Rocky Mountain National Park

A Day in the Life6 Comments

We went to the park this weekend on a scout camping trip for the girls. I was excited to get back into the park because we just never go there and its so close. Not sure why, but I have ideas. We either drive visitors through it or I go to run Longs. Otherwise, not much. So our camp site overlooked the north side of Longs to taunt me all weekend.

Longs

I quit camping when I bought a cabin but this annual scout trip is a good reminder of the basics. However, last year Kim and I were getting crushed in our 5 person tent with 5 people plus gear. So we shopped this past week and picked up an 8 person tent. No, we aren’t growing the family but what’s the difference between 6 to 8 person if you are car camping really? So I set up the beast in just a few minutes. You could park a Mini Cooper inside of this thing. We brought our 2 cots and set them up in the adult vestibule of the tent. The 3 kids were at the end. Nobody was touching and we had an aisle down the middle.

Tent

Even though the rangers tried to bear scare everybody, nothing was seen. The only big wildlife were the elk as we entered the park.

Elk

Sydney had to do a bunch of badge work on this trip by cooking, making fires, learning about compasses, etc. She enjoyed it.

Cook

On Saturday morning, I was forced to go for a run. Literally. The troop wanted to learn how to geocache. So I got volunteered to set this up. My wife made the caches and then I went out and ran a trail that the kids would be hiking later in the day. I had a light backpack full of gear and went running off into the woods around 7 AM to hide the caches. I had to get the coordinates, make up a little description of each, and not get caught by the rangers. Geocaching is illegal in the national parks but these were just temporary private installments. I did a good job of hiking them along a 2 mile stretch of trail and returned to camp just in time to teach the kids how to do this.

That left me with Sunday morning for a real trail outing. However, my brain and legs couldn’t agree with my heart on the trip so I ended up not making a summit attempt from the north side of Longs. But I stared at it all weekend. The road to Bear Lake is under construction and it has some funky no-travel hours. We had troop activities starting at 8 AM. It was a 19 mile loop. So I bailed. I think it was the right call. Live to run another day.

  • Did the girls have to work with a map and compass to locate the caches — or did you throw a GPS at them?

    • Geocaching is only done with GPS devices. We just gave them coordinates and set them off. The next day, they did orienteering though and just did map and compass work. Well rounded.

      • Yeah, I know. I noticed that Syd was working with a map/compass. Thought maybe it was your “interesting” way of teaching them the skills.