Road Trip! (Part 1)

Occasionally we will pack a small bag, leave the RV at the campground, and take a 2-3 day trip in the car to some place on our “Bucket List.” It has been a really long time since we have done a little trip like this.

We were excited to finally feel like our lives were at least getting a little bit “back to normal” (since COVID-19 we have all felt like our lives would never feel normal again). So, we booked two hotels, one night at each, and headed out on July 1st. With suitcase in hand, we set out for Rocky Mountain National Park.

We drove about an hour to the town of Estes Park for our first night. Even though we were way early for check in, we stopped at our hotel anyway. They actually had a room disinfected and ready for us, so we checked in. Of course, we took our own disinfecting wipes and wiped down everything we would be touching again. I am not a bit paranoid about cleanliness, am I? 😊

It was a really good thing that we did check in early. There were things we did NOT know about going into national parks these days!

The lady at the desk told us that because of the virus you could only enter the park with what they call a “timed entry ticket.” It’s a ticket you get online that allows you to go in the park at a certain time (they don’t want too many people “bunched up” going in at the most popular times).

(NOTE: If you are wanting to visit a national park, historic site, etc, you might want to call ahead and check about changes made because of COVID-19. You can also go online to the National Park web site to get timed entry passes: http://www.recreation.gov)

It makes sense, but we had no idea about this! We went online to get tickets, and the first date we could get for a morning entry was July 12th! WOW! Needless to say, we were somewhat upset.

That’s when the hotel lady told us that you can enter the park without an entry ticket any time before 6:00 a.m. or after 5:00 p.m. Welllll, now we had to reevaluate our plans. UGH!

Since our hotels were booked and we didn’t want to put off seeing the park until July 12th, we decided to “bite the bullet” and enter according to the before 6 a.m. and after 5 p.m. times. We weren’t going to enter the park until 5:00 p.m., so we drove around that afternoon. Here are some photos of the drive to Estes Park and the surrounding area.

That first day we entered at slightly after 5:00 p.m., and the next morning we got up at 4:30 a.m. and were at the park entrance by 5:40 a.m.! For those of you who know me – – I am NOT a morning person! 😝 However, I made the best of it; the late evening and early morning sun and animal sitings made it worth it!

Also, if you’ve followed my blog for very long, you know I take about a zillion pictures of beautiful places. Rocky Mountain National Park was no exception. I won’t bore you with all the pics; I will try to share just the most gorgeous ones.

We entered the park at Fall River Entrance Station after 5:00 p.m. We had decided to travel the eastern side of the park (a left turn at the T intersection) that led back to Estes Park and left the park at Beaver Meadows Entrance Station. Here are a few of those pictures:

The next morning we entered at Fall River Entrance again and turned right at the T intersection. This route took us across the northern part of the park (accessible by road anyway) to the western side of the park and then south to Grand Lake Entrance Station. It also took us to the highest elevation accessible by car: 12,183 feet. The views were spectacular!

After we left the park, we drove to our hotel in Fraser, CO (Fraser is between Granby and Winter Park), to spend the night. Needless to say, we were very tired and ready for a nap after getting up SO EARLY!!

So, for now ….. “On the Road Again!”

Betty

We Are ACTUALLY Back “On the Road Again!”

May 1st was my last post. It has been a strange time in the history of the world. COVID-19 has changed so much about our lives.

We left Texas in early April and worked our way back to Missouri. We arrived in Springfield, Missouri around the middle of April. My husband’s mom lives in Springfield. The first 2-3 weeks we only visited her on nice days and sat outside her apartment complex while social distancing. After we were sure we hadn’t picked up any illnesses while traveling, we started visiting inside her apartment. We always play a lot of Skip Bo when we are together which wasn’t any different this time. What WAS different is that I won several games! It shocked me as well as my husband and his mom!! 😂

After about six weeks in Springfield, we headed northeast to the St. Louis area to visit my dad. Dad lives south of STL in Arnold, MO. We planned our visit back to Missouri a little later this spring because on June 1st my dad turned 90 years young. We were going to have a big 90th birthday party, but COVID-19 kind of put a stop to that. 😥 We did celebrate by having his yard decorated. He was certainly surprised when he woke up on his birthday and saw the yard!

We also celebrated dad’s birthday with my sister and her husband (they live a couple of houses up from dad) and their son and his wife. It is tradition in our family that the birthday person gets to choose what is on the menu for their birthday dinner. Dad chose steak, baked potatoes, corn on the cob, salad, and cake, of course. It was a great dinner which included a zoom call with all the rest of the family wishing dad a “Happy Birthday.”

The zoom call was chaotic but SO fun. Dad REALLY enjoyed it!

After spending a month in the STL area, we finally left on May 23rd for our summer destination – Colorado! It will take us several days of traveling before we get to our first Colorado stop. Hopefully we will be able to visit the parks and do some other sight-seeing things in the area without COVID interfering with our plans. We will see when we arrive. I’ll be in touch.

So, for now ….. “On the Road Again!”

Betty

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