We returned home after 9 pm tonight from our day trip to Rocky Mountain National
Park, specifically to drive Trail Ridge Road, the highest continuous
road in the U.S. It's one of our favorite places, partially because it spans
several biomes, including the Alpine Tundra, and because it feels so expansive and majestic, and puts us humans in perspective. It attests to the wonders of creation...
We drove up above 12,000 ft. where the temperature dropped to the 40s; there were huge 8-foot snow "canyons" on either side of the road, which had just been cleared on Friday for the season opening (the road above a certain altitude is closed from Labor Day to Memorial Day, generally, but some years the weather did not allow the road to be cleared until June).
On the western, Pacific side of the Continental Divide, we found a picnic area near a trail head, walked a little bit, and then sat down to a fleishig picnic of roast chicken wings, legs and thighs, quinoa salad, vegetable "crudites" with a pareve sour-cream-veggie dip. Oh, and did I mention instant split pea soup? We heated those with our single-burner camp stove, which we used for the first time--it worked--but we had to borrow a lighter from another Park visitor, when our matches wouldn't light. We topped it off with hot apple cider and vanilla cake (thanks, Mindy!).
Our new "SnowBaru" handled the drive and altitude beautifully. We even opened the moon-roof several times, which really brought light into the car (although I felt a little vulnerable with an open ceiling...). Again (I keep repeating myself), the only thing missing was...family.
Here are some pics from the short trip: enjoy!
You'd think the above sign is self-explanatory; NOT: we always see some foolhardy soul standing on the edge of a rock outcropping or on a dangerous snowfield. It is a miracle that we don't hear of more Park visitors plunging to their deaths; but it always scares me...