June 20, 2020 Estes Park/RMNP, CO (Day 8)

Happy Wedding Day to my brother, Randy and his new wife, Jane! We wish you much happiness in the coming years. Live well, laugh often, love much! We can’t be with them today, but thank goodness for Zoom. We will attend the wedding in California virtually. We look forward to seeing them in the the next couple of weeks when we meet up with them to do some camping near Flaming Gorge. Can’t wait! We got up later than usual and hung out until the wedding began at 10:30 via Zoom. The sky showed that the cold front that moved through the area yesterday was on the way out.

It was nice to be able to see the ceremony as it happened and to wish them the best of luck!

Happy 1st day of summer! After viewing the wedding, we hopped in the Jeep to check out some gravel roads that we saw on the park map. We had an entry window of 10-12 AM into the park, but when we got in line to enter the park, it was after 12:00. No worries! If you have a reservation for any time slot, you can still enter the park at any time. On weekends, the rangers set up a pre-checkpoint which allows them to turn anyone around without a reservation. The line to get into the park was at least a mile long and went all the way to the edge of town.

It took us awhile, but we finally moved through that checkpoint and on to the entrance station.

At last, we were in! Our first stop was at the meadows in the Moraine Park area where the elk herd was bedded down.

We saw a few bulls in the group, but it was mostly does and calves.

We continued on to the Cub Lake Trailhead on paved roads with great views of the surrounding mountains.

From there, the rest of the road was gravel which is what we were looking for. It was an opportunity to get a little deeper into the area of the park that the average person couldn’t go. If you were a hiker, there were limited areas to park and then you would have to hike the rest of the way into the trailhead.

The road took us to the Fern Lake Trailhead. I had wanted to hike to Fern Falls (2.4 miles one way) earlier in the week. but it was too late in the day to start it today, so we’ll save it for another time.

The mountain views were awesome, but we especially liked watching this cloud as it changed shape with the upper atmosphere winds.

It was a mostly sunny day, but the breeze was brisk and at times, chilly. Shorts and fleeces were the attire for the day. The temp hovered around 70.

After enjoying the views, we left there and drove to the Upper Beaver Meadows Trailhead.

This was another gravel road that we wanted to explore with the Jeep. It was no big shakes, but it was fun to get off the beaten path. The road took us past a picnic area and then to the Beaver Meadows Trailhead itself. From there, we could look out over the meadow where the sign said the elk would gather. It was a pretty place with a stream flowing nearby.

We pulled off on the side of the road to let another vehicle pass and the gauges in the Jeep told us we were at 11 degrees roll (side to side). That’s a handy little gauge to have. (Not that you couldn’t tell when you’re actually in it, leaning!)

Bob took out the binoculars to check out the nearby rocky hillsides for Bighorn Sheep. None were to be found. We did see a magpie that came walking around the Jeep and wouldn’t leave. They have very distinctive markings.

There were quite a few fly fisherman out today trying their luck in catching that elusive trout.

On the road back to the campground, Bob spotted a mule deer hidden in the trees. It might be the same one we’ve seen the last few days.

As we left the park, the line was still backed up to enter.

Entering the campground, we spotted this cute little 50’s or 60’s vintage camper. Check out the chrome and the eyebrow over the back window. It was beautifully restored.

Back at the bus, we made a few phone calls to family. Then Auggie and I sat outside working on my blog (me, not Auggie) while Bob did a little washing of the outside of the slide walls that sit inside the bus when the slides are pulled in. All that dust and dirt would be brought into the bus tomorrow when we leave for Breckenridge, Silverthorne, and Vail over Independence Pass and through the Eisenhower Tunnel. Bob joined us when he finished and we watched the line going into the park slowly dwindle as it neared 4 PM. We can see the line from our campsite.

We love the mountain views in the park and especially the one from our campsite. I could sit on the hill behind our bus and look at it all day and never get tired of it. We’ll miss that!

We had dinner and did our evening walk. The campground was the fullest it’s been since we arrived 8 days ago, but others will move on just as we will tomorrow. We have thoroughly enjoyed our stay in Estes Park and visiting RMNP. It is such a beautiful park with lots to offer. The wildlife is awesome!

1 thought on “June 20, 2020 Estes Park/RMNP, CO (Day 8)”

  1. Feels like I am right there with you on your trip. Super good coverage Cindy. I will be checking all your posts but may not comment on them all. Stay healthy and safe.

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