Nowhere gives you that quintessential “on the road” view through your windshield quite like northern Colorado, huh?
After skirting the town of Estes Park and taking a quick peek at The Stanley Hotel, which inspired Stephen King to pen The Shining and create its spooky counterpart, The Overlook, it was onward and upward to Rocky Mountain National Park.
RoMo (hold your applause – I wish I could take credit for that, but I stole it from the NPS) was icy and blue and really felt like wilderness. If we were going to see bears on our roadtrip, it would have been here (spoiler alert: we didn’t).
Roughly half of the park was closed due to snow by this point, but we ended up arriving later in the day than we’d planned to anyway, so just had to accept the fact that we weren’t going to get to see every inch of this one.
The photos are a bit dark because we were once again experiencing a phenomenon of being in the mountains. The sun was still relatively high in the sky, but it had dipped behind the peaks, leaving us with bright blue overhead and shadows everywhere else.
Making do, we found an open parking lot, dug our scarves and mittens out from underneath our sandy Arizona flip flops (remember wayyy back when I said it would seem amusing that we were ever in summer gear? we’re there), and took ourselves on a nice little nature walk around Bear Lake.
Well, I am about 80% sure it was Bear Lake.
Despite its (probable) name, there was nary a bear to be seen and it was getting more freezing by the second.
We bundled ourselves back into Kokapelli and headed for the exit, making a quick stop at (85% sure) Sprague Lake, which was a bit more marshy.
It was a long detour for a relatively short time spent in the park, but it was made more than worthwhile as color started spreading across the sky.
Good old RoMo treated us to one of the most spectacular sunsets I’ve ever seen.
Guys. I know I’m probably the boy who cried wolf about sunsets by now, and I’m also probably the boy who cried wolf about landscapes looking like Bob Ross painted them, but seriously. Take a good look and tell me those strokes DON’T look like they were painted by a happy little fan brush. You can’t.
The display also provided a nice backdrop for Kokapelli to show off his sassy side.
How we didn’t make it in to the Escape Campervans marketing materials with this shot, I’ll never know.
The Details: $20 entry fee per vehicle | Open year-round, usually with significant closures due to snow in the winter | Website HERE