The next day I found open camping at Rocky Mountain National Park. The first night Saturday I Picked the perfect campground, in between a family and two couples. As I was setting up camp the father and children came over and introduced themselves and then went to the next site and introduced themselves to the couples. I overheard him telling them about me and that I am on my way to Alaska, so I walked over to introduce myself. The family invited me over for dinner, a delicious Dutch-oven goulash, I was intending on having beans and rice for dinner. It also happened to be the fathers birthday.
After dinner we went back to the couples campsite and had a few beers and cupcakes to celebrate. It is always nice to enjoy the hospitality of strangers becoming new friends. I enjoy listening to others tell their stories.
The next morning I woke up before the crack of dawn, unable to go to sleep I decided to go on a morning hike in search of black bears, I saw none and not recent tracks. I have wanted to see a bear my whole life but have never been so lucky. There was an abundance of elk and after everyone else woke up the father said that the other day they saw a heard of eighty elk grazing in the valley. I was not so lucky, just a few here and there.
Everyone was heading out so I left to wander about, and pick up some things I needed in Boulder, CO. I picked Boulder because that’s where the couples lived and they invited me to crash on their futon. I sent a text message and never heard back, so I went to a movie to kill some time. After the movie, still no reply, I decided to head back to Rocky Mountain NP to camp another night. With no hard feelings, I assumed that they reconsidered and didn’t want a stranger staying at their place. Being Sunday there was only one other person at the campground, I picked a site that was on the opposite side of a hill as the prevailing winds. When I went to sleep around 10:00 pm the temperature had fallen to 28 degrees and 20 mph winds. The snow was coming down hard and I was expecting a white morning, unfortunately the snow didn’t stick.
To my surprise I slept through the night waking up at dawn. I then decided it was time to go to Garden of the Gods and Pikes Peak.
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