Saturday, August 16th was a busy day for us. We headed out about 8:30 am with a goal of being at the Masonville Gospel Music Festival when it started at 11 am. I think we finally arrived there around 12:15 or 12:30. Our shortest route was Trail Ridge Road across Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP). Lots of areas were posted at 50 mph. Switchbacks less and then of course Saturday's are one of the busiest days of the week for visitors. I've never had much luck seeing wildlife within the park. This time shortly after the gift shop on the area above treeline we saw an entire group of elk. We were just amazed at the rack on the one pictured above.
As we were about to exit the park we were behind an ALFA RV (the kind we own). He turned one way and we turned the other. Once we started down The Big Thompson Canyon there was a pullover and the Alfa was in it. Jim QUICKLY pulled over. It was a couple and their two kids. What a small world...he was the Mayor of Laurie, MO one of the small towns on Lake of the Ozarks where I grew up and where Jim and I met when he was Manager of the Radio Station at the Lake. We visited then headed on down the Canyon. Having driven the route several times we observed changes since the Big Thompson last flooded. There's been a lot of clean-up and overall it looks great. There was one house where the floor was hanging in mid-air, with a freezer on it. I would have liked to have had a photo but there wasn't anywhere to stop.
We had a great time at the Gospel Music Festival. It's hosted by the Buckhorn Presbyterian Church. Jim is a distant relative of the organ player at that church and we always visit with her, her sister and her husband when we are in town. It was a great event. No admission fee. Inexpensive but great food. This festival is an annual event and if you are going to be in the area in August you can find more information at buckhornpress.org. Back to the organ player. The Amphitheather is dedicated to her late husband and I believe was built with funds given in his memory.
On July 7th we went on our second "moose hunt". I call it a hunt...but my hunt was to see them and get a photo. The lady at the Grandby Chamber of Commerce suggested we go near the entrance to the Rocky Mountain National Park (34) and take Forest Service Road (FSR) 491 and/or 120, they can often be seen in that area. BINGO! Just before we got to 491 cars were stopped on the side of the road and everyone was out looking. That is definitely a sign that something is visible! Yes there was a moose, seen in the photo above. I did hear one person comment "we drove the entire park and we see it here after we are out of the park". That has been my experience. Well one moose sighting was not enough for me so we took FSR 491. Nothing. So we took got back on 34, took it to 4 and then FSR 123 (Stillwater Pass) back to Hwy 125. The gentleman at the Forest Service Office said we might be able to find a place to boondock on FSR 123 near 34 or 125. We saw lots of places to boondock and several fifth wheels. Although we made it fine in our truck, the further in we got we would definitely not want to take our 40ft RV. Not too far in though I saw another moose, photo below.
It was a very scenic route. Especially the views of Grand Lake and/or Grandby Lake. We aren't sure which one. We had gotten donuts in Grandby so about 1/2 way we stopped by "the smallest waterfall" for a break and to enjoy our snacks.
Second Moose seen on Stillwater Pass Road
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