Wednesday, July 12, 2023

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do, than by the ones you did." ~MarkTwain

Our summer so far

We have tried over the past 4+ years to stick to one area or at least one side of the country each summer. The end of this year will be very different. We started with RV repair work in Arizona this summer and have headed mostly north. Looking at our state and national park maps you can get a pretty good idea of where we will head for the rest of the summer to finish up our 5 year goals.

47 national parks down and 4 to go, kind of. We went to the visitor's center (technically part of the national park) at Isle Royale but because of Covid we couldn't get to the island. I counted it but we're going back to finish the job.

Two left!

July 5th, 12:01 central time my friend Debbie and myself prepared for BATTLE. I was in mountain time so it was July 4th at 11:01 for me. Internet was non-existent at our rural rv park in Wyoming so I was sitting on the side of a street in a small town 10 miles away. Debbie and I were sitting in front of our computers, phones in hand, husbands by our sides (thanks Pat and Bernie) and it was INTENSE! YESSS!!! Tickets and the same room for the May 2024 Doan Girls Retreat at Missouri Star Quilt Company were secured by both of us. So excited!!

We stayed at Cedar Creek RV Park, a small park (36 sites) in Montrose, CO near Black Canyon of the Gunnison NP.  A couple, parked behind us, came over and recognized our "Parks and Paths" sign on our car. Turns out we met them last May at the pool at Key Palms RV Park, another small park (30 sites) in the Florida Keys. What are the odds??? Pretty good I guess! And this isn't the first time something like this happened.

Arrived at Yellowstone Monday night. From highs in the 50's and 60's in Yellowstone, to 90's in Dinosaur and Black Canyon, to upper 70's and 80's here. First Park this year with timed entry.  We had 8:00-10:00 but a sign at the entrance station said timed entries were only needed 9-2. Arriving just after 8, 2 lines were open with 8-10 in each. Went smoothly. We followed Trail Ridge Road to the Alpine Visitor's Center. Arrived at the visitor's center at 11:00 and they closed the parking lot right after we entered because it was full.  When we left it was open again. Crowds didn't seem too bad to me.

View of Rocky Mountains as we approached Estes Park Monday

Beaver Meadows Entrance Station

The Alluvial Fan was created in 1982 when the Lawn Lake dam gave way and flooded the area with over 200 million gallons of water. The river cascades down over the boulder and sediment field created by the flooding. 

Many Parks Curve

Long's Peak in the background at 14,259 feet.

Forest Canyon Overlook

A cute Marmot 

An elevation gain of 200 bothered me but not Pat.

The ascent was not really cold but VERY windy as you can tell by my hair.

Elk greeted us at the top.

Glad there was a cafe next to the Visitor's Center at the bottom. We kept our sack lunch and opted for warm food and hot chocolate and tea.

Love it when there are ranger programs of any kind. The Beaver Meadows ranger had elk antlers, animal skins and animal safety. 

My family in the mid 1960's at the same overlook, Forest Canyon, that we were at on Tues. 

In 1992 Josh, Chris, and Eric enjoying the snow on the Trail Ridge Road.
Where are the Piepers now? Estes Park, CO


  1. Love all the photos and commentary!

    1. We love the National Parks! Beauty, history, educational, and low cost to free.