During the pandemic many of us took advantage of zoom presentations on all kinds of topics. I heard wildlife photographers talk about the number of photos they take and needing time to actually look at the thousands of photos! It’s hard for me to imagine I would ever be looking at photos months later, but now I understand the challenge. During this trip I have had to find time to look through my, not thousands per day, many photos, identify birds new to me, enter checklists into eBird, write a blog post covering a day or two, and still find time to eat, shower, relax and sleep! And I also wondered what happened at Wimbledon, the Tour de France, the Olympics and the rest of the world? I felt so disconnected from the world, but thanks to my partner, family and friends news of any importance did get to me. Thankfully too many programs are being recorded for me to watch when I return home.
So the morning of day 41 of this travel adventure, I decided to stay put and work on my blog so when I get home I have only a final trip post to write. It is also easier to get a wifi connection when everyone else is out and about, but they will be back streaming all kinds of things soon as they sit in their air-conditioned travel trailer or motorhome! Tenting does not allow one to get away from the heat and since the pandemic limits comfortably staying at a library or restaurant it has been a challenge compared to how it would have been if everything was open. When will we be out of this pandemic!?!
When I checked in at the campground at 1:00pm, I learned I could enter Rocky Mountain National Park with no reservation if I arrive after 3pm. So off I went! (Others had to reserve a 2 hour time block for arrival and the reservation had to be on a written paper if they wanted to arrive anytime between 6am and 3pm. Park rules are now regulating the number of people entering per 2 hour time blocks.) On my way to the park I stopped at Coyote Ridge Natural Area. The Fort Collins, Colorado area has many such areas as they try to get the land back to its natural state and enhance its value for wildlife. These photos are just a couple of many.
I have visited Rocky Mountain National Park a few times. Wow has the town of Estes Park grown in size! The beautiful historic Stanley Hotel is still a beautiful site as I can only imagine it really was when in 1909 it was first opened to city folk visiting the wilderness, and it is still quite impressive! Of course, now most people know Stephen King had spent a night here in the 1970’s and was inspired to write “The Shining”. Fortunately as history records, the hotel is restored and people can now book rooms, meals and spa treatments.
Here’s a photo of what was ahead of me:
I drove into the park and was limited on the amount of time I would spend since I wanted to be back to the campground before dark, plus the road through Thompson Canyon is with quite a few curves. But I found a couple of places to relax, read about the Woodpecker Army, the CCC group that helped build the roads and places in this park, and have my dinner. Although it was an hour’s drive to get here it was nice to be at a higher elevation with more coolness than the Fort Collins campground.