Than the State of Colorado is remarkable? Travel for four days. Part 2
Day of the second, Tuesday, September 30 . On travel I play a role of the navigator, I sit near the driver (more correct to tell - the driver) with the card in hands and I prompt all changes of a route, turns are expensive. Therefore on Monday evening attentively I study according to cards our way to biggest National park of Colorado “ The Rocky Mountains “ - “ Rocky Mountain “. Park is huge
, its area of 1075 square kilometers, in the various plant and animal life is mute many lakes, the rivers. It is the most popular park in Colorado, in a year it is visited by over three million tourists. It is possible to drive in it through information centers (Visitor Center) as from West side, about the lake Grandee Leyk (Grand Lake), and with east, from the town of Istes Park (Estes Park). Generally, often all park “ Rocky Mountain “ call as Estes Park. To us from Denver to Estes Park to go about 70 miles, through the city of Bolder, on the federal road No. 36. We leave at 8 o`clock in the morning before dark to return. While we go on the city highway, it is necessary to stand in “ traffic jams “ the highway is dammed by cars.
But already suburbs went, it became more spacious. Mountains become closer and closer and higher. The autumn woods on slopes of mountains are pleasing to the eye bright paints. We pass small lakes, towns. Especially the small town of Lions (Lyons) with various cafes and little shops along the road where trade in wooden skulpturka, souvenirs, flags of the countries of the world, saplings of trees and flowers in pots was pleasant. The last part of the road goes through the huge National wood of Roosevelt which settles down along east edge Istes Parka. In two hours of a trip we already in the town of Istes park. It is located on the bank of the lake of the same name, very picturesque from which the river Thomson (Thompson) and several streams (Creek) follow. Height above sea level here 2700 meters. Near the road the big parking and information center for tourists. And on the beautiful square at the river the mass of various little shops and cafe, even pass - confectionery where produce candies and chocolate manually. Also it costs expensive very much, in three is more expensive than time, than usually in shops.
In Information center we are supplied with the most detailed card of park where all sights, parkings, vacation spots and picnics, the lake, the main tops and all roads and tracks are shown. The card told us about park everything that the tourist should know. From abundance of routes and interesting places of an eye run up - them a huge number, on all tastes here - the total length of roads and tracks more than 640 km. There are tracks for pedestrian tourism, for cyclists, special horse routes, and of course, one their most mountain highways of the world, No. 34, or Trail Ridge Road. It on perimeter surrounds all park, branching off in the east from the highway No. 36 at the height of 2300 meters above sea level, and the most part passes it at the height more than 3000 meters. Separate sites are expensive in the North and the West with excess of 3000 meters above sea level close for journey for the winter, from the middle of October prior to the beginning of June. So we were lucky, we still can pass, and we go to the West, deep into park, to tops!
But at first, on the advice of the worker of tourist`s bureau, we go to the small, but picturesque lake of Mary where it is possible to see pipes of the mountain water supply system laid in the tunnel. Almost on diagonal through all park, from the Grandee Leyk to Ist Leyk the tunnel for water, with pipes of big diameter is driven, it carries the name Alva Adams Tunnel (Water diversion structure). Mary`s lake in only 4 miles from the town, is a little away from the main road No. 34. Around the lake cottages, at home, small hotels, the power plant at a mountain foot is visible. Ashore saw fishermen with rods. Having made several pictures, we decide to go up, to tops of park Istes, on Trail Ridge Road.
Entrance to " park; The Rocky Mountains “ paid, costs 10 dollars from the person, or 35 on a family to 7 people, and is given for a week. It is possible to leave and again to come back, or to be bedded down directly in park: in intermountain valleys there are small hotels, wooden lodges, and six well equipped campings where each tent place has water and firewood for a fire. The road is magnificent! With a dividing strip, on each mile there are signs of restriction of speed - depending on the steepness from 10 miles an hour, to 20 on the most equal sites. Though it is a little cars, nobody violates rules, tries to overtake. Through certain intervals altimeters above sea level, sometimes only in feet (1 m = 3,28 feet), a thicket and meters are put too. Weather is solar, bright. The nature is surprisingly various and unusually beautiful, and my young companion constantly exclaims: “ Looney!!! “. At youth it is the highest mark of beauty now. For convenience of tourists in the most picturesque places where everyone wants to make a picture, are equipped small “ pockets “ for a stop on one, sometimes on two cars.
Approximately through each 2 - 2,5 miles there are big platforms, with toilets, sometimes and with the place for picnic. It is surprising that at the big height where there is no water supply system, portable toilets, but not in plastic or metal standard cabins are set up, and in wooden lodges, it is very pure there, there is no smell, and vessels with liquid disinfectant for hands hang. And are even provided how, however, and over all country, toilets for disabled people - wheelchair invalids, the big size, on cars they too here travel. The care of conveniences of travelers just admires! Very much the platform for rest near the Falling river - Fall River was pleasant. Height there of 2511 meters, on the river is put a small dam. Again small information center as the road soon branches. There are a little shop and cafe where it is possible to drink coffee and to eat a donut, to have a rest and admire landscapes.
As movement speed to mountains small and frequent stops for photography took away time, from the town of Istes Park we passed slightly more than 30 miles, and spent about three hours. The above rose to mountains, the became more twisting it is expensive. At first on both sides of the road there was a mixed wood, pines just as our, European, multi-colored aspens, published very similar to birches the almost white trunks, bushes, rare fir-trees. The road is often run across by little squirrels. When overcame a mark of 3000 meters, the continuous fir grove - fir-trees high, with sharp tops and abundance of cones began. And at the height of 3500 meters the tundra zone began what the next plate at the road informed on. But also without plate it was clear. As at A.S. Pushkin in the poem “ Caucasus “: “ the moss is lean, a bush dry … “ sickly herbs, low florets. Of course, in the spring here vegetation richer, but fall already … There were a lot of hollows which are filled up with crushed stone deprived of any vegetation. And at some, highest tops, the small glaciers which did not melt for long summer are visible. The road in many places went on an edge of deep gorges, breaks. To me, I will honestly tell, it was frightening. You will look back, and under us the whole highland, lakes, the rivers, windings of roads as from the plane you look!
The next plate informed that we in the Alpine zone, and reached the highest point on this Trail Ridge Road - 3713 meters! Reached to the next tourist center “ AlpenVisiter Center “ after which the road turns on the South, to the lake Grandee Leyk. To it still there were nearly 30 miles, and we decided to come back. We should have done still not only a way down, to the town Istes Parku, but also to return to Denver. Back we went almost without stops to the town Lions where we were tasty fed at the Mexican small restaurant. In Boldere did not stop, after mountain beauty the city did not attract though in guides it call cozy and very beautiful. After visit of National park “ Rocky Mountains “ we drew a conclusion that there it is necessary to come not for one day, and at least on 3 - 4 fully to enjoy beauty and rest.
To be continued …