I’m writing a book on family adventures and many of the adventures are located around the national parks in the west. Why the west? Quite simply, that is about how far my plane comfortably flies.
In fact I received an offer from one well-known publisher that they would accept my book including payment of an advance fee, except I would need to make it a nationwide book. That just wasn’t what I wanted to do and would mean a bunch of trips out east flying commercial. So I turned them down.
Some of the parks like Rocky Mountain National Park and Tetons National Park are still pretty far away from my home base in California and I’ve only visited each of these once. So I decided to fly out with my camera gear and do some “family adventures” for the book.
I had an uneventful flight out, around 4 hours non-stop at about 11,000 feet, and landed in Granby Colorado, a perfect town to fly into (from the west) to visit the RMNP. The rental car folks delivered the car to the airport and off I went.
I rock climbed at several places looking for an easy, safe spot for the book, I mountain biked both easy and hard, I climbed Long’s Peak and I did several hikes, the best being to Sky Pond and Mt. Chiquita. I had great luck on Long’s Peak because I really wanted a photo of a youngster and/or family to show that it is and can be done. I ran across a father and his two daughters near the very exposed “crux” of the route, and one of this daughters was so comfortable she hung on with only two fingers! I was impressed. Her dad wasn’t.
By day four I was exhausted. Due to the COVID pandemic the park has a limited reservation system for entry into the park, unless you enter the park before 6:00 am in which case you can just drive in. So I got up early each day and on the Long’s Peak day I got up really early at 3:00 am. (However I made it up and back down by 10:00 am so I guess I didn’t actually have to get up that early. )
Anyway I was getting up very early yet I was staying in a campground in Estes Park where people were making lots of noise late into the evening so I wasn’t getting to sleep early. After about four days, after my hike to Sky Pond starting at 5:30 am, I hiked about 1/2 mile off-trail into a meadow, set up my small tent to keep the mosquitos off, and took a long and glorious nap.
Then I drove back to Granby to stay the night under the wing for an early start to my next stop, the Tetons.