This is likely something we will only attempt once. There's a good reason you don't see too many Class A motorhomes driving through the twisty, turning, often narrow and steep roads of Rocky Mountain National Park, with a lot more traffic than we expected on a weekday in mid-September. There are places where guard rails are lacking, and the hairpin turns are numbered, for goodness sake! But all that said, we are glad we got to see it, and doing this drive during peak foliage season just made it all the more spectacular.
So please come along for the ride and see some of what we saw.
First up, Milner Pass and the Continental Divide, elevation 10,759'. From our RV park at 8650' we'd already climbed around 2100 feet. Not bad for a gas-powered Class A motorhome. Go Pearl! We're up above the golden aspens here.
Although the pictures through the windshield don't do him justice, we did see another big bull elk right by the side of the road looking down at us.
Here's the highest elevation along the mountain road. We were up above the treeline at this point, and the scenery was pretty incredible -- blue skies would have made it even more dramatic. Still, craggy mountains with patches of snow, low-hanging clouds, and turquoise alpine lakes were amazing to see, even with overcast skies.
I wasn't too fond of the lack of guard rail along here. Note the posts with extensions so their positions can be ascertained when the snow is deep.
See the lake peaking through the center of the mountains?
Here, I'll zoom in!
These grazing elk managed to find something to eat even at this high altitude. I think we caught one of them by surprise!
A bit of blue sky was trying to peak through.
As we descended, we found ourselves in the midst of some of the most spectacular aspens ever. I can't imagine ever getting tired of this sight.
At one point we rounded a bend and came up upon one of the most magnificent sights we saw during our time in the park (and out west overall): an elk procession across the road RIGHT in front of us. We were first in line for this amazing parade, and with our huge windshield, got quite a show.
Note that the Mama Elk was wearing a tracking collar. It doesn't look very comfy, so I hope it doesn't bother her. I especially enjoyed seeing the juveniles following her across the road.
Looks like Mama has told these two "Always look both ways before crossing."
Safe to cross!
I was happy to get down to lower ground so I could stop hanging on to the arms of the captain's chair with a death grip. Barry did a great job guiding Pearl through the park, but it was still a bit hairy at times.
Next up, we head to a very different type of landscape and give Pearl a rest from the mountains: Pawnee National Grassland. Stay tuned!
Emily & Barry
We're a long-married, early-retired couple who are currently traveling as nomads with no fixed home base. After years of living in North Carolina (Emily's home state), we spent 18 months living oceanfront on Ambergris Caye, Belize, a year road-tripping the US in a Honda CR-V, a year in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, and are now roaming North America in our 32' motorhome, Pearl, following warm weather whenever possible.
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