Day 4: Speechless

180 miles
15.2mpg
Timber Creek (RMNP):$20

But who cares.

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Nothing prepared me for just how beautiful Rocky Mountain National Park is. I had seen photos. Being there in person is overwhelming.

Started yesterday morning at 5am and left before six. After 1700 miles of flat cornfields, seeing the dark outline of vague mountains in the distance take form was very powerful.

Before the climb began, I took a moment to be thankful for diesel torque. Enough I-70 flatness: Time to put the TDI’s 406 lb-ft of torque to the test.

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The the climb began. Winding through a box canyon at first, then above the clouds. I’ll let the photos speak for themselves.*

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12,000ft+ elevations, 3-inch shoulders, tall sticks in place of guardrails. Should I have done some reading about this road first? Probably, but with each turn a CinemaScope panarama better than the last surprised me. I was driving on top of the world.

Overwhelmingly beautiful. It might have been the altitude sickness talking, but I found myself tearing up as the grandeur unfolded. Incredulous that a place like this existed.

But seriously, altitude sickness is no fun. Luckily, all I got was a headache, dizziness, and a hair-trigger crying reflex.

Both campgrounds on the eastern side of RMNP were reservation-only – and full. So I descended to a mere 8900 ft elevation and pulled in this first-come-first-serve dump called Timber Creek Campground.

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For the price of four Starbucks espresso beverages, I have that view, clean bathrooms, and paved spots. Mostly, that view.

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And I even found Apollo 19 a buddy to play with.

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Took a nap with this view.

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Took a little hike along the Colorado ricer. Then I baked banana bread and a Zook’s pot pie from Lancaster, Pa. Had a vodka tonic with a lovely recently-retired couple in the 20ft Airstream across the way. Watched a sunset, and went to bed. All while Apollo 19 quietly charged the batteries in the intense sunshine.

And woke up this morning to this.

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Going back up the “hill” to explore now…

*BTW, all these photos were taken, and this blog written, on my iPhone. Very low signal here, so low res. Please excuse my spelling and grammar. And I’ll post photos from my real camera later.

3 thoughts on “Day 4: Speechless

  1. Wow! The pictures are spectacular!
    We’re looking forward to seeing you here before long and there’s a laundry, etc. and a warm welcome awaiting you. Keep us posted as you get closer. Liz

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