Between rallies 3 and 4

Now for some time travel back to early July.  Instead of heading to the next balloon rally it was off to Colorado for a wedding.  Everything went as wedding usually do, with lots of running around doing final arrangements and rehearsals, watching a too tall camper realize they didn’t fit in the covered parking lot entrance at the Denver airport, waiting for a late flight to come in, racing back to get ready only to have the ceremony start late, no one wanting to leave the church because it was pouring rain at the end of the ceremony, having the rain stop long enough for everyone to eat outside in the meadow only to be chased back inside by more rain and a flash flood warning in the creek which ran through the meadow next to the church and ultimately to end when the storm knocked out the power for the entire town of Evergreen.  You know, a typical wedding.

Rock Mountain National Park

After all that it was off to explore Rocky Mountain National Park.  Unfortunately it isn’t a dog friendly park but the rangers at the gate were dog friendly.  They helped pick out a campsite with the most shade and space for the dogs and told us about a nearby dirt road where we could walk them.  There also are areas outside the park with dog friendly hiking trails.

Rock Mountain National Park

Monarch Lake
Monarch Lake

The park has a huge population of elk since there are no longer any natural predators.  They cause so much damage that there are fenced areas to keep the elk out so the vegetation has a chance to grow which in turn protects the water quality in the streams.

Rock Mountain National Park elk herd

Elk exclusion area in Rocky Mt. National Park
Elk exclusion area on the right

The east and west sides of the park are connected by Trail Ridge Road which passes through alpine habitats up to a visitor center sitting at 11796 feet.  Weather changed rapidly on the road from sun to rain, sleet and snow with some thunder and hail mixed in.

Rock Mountain National Park
Top of Trail Ridge Road

Rock Mountain National Park

 

From Colorado it was back to Wyoming and the Riverton Rendezvous Balloon rally.

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