Day 352 – Golden to Estes Park CO

Today we were supposed to drive to Cheyenne WY and we had a 4 hour journey planned through a small part of Rocky Mountain National Park, through Estes Park CO, Fort Collins CO and accross the border into Wyoming to boondock for the evening.  We are heading to Mt. Rushmore and thought it would be nice to get a couple hundred miles under our belt today.

My family doesn’t much like boondocking or anything that has to do with being off-grid.  They are all a bit soft in my opinion.  So, when I suggest boondocking, it feels like they all start suggesting alternative plans.  

When we hit Estes Park, in the Rockies, Jenn suggested we stay for the night and put me on task to find a campground.  I called 4 different campgrounds before I found someone with room for our rig.

We drove across town and checked in around 5pm.  This might be the first time all year that we didn’t have a reserved campsite before we arrived someplace.  However, it all seemed to work out rather well.  Probably not a good idea for Yellowstone.

After we settled in at the campground, we drove up through Rocky Mountain National Park and saw some breathtaking views of the continental divide.  We drove about an hour into the mountains and reached an incredible scenic overlook at 12,092 ft. that just blew us away.

As you drive along the edge of the mountains you feel very small in comparison to everything around you.  It gives you the goose bumps when you take it all in.

As we neared the top we saw a moose, several dozen elk (which came onto the road), a few deer and even a marmot. 
I always loved the mountains and many of my friends and family thought I would end up living in Colorado.  I even considered the town of Estes Park as one of the places I could live.  

With all that said, I felt that Estes Park was to much of a tourist town.  Every licence plate in town was from a different state including mine. Lol
Additionally, I found that the cities of Denver and Boulder were too busy.  The cities are sprawling and every road is 2 or 3 lanes wide in each direction with traffic lights on every corner.  It’s not Queens or Brooklyn but, its busy like Houston TX or Miami, FL with mountains as your backdrop.  

I do love the mountains and I’m really glad that we are buying a home in Flagstaff, AZ.  Flag is a very beautiful city that hasn’t grown to big, doesn’t have the crush of traffic, you see here in Colorado, and gives us the opportunity to do something different all year long. 

We also have hiking trails in our backyard, the Grand Canyon about 1 – 1/2 hours north, a ski resort 30 minutes northwest, Sedona is 1/2 hour south and lets not forget the Phoenix/Scottsdale area (the valley) which is 2 1/2 hours south.  The valley is home to almost 5 million people and is so much fun to visit.  The 120 degree summer heat makes living in the valley hard for me to stomach but, a day trip to play golf or escape the cold winter weather in flag is always a great option to have.

One of my friends asked me if I could live 2 1/2 hours from Las Vegas, as if the gambling thing would be too much of a lure.  I had to share that gambling has never really been my thing.  However, it did remind me of how much fun I’ve had in that city.  The options are unlimited in Flagstaff.

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