After our fun time in Leadville, Colorado, we headed north to visit some family near Loveland, Colorado. Like so many areas of the country, the Loveland/Fort Collins communities have seen tremendous growth in the last few years as evidenced by swelling populations, many new buildings, and new housing developments.
We settled in at the very popular Boyd Lake State Park in Loveland for a few days. This would serve as our home base. From this park we could visit Fort Collins, Estes Park, and Loveland itself. We had been boondocking in small towns for several weeks so this was the perfect place to restock, do laundry, and prepare for the next few weeks.
We spent some memorable time with my cousins who have made Colorado their home. They recently moved to a wonderful house near Loveland and were gracious to have us over to visit. We thoroughly enjoyed our time with them. Thank you Darrel and Carolyn!
As we have mentioned before, traveling full time has the wonderful benefit of meeting and making new friends. We have been amazed at the comradery that exists in the RVing community. Two of these new friends live in Estes Park, the eastern gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park, and they invited us to visit them.
To our surprise, they mentioned that we had some mutual friends that were staying on the opposite side of Rocky Mountain National Park and suggested that we traverse the park to have lunch with them! We said, “Sure, sounds like fun.”
Talk about a beautiful drive for lunch. The Rocky Mountain NP is a beautiful place to visit and is very popular. You now need “timed tickets” for midday entry but local residents can obtain “commuter passes” that allow them to enter at any time.
After making the drive, taking in the amazing vistas of the park, we had lunch in the small town of Grand Lake. It was great to catch up with Kyle and Michelle and to meet some new friends, Sandy and Norm!
The town of Grand Lake is near the headwaters of the Colorado River and Grand Lake is the largest and deepest natural lake in the entire state. Believe it or not, decades ago a pipeline project was built to carry water from Grand Lake under the Continental Divide and the Rocky Mountain NP east toward Estes Park!
We really fell in love with this side of the national park during a previous visit. It is beautiful without the large crowds of people that you find near the eastern entrance. We would recommend that you consider visiting the western side of Rocky Mountain NP (photos from a previous visit).
We headed back toward Estes Park and Loveland and the best part of that was that I did not have to drive! Many thanks to our good friends Stan and Marilyn for an absolutely wonderful day.
Colorado is a beautiful state and we were not finished exploring it. We left Loveland and headed across the Rocky Mountains towards Steamboat Springs. This was a part of the state that we had not visited and this was the perfect time to do so. The only deadline that we had was to be in Grand Teton National Park after the July 4th weekend.
Steamboat Springs reminds us a lot of Durango, Colorado. Both are mountain towns that are very outdoor people friendly with a large river that runs through the town. In Steamboat Springs, it is the Yampa River that is one of the focal points.
Many folks were enjoying the river or the outdoor street festival the day we visited. We had a wonderful lunch and had fun walking around the town taking it in. The only hiccup was that I was wearing my “I Love the Bolts” t-shirt (Tampa Bay Lighting) while they were in the Stanley Cup Playoffs with the Colorado Avalanche. I got so many comments while walking around downtown, including “You are going to need security!” I survived and we enjoyed our short visit to Steamboat Springs.
More Rocky Mountain NP photos.
Next we travel to Dinosaur National Monument and take on the “Mormon Crickets”.