Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Rocky Mountains

 This is my first proper view of Estes Park on the day after we arrived last Monday evening. Just look how lovely it is with all the mountains all around. We drove in and wandered around the town, it only has a population of 10,000; and we did a spot of shopping. We soon discovered that they only have gift/nick-nack shops and Rocky Mountains/Estes Park t-shirt shops. Apparently if you want to do real clothes shopping you have to drive to Boulder which is about 35 miles away.
The weather was bizarre while we were there. It was beautiful sunshine most of the time, but every now and then thunderstorms would roll in off the top of the mountains, rumbling so loud you could understand why Tolkien wrote about Stone Giants hurling rocks at each other. They didn't last long or rain much, but it was pretty interesting when it happened. We were playing crazy golf in the middle of the first one.
 One day we went to the top of Prospect Mountain on a cable car. There isn't much to do there but admire the view, visit the café and obligatory gift shop, but you can also buy peanuts to feed to the chipmunks and squirrels.
 We went for a drive into the National Park, the entrance is 4 miles from Estes Park. This is us at Sprague Lake. Beautiful. We saw a couple having wedding photos done there. We enjoyed the sunshine. Then 6 miles up the road we went to Bear Lake, 9700ft above sea level. The clouds rolled in, it thundered and so we didn't stay long because Caitlin and Ellie had decided to leave their rain coats at home!
 On our last evening we had pizza at Mikes house, which was right next to our cabin. It was a lovely evening. We chatted about all things to do with Estes Park and Barnstaple and our lives. It was surprising how much we had in common, including the fact that Ellie and Mike were in India at exactly the same time as each other two years ago. Weird.
  I loved the Rockies. Why couldn't I have lived there. Stupid financial crisis. Stupid American government.

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