Two weeks ago I was camping under the stars in Rocky Mountain National Park...
Our campsite (Yes, that's Long's Peak in the distance)
Boyfriend, his family and I took 1.5 days to caravan to Colorado and because we took our time, it was nice to not be rushed and just enjoy the journey. We arrived in the park late Sunday afternoon, set up camp, ate some grub and passed out. Monday we took our time getting up, eating breakfast and just adjusting to the mountains and outdoors. Later, a small group of us hiked up to Bear Lake and Nymph Lake, and I went on my own to Alberta Falls. B-e-a-utiful! These hikes seemed pretty easy and gave me the confidence to try a harder and higher elevation hike the next day...
Nymph Lake - my favorite!
So the boyfriend and I took to Trail Ridge Road, went all around the sharp turns which made my stomach flip, and eventually made it to Milner's Pass along the Continental Divide. At about 11,000 feet elevation, I began to wish that I had trained, even just a little before the trip for hiking. I sucked down water from my camel pack and prayed I didn't pass out along the trail. After telling myself many times "We're almost at the tree line" and many mosquito bites later, we reached the top of the tree line. Wheeeew! It was cold up there and we continued to get bit by mosquitoes (which we later learned is a hot topic among the locals), but getting to the top of the tree line was worth it. Reaching the summit was not really a goal of mine, or boyfriend's, especially after the hike to that point being rougher than anticipated, so we found some rocks, had some lunch with a spectacular view, and headed down the mountain.
Which way should I go?
Our stop at the top of the tree line on Milner's Pass After the hike, we headed to Estes Park for dinner and walked around to some of the shops. Then went back to camp and had fresh made ice cream! Freshly made ice cream during camping, you ask? OH yes. Emily and family brought their ice cream making ball from REI and so perplexed by the idea, we decided to test it out. So you put in sugar, vanilla and cream into a cylinder in the middle of the ball and in the surrounding parts of the ball you ice and rock salt to cool and freeze the contents. Then you close it all up and vigorously shake the ball - it took us about 30-ish minutes for the concoction to turn into real ice cream! It was awesome!! What a great end to a camping trip.
Last night in the park; just beautiful.
Sadly, the next day boyfriend and I had to fly home because we only have so much vacation time at our jobs (btw, this was my first paid vacation!! wooo hooo!!), but the rest of his family stayed for a few more days. We headed out of RMNP and met up with some friends for lunch and dinner and then flew home.
Now I'm already trying to figure out when I can go back and I'm trying real hard to keep my rambling feet still. Hopefully there will be more mountains in my future.