Sunday, 4 August 2013

208 Steamboat and Rocky Mountain High

Saturday 3rd August
Miles Today  206   Total  16,265.

Our aim today was to get to Estes Park, on our way to Denver, via as many scenic, and high mountain passes as possible.
The scenery, as is turning into the norm, was again stunning, and the temperature was several degrees lower than we have had, so it was very pleasant riding.

Another of those endless trains

We started off with relatively flat land and gradually started climbing higher.  We stopped in Hot Sulphur Springs for lunch and then went up through Grand Lake and entered the Rocky Mountain National Park.  
The first encounter with the wildlife was a female moose, not in the least concerned by all the people stopping to make her a star of their home movies.

This young lady was only 20m from the road
For the next couple of hours, we marveled at the scenery and saw a few of these guys.  Again, they were not bothered by the people.

These guys are just so used to people.

We reached a height of 12,206 feet, (3722metres) and at the top we saw this guy.

This guy was no youngster.

 The cyclist feat was even more amazing when you consider that not only had he ridden up to 12000 feet, it was also done in a weak atmosphere. On my watch below are millibars. At sea level there are around 1014 of them. Up here the air is only 65% as dense. This also plays havoc with engines too and they only produce 65% of their normal power.

The storms are brewing. We later discovered on the news that Denver had 7 tornadoes today. Luckily we missed all of then.

Having left the park, we reached Estes Park, which was crowded with people.  We had a brief look around, and infact stopped for tea.  There was no room at the inns, and the campsite was packed, so we did a wee bit more sight seeing.
This is a picture of the Stanley Hotel, which is where the film, The Shinning was made, with Jack Nicholson.

We finally found a motel at about 9pm in Westminster, just north of Denver, which is our next stop.
Today's route has been quite lovely with the views and the Rocky Mountain pass, was just incredible.
We keep thinking it can't get much better, but it does.

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