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Breckenridge, CO to Rocky Mountain National Park and back (Paul, Jeff & Scott)
Wanting to find some thicker air to breathe, Uncle John departs for Tucson and Joe heads for his sister’s house in Los Angeles. Paul, Jeff and Scott head for Rocky Mountain National Park. Mother Nature resumes dispatching thunderstorms across the mountains and we are pursued all day. Luckily, we skirt the storms and have a delightful ride in the Rockies. In some little town along the way, Pablo decides to stop for a crew cut. Scott declines the enthusiastic offer to chop off his rather long ponytail saying that his wife would beat him if he came home without it.
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Heading up: It looks rainy ahead so we put our rain gear on as we approach Rocky Mountain National Park from the West. The roads and scenery are top notch.
Tranquil spots along the way: One could spend all day at places like these. They exude a magical energy that is vibrant, calming and grounding. One’s human sense of time is replaced by that of Nature’s. The mind becomes still as the sound of running water and the breeze through the trees fills one’s consciousness.
Up, up, up!: Switchback after switchback, higher and higher we climb up to the Continental Divide.
The view just keeps getting better: There’s little to say as we gaze at such landscapes. The scale truly boggles the mind.
Nothing but road, hills and sky: We climb above the treeline to find a vast, open landscape. It looks and seems pleasant enough today but this is an extreme landscape. It’s exciting stuff to motorcycle through on our two wheeled convertibles.
At The Top: We stop at the Alpine Visitors’ Center and go for a stroll. At 12,000 feet, the air is very thin but the view is outstanding.
Among the clouds: We are on top of the world and the clouds are in the parking lot.
Here comes the next storm: We’re standing around enjoying the view when we suddenly realize that a new storm is rapidly approaching from the West. Not wanting to get rained on if we can help it, we saddle up and head East. Just when we think we’re making good progress on escaping the storm, the road does a 180 back to the West and heads us right toward it, a black, towering wall of weather. Maybe we should have stayed put in the visitors center at 12,000 to ride out the storm vs. getting pounded at 10,000 ft on twisty mountain roads. But at the last minute, the road swings back around to the East and we manage to stay ahead of it.
Surreal landscapes and storms: The lighting on such an incredible landscape is mind blowing. Yet we can’t linger long as the storm is closing in fast. So we snap a picture and scoot along.
Alpine Gardens: As we descend to the East, we can see the change in landscape taking place below as trees reappear.
A majestic view: The scale of what we are looking at and the forces and time required to build it are hard to grasp. The endeavors of man pale in comparison to those of Mother Nature.
One More Pass Bagged:We are traveling South from the East entrance of the Park. Behind us is a tiny ski resort. A sign has been posted explaining that it’s being closed down due to financial difficulties. It’s a beautiful area and a shame to hear of it. The ride up to and down from the pass is superb.
Go to Day 6: The Middle of Nowhere
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