Estes Park, CO - 8/27
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Since it was only an hour or two's drive to Estes Park, CO (the gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park), we had a leisurely morning.  Around 11:00 am, we finally pulled out but stopped just two miles down the road at Jolly Jack's Fireworks.  Evidently, all types of fireworks are legal in Wyoming.  And why not?  There's nothing in the state to burn except for grass and flies.  I'll bet fireworks are not allowed in Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons (the only remaining hope for Wyoming).  Anyhow, I stocked up on a small supply of "explosives" for some future celebration or the next 4th of July before departing.

About an hour down the road, we turned west on US-36 at Lovelock, CO.  We made a brief stop at the visitor center and picked up some literature on the park.  According to the pamphlets, the only chance for us to stay in a National Forest campground in the park was two campgrounds.  Aspenglen would take rigs up to 30 feet (ours is 33 but we weren't going to tell them) and Moraine that would take them up to 35 feet.

Another hour later, we were entering the park.  The ride up to Estes Park was filled with beautiful scenery.  Denise snapped a few pictures for you from the truck as we drove through. (Please ignore the big yellow bug splat.)  

Aspenglen was closest to the entrance we used.  We drove through the campground but quickly realized that there was no water available near any of the sites that would accommodate us.  Because we planned on staying up to 11 days, this was a problem as we would need to refill the fresh water tank occasionally.

Next, we drove through Moraine but found no success there either.  So it was back to Estes to find a basic RV park.  They seemed all about the same.  Big parking lots with the spaces all in a row.  No trees or privacy.  But then again, they don't make money by wasting space.  We finally settled on Mary's Lake at $30 per night but it has all the amenities including cable TV (around 60 channels).  Plus they are very nice people and went out of their way to try and find us a space through the upcoming Labor Day weekend.

We didn't realize that Labor Day would have such an impact on getting a space in or near Rocky Mountain National Park.  But then again, we didn't know that we are only about an hour away from Denver.  The people at Mary's Lake helped us squeeze into a 30 foot space so that we are guaranteed a space through Saturday night.  And if there's a cancellation, then we'll be able to stay as long as we wish without moving.  Otherwise, we will have to move to the overflow area for Sunday night and then after the weekend, we can move back.

So to assure our space, we paid through Sunday night even though I hate to pay that far in advance as you never know what might happen and cause you to leave earlier than expected.  But in this situation, there's not other reasonable choice as we really anticipate being here.

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