We left our home state of Wisconsin a few weeks ago now and it feels like we have seen so much of the country already! We have been in or thru 9 states in a short time and are finding something to see everywhere we go. We are adjusting well to life on the road, and starting to relax and enjoy it more everyday.We headed out of Wisconsin, thru Minnesota, and stopped in Iowa to visit family for a couple days. We had a great time seeing my sister and her family. They happened to have rented a VRBO house for a week and all their kids that live in scattered directions were able to all meet in one place, at least for a couple days. So thankful for their hospitality and letting us plug in!
Once back on the road we headed towards Colorado, making only one pit stop at a Walmart in Lexington, NE. Very nice place for rv and truck parking! There were 2 parking lots for semis and rv’s were allowed to park along the outer edges of the parking lot. Warning though, it was packed. As the night went on and Walmart customers left, the parking lot filled with trucks. It was easy on and off the highway, but noisy and we had some difficulty sleeping. There were also many choices for food & a laundromat within walking distance.
Colorado’s landscape was a welcome sight after the fields of Iowa and Nebraska. With some challenges in finding a place to camp near or in Loveland,CO, we found ourselves at a Larimer County Park. One of the campgrounds at Carter Lake had some sites available, for a few days anyway, so we took it. What a beautiful lake and park! We were able to stay 3 nights, having to switch sites once, but spent a whole day searching for a place to go on the weekend. As a gateway town to Rocky Mountain National Park, it was packed everywhere. We had to travel a little, but found a KOA Fort Collins had a spot for us.
We spent 2 days cruising around Rocky Mountain National Park, and Estes Park. Such a neat mountain town, with great views of the Stanley Hotel, ski slopes and mountains all around you. We would have loved to go in the hotel, but saw they charged $10 for parking, so we skipped it. The national park was amazing. A must do is driving Trail Ridge Road. It is the highest paved road in US at going up to an elevation of about 12,000 ft. Way up there! We took the road all the way up to the Visitor Center and a storm rolled in. First rain, then hail. We waited it out til the weather cleared a bit and headed back down the road…just a little scary in wet conditions! The weather seemed to be like that a lot, with some type of rain or thunderstorm each afternoon. The week we were there, I think we saw hail 3 times. We definitely felt the effects of the high elevation while at the park, a short walk felt like you ran a mile! We’ll have to save the hikes for lower elevations.
The next destination we chose was to head towards the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone. We took our time and slowed the traveling down while on our way thru Wyoming. First stop was in Rawlins. We really liked the Wyoming State Penetentiary tour. I was surprised that you were able to go in the cells, including death row…and even sit in the gas chamber if you wanted. Rich did, I was chicken. He enjoyed a cell on death row too! The prisoners had to endure quite inhumane treatment, like no heat and only had cold water for showers, not too nice in the Wyoming winters. About 16 people were executed there, most by hanging, and a few in the gas chamber. There were some free exhibits to check out, but you had to take the tour to actually see the prison. Well worth the $10.00 to get in! Happy Travels!