end of that drive, so we decided to work around that by doing some local stuff around Ft. Collins, Boulder and Denver and then making an end-run for our Super 8 internet blind date.
We started with breakfast in Ft. Collins (Denver omelets…I know) and then drove South out of town to Horsetooth Mountain State Park where we hiked for almost three hours. We did not summit the peak there, though Bill would have if he hadn’t been dragging his old man behind him like a sea anchor. As it was we must have covered about five miles and gained a thousand feet in altitude. The views in places were amazing. High, flat plains to the East, stretching to the horizon. Enormous snow covered rockies immediately to the West. Wow. Hiking with Bill is like chasing a goat. For his part, he did a lot of starting and stopping to accommodate my pace but I still spent most of the afternoon looking ahead for flashes of his white shirt. I’ve got to lose some weight.
The Sunday outing crowd was pretty thick, but we lost the Mothers’ Day contingent after about the first half hour. After that it was pretty much just mountain bikers and a couple on horseback. When we did run in to other hikers, they almost always had dogs with them. And not just one. Most couples had one each. I’m adding this to the native profile.
After that excursion we drove South again through Boulder. Another University town with lots of street activity downtown and beautiful little small lot neighborhoods. And, finally, we did a drive-by through Denver (Coors field, Mile High Stadium, etc) and took a little detour through Golden to pay homage to the Coors brewery there.
Then we took the long way out of town on Rte 6 which was a breathtaking and hair-raising introduction to the Rockies proper. Going to be quite a contrast from drag racing across South Dakota, that’s for sure. Now we’re in the mountains for real. We’ve stopped for the night in the old mining village at Georgetown, CO. Great little Super 8 motel here, by the way. And now off to find some dinner. And some beer.
Random notes from today: Everybody in Colorado is either in great shape, good shape, or pretends to be in shape – I’m not fitting in. Denver is ridiculous – they should rename it Sprawl. Bill and I are both on the verge of overload with scenery. Our motel in Georgetown is at 8,000 feet. I can feel minor effects of altitude but Bill doesn’t seem to notice it at all. Tomorrow we’re heading West on I-70 towards Utah. Once there, we’ll head South again and cut back through New Mexico and then over to Arizona en route to the Grand Canyon. Absolutely…must…clean…car…tomorrow.