Nomadic Life – Week 2
Saturday morning, July 7, was the start of Nomadic Life – Week 2. We said goodbye to our new Boulder friends and headed even further south to Gordon Gulch Camping area which has some first-come, first-served free/dispersed camping. This night we had some college students for neighbors, but couldn’t hear them partying with the fan running. The best thing was that this spot in the middle of nowhere had amazing LTE coverage so we were able to stream Netflix and this made for an amazing home base through Monday.
Indian Peak Wilderness: Rainbow Lakes
We spent Sunday hiking the Rainbow Lakes Trail in the Indian Peak Wilderness and then went into Nederland, Colorado to re-supply. I no longer think Estes Park is that expensive after having supplied in Nederland.
Back to Gordon Gulch
Monday was a workday and Gordon Gulch was the perfect spot with the fast LTE coverage.
Back to The Wild Basin Area of Rocky Mountain National Park
Tuesday we awoke early and returned to the Wild Basin Area of Rocky Mountain National Park. This time we set out backpacking on the trail to Bluebird Lake. We spent the night at the amazing Upper Ouzel Creek campsite and spent the next morning exploring the lake before heading back to YOLOM. About 14 miles round-trip. A full post on this adventure will come soon, but I thought this was one of the best camping spots in Rocky Mountain National Park.
Wednesday (11th) we made our way back into Estes Park and had a late lunch at Baba’s Burgers and Gyros. This is our favorite spot in Estes. We are simple people and love a good Gyro… the fried pickles aren’t too bad either. I think we were trying to pack back on any weight we had managed to shed on the backpacking trip with a side of nacho fries too.
After lunch, we headed to the Rocky Mountain Visitor Center to fill up on drinking water. There is a water fill station located in the restroom area. At this point, we were exhausted so we headed to Mary’s Lake Campground, located about 2 miles outside of town. We made reservations for the next two nights here last week when we stopped for showers. The campground isn’t great and is definitely overpriced, but it is the most reasonably priced campground anywhere near Estes Park so I guess that is an endorsement.
We once again took advantage of the hot showers at Mary’s Lake Campground and cleaned our backpacking gear. The campground doesn’t have any WiFi so we attempted to watch Netflix on Verizon’s LTE, but while the signal was there the bandwidth was loaded and we couldn’t get the stream to work. We instead took the opportunity to relax at the picnic table and read a book.
Working in Estes Park
Thursday and Friday were work days so we had to find a reliable internet connection. We headed to the library in Estes Park and found amazing WiFi. This place has screaming fast internet and the facility is very clean and modern.
Estes Park Farmers Market
We also found that the downtown area has a farmers market on Thursday mornings so we spent a little time walking around and getting local produce. Which was great because laundry and grocery shopping was on my list of things to do today. Jennifer worked out of the library all day and I did some work before heading out to do laundry and additional shopping.
Friday was more of the same, but I took the opportunity in the late afternoon to walk the riverwalk area through town. I’ve driven through Estes Park many times over the past 7 years but didn’t realize how great this little town is. The river walk is stellar with tons of unique shops and dining opportunities as well as access to the river for kayaking or wading. There are several small parks along the river and even a small outdoor amphitheater.
At the end of Friday, we made our way south to the Mt. Meeker Campground. It was full, so we continued on to Olive Ridge Campground. It too was full, but we asked a gentleman with a camping spot that had two vehicle spots if we could take the second spot and split the cost. After some questions about how loud we intended to be and how late we would be staying up, he agreed to let us take the second spot. We prepared dinner and joined our new neighbor at the picnic table. It turns out that he is a professor of philosophy at Wheaton University in Chicago. He was fascinated with our new nomadic lifestyle and we showed YOLOM off to him. After about an hour of talking, we called it a night and went to bed, closing out Nomadic Life – Week 2.