Monday, September 3, 2012


The drive this morning reminded us why we do this and love this travel sooooo much!!   After being parked for three months in the same spot, the drive this morning was wonderful, beautiful, exciting – just the way we like it.

Our favorite roads to travel are the “green dot” roads – the scenic highways designated by little green dots on our atlas.  The entire trip this morning – from the time we left Steamboat Springs – was a green dot road.  Our warm up for the morning was a climb to 9,426’ through Rabbit Ears Pass –

I wonder where Rabbit Ear Pass got its name?

THEN our turn onto US Highway 34 – The Trail Ridge Road – Rocky Mountain NP’s highway to the sky!!  OMG - what an adventure.

First stop – the obligatory NP sign – 

Two old timers.

Next - our trip of 48 miles through the western side of the park – across the top of the world – and down into Estes Park on the eastern side of the park.  It is what lies in between that makes your heart stop.  And – all the wonderful photos in the world will not do the scenery justice.  But, we shall try.

The Trail Ridge Road follows an old Ute Indian Trail along the mountaintops.  It is not only a 'Green Dot Road' but is also one of ten of America’s Byways and a national designated All American Road.  The maximum grade of the road does not exceed 7% - but, in order to accomplish that there are a lot of hairpin turns to the next traverse.

So many hairpins they need to number them.

Eight miles of the road are above the tree line - or above 11,000’ where the park’s evergreen forests come to a halt.  After climbing to these heights, it is always fun to stop and look back down from whence one came – 

From whence we came.

Or it is fun to look up to see how much higher one is going to travel thru the tundra’s vastness – 

Still climbing up through the tundra.

Note the snow ‘sticks’ marking the road - preparing for when the snow flies.  The road is so narrow in spots that there are many of these ‘sticks’ that have been snapped in half!!  I am VERY happy to say that our mirrors did NOT snap one of these sticks;-)  Although, there were a few curves that I was not sure about?!?!?

Top of the world?? Yes - literally!! 

There were a few REALLY nerve-racking spots where the road dropped off several hundred feet – there was NO guardrail – AND the road was VERY narrow.  This picture was taken with me standing on the passenger seat while Gary was driving through one of these sections.  Still gives me vertigo just looking at the picture – 

And no guard rails!

SO – we are back on the roads we love.  Green dots, narrow, beautiful views, not too much traffic – what more could you ask for?!?!?  (Maybe to live another day to tell another tale!)

More excitement later – E & G 

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