June 5, 2015 Denver, Colorado

Bill and I calculated that since we were at the Grand Canyon the beginning of May we have had rain everyday. What a crazy spring this has been weather wise and the crazy weather continued to follow us through Colorado.IMG_20150607_120939
We drove from Colorado Springs north to a state park campground just outside of Denver. We have been very happy with the Colorado state parks, and this campground, Cherry Creek State Park, was another winner. We had a large pull through site with full hookup and a lot of green space between each site. Everyday we had rabbits playing around the RV.
The first day the weather service was calling for severe weather so we decided to stay home. The day was spent listening to tornado sirens and the sound of heavy rain and thunder. The tornado siren would sound and after the storm passed the all clear siren would sound. In a matter of minutes another storm would roll in and the tornado siren would sound again. This cycle was repeated several times throughout the day. We listened to continuous coverage on the local TV station and Bill listened to ham radio operators helping the sheriff departments on his ham radio. We never had to evacuate the RV, but we were ready just in case.IMG_20150607_114039IMG_20150606_134014
The next day brought sunny blue skies in the morning but the forecast called for severe storms during the afternoon. We made a quick drive on the Lariat Loop Scenic and Historic Byway. Due to the weather forecast we did not drive the entire loop but we saw some beautiful views of snow capped mountains and stopped by to visit the gravesite of William F. Cody, known as Buffalo Bill. The museum and gravesite is located in Lookout Mountain Park. The area has great views of the plains and Rockies, however our view was limited due to the clouds quickly rolling in. As we made the short walk to the gravesite, thunder rumbled in the distance. Buffalo Bill earned his nickname because of his skill as a buffalo hunter and he traveled the world with his Buffalo Bill Wild West shows.
On the way home we passed through some charming little western towns with tall tree covered rock cliff walls and streams with rushing water from recent rains along the roadway. We noticed a Buffalo Overlook area on the map and were surprised when the overlook was nothing more than a pull over on busy Interstate 70. It seemed like a pretty dangerous area to encourage people to stop, but we pulled over and got out and were rewarded with a herd of buffalo (American Bison), including some babies nuzzling their mothers.IMG_20150606_143327IMG_20150606_143312IMG_20150606_143113IMG_20150606_143055IMG_20150606_142821
The next day we took advantage of it being a Sunday with less traffic and drove into downtown Denver. We had originally planned to go on Monday so we could tour the U.S. Mint in Denver. When we went online Friday to reserve a tour, we found out all tours were full for at least the next 30 days. Since they give six tours a day Monday thru Thursday, that is pretty amazing. We put the Mint tour on our list to do on our next visit to Denver.IMG_20150607_114745IMG_20150607_115923
While downtown we drove by the Mint and the capitol building. We spent some time driving around just getting a feel for the city. IMG_20150607_120405IMG_20150607_120422IMG_20150607_120432IMG_20150607_122119We ended with a stop at the Sports Authority Field at Mile High, home of the Denver Broncos. We made it home before the first of two thunderstorms rolled through the area.IMG_20150607_123026IMG_20150607_123108
We saved Rocky Mountain National Park for Monday, our last day in the area, when the weather forecast called for the best weather. The day turned out to be beautiful with no afternoon thunderstorms, the first day without rain in a long time! IMG_20150608_105457This park was created in 1915, the nation’s 10th national park, and they are celebrating their centennial this year. The park is so large there are several visitors centers and we stopped by three of them. We drove the Trail Ridge Road to the Alpine Visitors Center, at one point the road took us atop the alpine tundra to an elevation of 12,183 feet. The road is the highest continuous paved highway in the U.S. Because the IMG_20150608_131527IMG_20150608_130927deepest, wettest snow occurs in the spring, snow plow operators work hard to have the road open each year by Memorial Day. Tall poles along the side of the road is the only way the snow plow operators know where the edges of IMG_20150608_121728the road are. Even in June the road can occasionally be closed due to snow or ice. The views of the Rocky Mountains along the Trail Ridge Road were breathtaking!IMG_20150608_113301IMG_20150608_114830IMG_20150608_115721IMG_20150608_115818IMG_20150608_120234IMG_20150608_134908
We really enjoyed our time in Denver. The area is prettier than Colorado Springs due to more beautiful views of snow capped mountains. Huge pot holes continued to be a problem. Colorado definitely has more pot holes than any other state! Denver traffic can be challenging. They do not have HOV lanes so the morning and afternoon commuter traffic is pretty bad! Regardless of the traffic and bad roads, we will add Denver to our list of places we would like to visit again.

1 thought on “June 5, 2015 Denver, Colorado

  1. karnold249

    Following in you footsteps in about 6 weeks. I will definetly plan a Mint tour earlier on. We were in Yellowstone after the baby Bison were born and enjoyed seeing them romping around. God’s great earth.

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