Happy Trails CO15: Trail Ridge Road, Rainbow Curve, Huffer Hill, Continental Divide

And on This Day, we planned on visiting the Stanley Hotel and did. Then, Sis took me through Estes Park-proper. Now, I’ve heard of Estes Park my entire life and I thought that meant it was a state or national park. Turns out, it’s a township but I suppose there may be a park called the same. At any rate, there are lots of parks and areas such-like in and about Estes Park.

I think Sis couldn’t quite grasp that I didn’t want to tromp about the town with the other tourists. Apparently, her family and friends usually  want –demand to do just that. I would rather jump in a lake. -really

Or in the instance of most things this ‘tour,’ take a hike. -really

She asked if I’d like to do Trail Ridge Road. I replied with my norm: It’s all new to me. Let’s do it!

Some thirty years ago, Spike took The Duchess on a ride through some of Colorado. When Spike was a little asshole, he lumberjacked in the mountains of Colorado. Many boys from the Ozark Mountains ‘summered’ -not the usual sense, eh? as lumberjacks cos if there’s a few things we know, it’s roughing it and cutting down trees. Yes, the Ozark Mountains are old and tired, they’re sweet, rolling and mounds and ravines, springs and streams with rivers that are clear and cold. The mountains of Colorado are quite bit younger! They’re uppity and pointy and proud but we ain’t askert of none of that.

fine acting skills remake of The Duchess

fine acting skills remake of The Duchess

Anyhoozles, Dutch grew up a Flatlander on the border of Canada with cousins down the road as Canadians and she fancies sticking closer to sea level. There exists (sorry to not have it for you) a photograph of mum sitting on one of these stone ‘guard rails’ along Trail Ridge Road. Now, what’s funny is that I’m powerfully afraid of heights but this was fine (unless I looked over). When Dutch did it, she was not acting. It’s probably the ugliest photo she ever made. Dad had to toss her up onto the wall and she couldn’t get down, so she was trapped, which is pretty funny since he’s an asshole and she’s worse. Well, back then. Now, they’re grand. We had to reenact the moment. -impressive acting skills, yes? And I’ve never had a class!

As we went along Trail Ridge Road, we came to the well-marked ‘Rainbow Curve.’ I’m told there are often rainbows here. There wasn’t a rainbow when I was there but it is a lovely outlook. There were also tons of tourists. -and pit toilets! I’m a fan of frequent chances to pee

People were –illegally feeding the birds and chipmunks. Also, unfortunately, Sis failed to photograph the chipmunk that JUMPED ONTO MY LAP. I was not feeding them. -I’m a Hillbilly, we don’t feed wildlife unless we’re convincing them that being Right There is a Good Idea because we want to Eat Them

The wee bastard was so slight, I didn’t feel it! I looked down, where my iPhone was in my left hand, crossed over my right, in time to see him raise up on his haunches to put his front paws on my phone. Fucker! I said Sis’ name in a whisper three times and she finally turned to see him leap off but no proof. Poop.

You have to kinda look closely. I don't want to use filters or jack with the natural loveliness, so squint or hit command and + or control and + to zoom

You have to kinda look closely. I don’t want to use filters or jack with the natural loveliness, so squint or hit command and + or control and + to zoom

We reached Trail Ridge Road Lodge -read: gift shop and larger pit toilets after it had closed for the day. I didn’t mind but it was sort of fun to see the workers pile out and cram into a large van to commute down off the mountain. I noticed a rainbow -not at MT delighted at Trail Ridge Road LodgeRainbow Curve but here, at Trail Ridge Road Lodge and snapped some video for perspective and photo for purty. I also was extremely pleased with the surroundings!

Huffer Hill Trail headThen, I noticed people walking up a hill. Trail Ridge Road Lodge is at 11,796 ft elevation. The summit is at 12,500 ft up Huffer Hill. I headed in that direction. Please note, this is steeper than it looks, there’s a turn at what appears as the top in this photo and you go higher again and bear in mind: this is TWELVE THOUSAND AND FIVE HUNDRED FEET ELEVATION. Unless you’re training at high altitudes, this kicks your ass. Men, women, children and very, very fit athletic teens were all whining.

‘You aren’t going to hike the rest of the way?’ In spite of the prevailing winds, I heard Sis but didn’t turn back. ‘HELLZ, YEAH!’

Cos: I’ve never been here before. Why not?

I had to sit down three times. I’d like to add that I do not do altitudes above 5,000 ft well. I have a prescription because I’ve had life-threatening altitude sickness. At the summit, there was a nice family from Wisconsin taking photos and offered to photograph me.

YAY!!!Don’t you know who showed up, after all? Sis! I had clambered to the highest rock and as I came down to greet her, used her shoulder without asking cos SISTER. I’ve grabbed onto her for almost 40 years when off-balance or in water over my head. -she’s handily 6′ 

And down we went. Shortly, we came to a lake. People were fishing for rainbow trout but that’s not enough to make us -me shut up. I forget the name of the lake (there are a few, mostly named women’s names? This could’ve been Lake Marie cos that was one) but I’ll remember it for Sis mentioning Hamm’s, me starting to sing and her doing backup vocals. Awesome! And if you notice the mentalist being completely an ahole, there’s me. Again.

They played these ads when we were little. Proof that we did a fabulous job:

I particularly like that they appealed to kids. Goodness knows it worked on us! I can’t remember shite but we can sing The Beer Refreshing, yo.

Then, to what did my wandering eyes should appear but–

‘Pull over!!!’

Continental DivideIt’s was the first time that I crossed the Continental Divide (by foot)! Luckily, some broad stopped, too, to document the Original East Coast/ West Coast Rumble. Apparently, I’m West Coast?

 

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