We had a 10 o’clock appointment in Longmont to get our car tires aligned at Firestone and were actually early. They got us right in and we walked to a nearby coffee shop to work while we waited. The coffee shop we went to had one of those nice gas fire pit features which I actually really like. What I did not like quite so much was that there was a need to turn it on at 10 am in early August! Needless to say, we sat inside! Before we knew it, the car place called to say they were done so we headed back.
If you ever find yourself in Longmont, Colorado and need something done on your car, I highly recommend Firestone. The customer service was outstanding. The mechanic we had, Mike, even walked us out to our car to put some extra oil in for us.
After we finished at Firestone, we headed back toward Rocky Mountain National Park. During our very first road/camping trip back in June of 2014, we had done a memorable hike there and wanted to do it again. We stopped at the visitor center for a map and made our way to the trailhead. The trail starts at Bear Lake and continues on to Nymph Lake, Dream Lake, and Emerald Lake. The trail seemed familiar yet different because there had still been a lot of snow when we visited in June. This time it was cool and rainy but the snow was mostly gone. It was fun to think back about that early trip and all we have learned and done since then.
It was early evening by the time we made it back to the car. We decided to take a scenic drive on Old Fall River Road in hopes of seeing some wildlife before leaving the park. The road was very twisty with lots of switchbacks and beautiful views. We were close to the end when we saw a huge elk in the road ahead of us. There were several more on the side of the road. We took our time watching them as they ate. We always hear that evening is a good time to see animals and we have definitely found that to be true.
Between the hike, the drive, and the elk sighting, we could not have been happier with our third visit to the park. Now it was time to find a place to spend the night. We drove back toward Grand Lakes where we had spent some time at the end of July looking for a place to camp. It got dark and started to rain before we found a spot so rather than drive around we decided to check into a hotel in nearby Winter Park. It is actually a ski town so we got a good deal on a nice room with a mountain view at Winter Park Mountain Lodge.