However, the extreme heat (around 100F/37C) made us leave after one night and drive across the central plains on the I70 as quickly as possible. I guess we didn’t miss much, as the next picture shows, taken somewhere in Kansas.
We spent two nights in Denver in a campground located in a nice but crowded state park. We enjoyed the buzz of the big city
and took the opportunity to restock groceries and to buy some equipment for the upcoming weeks in the mountains.
Leaving Denver in northwestern direction, it was exciting to watch the fast approaching, impressive range of the Rocky Mountains.
It was only a 30 minute drive from the plains up to Estes Park, a village right next to the entrance of the national park at an elevation of about 8,000 ft (2.400m)
The cool and dry, almost arid climate here is so welcome after all this heat and humidity! We enjoyed a first trip into the national park, with Benjamin having his first rock climbing experience next to a breathtaking scenery.
Not far away from the entrance to the park, we almost stumbled across a herd of elk lazing in the grass close to a parking lot:
We are going to stay in Estes Park for five nights, until next Sunday, hiking, relaxing after 1,800 miles (2.900 km) of driving, and simply enjoying nature’s grandeur.