Next Up: Rocky Mountain National Park

The OasisYesterday, one of Jon’s colleagues said, “When are you ever going to take a vacation?” Answer: at the end of the month. Destination: Rocky Mountain National Park. We’ll be camping near Estes Park during our week-long stay, which will allow us time to acclimate to the altitude before hitting the trails.

After traveling to Grand Canyon, Sequoia, Yosemite, Grand Tetons, Yellowstone, Big Bend, and Great Smoky Mountains, we’re eager to add one of the nation’s highest national parks to our list.

The time leading up to a big trip is filled with planning and preparation. Cliff has made all our reservations and mapped our route. We’ll spend the weekend before our departure camping at Loyd Park to make sure everything is in order both inside and outside Cloud 9. At the end of our vacation, we’ll head to Frisco, Colorado, for a Garner Family reunion.

We’re looking forward to seeing some of the continent’s most scenic slopes, forests and tundra, as well as alpine lakes, a variety of wildlife, and historic structures and places throughout the park’s 400 square miles. A week isn’t nearly enough time, but we’ll take what we can get.

So far, Cloud 9 has provided all the comforts of home for more than 15,000 miles of adventure. Of course, we hope to add 15,000 more and then another 15,000 after that. One lesson we’ve taken to heart along the way is the Boy Scout motto we both learned in our youth: “Be Prepared.” That unexpected snowstorm in Yellowstone taught us we need to carry something more than an Ove Glove and a spatula to scrape ice off the windshield.

So, these next few weeks will see us checking our lists and stocking our rig. Just this morning, Cliff asked if we really needed to take our generator, given the fact that we’re not expecting to do any boondocking. “The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry.” In other words, regardless of how carefully we plan our trip, something may still go wrong. So we’ll load the generator, and be prepared!