July 6th, Our first full day at Arapahoe National Recreation area. We got the last available spot for an RV here and that is good What is a little disappointing is that it definitely wouldn’t have been my first pick of spots. We are in a very rural place about 9 miles off a the main road. We traversed a dirt road to get here and our corner, literally a corner between two busy roads of hikers and campers and boaters it gets a lot of use. I am perplexed as to how there is space for everyone. We are a short walk between scenic Lake Granby, a man-made lake, and the Continental Divide Trail. We don’t intend to stay around the RV too much anyway. We are going to drive Allen’s car over to Grand Lake. When I say over I mean it.
We headed 9 miles over the dirt road and passed the Lake Granby Dam passed through the town of Granby and into Rocky Mountain National Park where we proudly showed our National Park Pass and headed on in. For several miles we drove on a beautiful gentle incline passing meadows and surrounded by snow peaked mountains over 12,000’. I was wishing for my bike on this 65 degree clear day. Soon we entered the forest area. This is Trail Ridge Road. A road built from 1926 -1932 to give anyone an opportunity to appreciate the majestic scenery and be on top of a mountain. When we got close to being above tree line we saw snow on this mountain in some shady areas. From a scenic outlook and there were many, I saw through my 10 x 42 binoculars a herd of Elk maybe 30 walking across a field of snow, the leader sporting large antlers. As we neared the top, our road formed into a series of tight switchbacks. We many minutes later saw perhaps another group of Elk as they were nearing a ridge. When we drove around the corner there were a herd of ELK mature and adolescent. We pulled into a parking area and watched this spectacular from approximately 200 yards away. It was an amazing experience. Yes, there was a gift shop and somehow it wasn’t at the top. but near the top. We drove past that and on to the top we parked and walked a crooked trail perhaps a 1/3 of a mile to 12,600’, we hiked through an endless carpet of hardy tiny greenery , a menagerie of delicate wild flowers, colorful lichen covered rocks and boulders as monuments of the beginning of time. On the way down I was a little frightened being a passenger on this small road on the steep edge of this National natural masterpiece. … I still want to (at least try) ride my bike over the top, maybe Monday. We ate lunch in Grand Lake. We had barbecue at an unpretentious little place, delicious. The only way to get back was the way we came.