Home > Uncategorized > Pike’s Peak to RMNP

Pike’s Peak to RMNP

July 23. Like most primates for the past…oh, million years or so, I spent much of my youth out-of-doors. I built snow forts with my friends, competed with them on who could climb the tallest pine tree, and hang on as it swayed in a stiff breeze. We had Pee Rock, whose purpose, as the name implies, was to serve as a platform for peeing contests. And Green Rock, a secret meeting place in the forbidden forest across the street from my house. We assembled a dangerous rickety go-cart out of scrap two by fours, powered it with an old castaway three-quarter horsepower Maytag washing machine engine, replete with kickstarter. We re-purposed a set of official Soapbox Derby wheels, used once only, for running gear, and steered the contraption with clothesline, like reins.

Only during the last decade or two have the young of our species begun to prefer sprawling supine before a glowing monitor, rapidly twitching their thumbs.

But I don’t criticize.

Who knows? Perhaps this is a moment in evolution larger than I can grasp, and those of us with the great out-of-doors embedded in our DNA are merely relicts.

Anyway, I started with the idea of telling you one of the great outdoor lessons I learned at an early age: never place a can of unopened baked beans in the campfire. The result may require several hours of scraping and cleaning camp hardware, tents and assorted paraphernalia. Not to mention various personnel unfortunate enough to have been standing within the blast radius.

But I digress. Today is an easy loafing jaunt from Pike’s Peak to Rocky Mountain National Park. Six hours, 120 miles. I stick to the back roads—the ones that barely make an appearance on my GPS. Mostly county roads that twist, rise and fall through mountainous country scattered with tiny sleepy villages. Upon arrival,  I set camp and still have plenty of time to run down to Safeway in Estes Park for fresh provisions. I return to camp and boil some eggs, which I enjoy on my salads.

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