From South Dakota we headed to Estes Park, CO with the intent of driving through Rocky Mountain Park again, for no reason other than it is awesome. I confess there may be a bit of bias there, but it is for good reason.
On our last visit, the trail ridge road was closed at the alpine visitor's center and there was at least 15 feet of packed snow. This year, you can tell that the total is somewhat different. The two visits were about 3 weeks apart in terms of time of year so I'm certain that made a significant difference. This meant we could drive the entire road.
It's so lovely. Jim was happy to see elk and reminisce about when we stayed here two years ago and he went running through a giant herd of elk on the way back to our campsite.
I was happy to drool over the gorgeousness of it all and end up in a lengthy facebook discussion with a cousin who is convinced Utah has better mountains. Utah may have better snow and more accessible skiing (I'll give him that), but there is not a chance the mountains are more picturesque than those in Colorado.
After crashing for the night and taking a real shower (sweet, blessed joy) we drove the park and headed to Denver where we visited my Grandparents and a dear cousin. After talking way. too. late. into the night/morning we crashed for a few hours and then made our way back to Utah to reunite with our kids.
By the time we arrived I was about to swear off car trips for a while. Then cute smiles and happy hugs replenished my zest for life and made me feel like I could endure the trip home in a couple days.
Colorado antelope count: 14