The best thing about a National Parks pass is that you can bypass the queues going past the entrance kiosks as you can swipe the card reader to open the boom gate up, which came in very handy during the peak times such as the weekend. The queues going into the national park were very long and we just sailed passed them all. We can't fit in the campsites in the National Park as we are too big and unfortunately we couldn't get a booking in the county campground that we had been to before as it was booked out, so had to go to a commercial one.
We spent most of our time down at Sprague Lake inside the RMNP photographing the moose, trying a sunrise picture of the lake and mountains and finally a Milky Way shoot but there was too much light pollution and the pictures just came out red. At one time Lindsay had gone walking off in the dark to talk to another photographer leaving me alone in the dark. I could hear noises was it a bear, coyote, or horror of all horrors, a mountain lion? I was in charge of both our cameras, so I really didn’t want to leave and maybe it was better not to move, maybe it couldn't smell me. It turned out to be the two Elk we had seen walking across the lake at dusk - they scared the crap out of me.
|Fi and Lindsay|
There weren’t as many moose as we would have liked, just one cow and her two babies, a yearling and a bull.
Prescription sunglasses are pretty expensive so if I was going to put an insurance claim in for the ones that went sailing into the abyss at Horseshoe Bend I would need to make a statement at a police station. We didn't have time in Page, so I went to one in Estes Park, Colorado but because the incident happened in another state, they couldn't help me. So I rang the police in Page Arizona. No they can't help me as it happened in the National Park, if it had happened in the carpark which I thought as in the national park, they would have. So I had to ring the National Park at Glen Canyon in Arizona. Yes, they would pass my message onto the ranger and he would call me back. But of course he didn't. I rang another 10 times, "no he's not here, we will pass on your message". The national parks are so short staffed that I was the least of his worries and obviously not worth wasting time on. I kept ringing until we got to Canada and then had to give up. I knew I could get glasses at Costco and there was one in Salt Lake City, so I organised an appointment with an optometrist for when we would be passing through in a weeks time.
Brainard Lake is a favourite spot for the moose, about an hour south of Estes Park; the town just outside the RMNP. We got down there just after sunrise and there was already a parks lady ready to take our entry fee at that time of morning! it was nice to know our national parks pass was valid here too. If there were any moose there, they were hiding!
The solar eclipse occurred when we were in Estes Park near Rocky Mountain NP but as we didn’t have the special glasses we didn’t go looking. If the eclipse can melt camera sensors, I would hate to think what it does to eyes. I’m not sure if it got darker because the clouds covered most of the sky or because of the moon going in front of the sun, either way it must have been a bit disappointing for people who had come here just to see it.