First bite at the Rockies

After a nice night in the campsite is time to get going with the first mountain day of the trip. I double back to the town and then turn south to get to the park entrance. Along the way I have the first encounter with wildlife of the day. First it’s prairies dogs, cute, and then, seeing a group of car stopped, I realise there is a couple of moose drinking and i stop for a shot or two.

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Long meandering in the National park
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Cute little things
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Rather inquisitive
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And fairly vocal
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Mother is drinking
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And posing for the camera.
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Youngster not that fussed by the cameras.

Before the entrance of the park I stop to refuel and I get dragged into leaving some money to the local indian speciality jerky seller, I’ll take this buffalo and elk meat to the burning Man as a novelty item.

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All bikers must be addicted to dried meet like me.

And then I get to the park. To say it’s spectacular it’s an understatement. As usual the pictures only convey a fraction of the awe and beauty that the place holds. Both scenery and fauna add up to a cocktail of sensations and emotions that have to be believed to be seen. I am starting to appreciate something I had not thought about before about attitude differences between Europeans and Americans. In Europe, flooded as we are with art and man made antiquities, we measure the success of a trip with the number of museums or churches we have visited, over here they run to nature, mountains are their cathedrals, wildlife are their museum exhibits. I’m not saying this in a patronising way, it’s just that each culture is the product of the stimulus it is exposed to

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Could not resist.
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Is this an elk?
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This might be a relative, it was only on the other side of the road.
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The valley below once I had climbed a bit.
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But there is still a long way to go to the top.
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Every now and then a mountain lake.
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As I ascend the views start getting wider.
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And I’m blessed with perfect weather.
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The top is past 12,000 feet, 4000 metres for the Europeans.
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I believe these are chipmunks
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Difficult to make them pose
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While his friend is munching away.
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And then leaving.
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Once at the top the views are peerless.
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But getting there made me think about that last cigarette.
And on the other side it’s even better.
And then on the road again
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Views on the way down
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Did you spot the lake over there?
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And the heard of something in the field
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I think they might be just deers.
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And somewhere far far away down there in the distance there is Denver.
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But not before a last encounter.

the other encounter I made in the park was with a couple of lovely ladies from Austin Texas, who were very interested in my trip and stayed talking to me for a while of, among other things, the US election. We hugged as we parted but not before I managed to get an invitation for dinner once I get to Austin. That will have to wait for another three months, for now it’s down the mountains and back to Denver, nearly four years after I was there last time.

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