Connecticut Landscaper Heads West. Day 9
The plan today is to make it back to Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado to see Ridge Trail Drive, the section we missed earlier in the week due to snow. Along the way we saw a herd of elk, two birds, a Stellar Jay and Clark’s Nutcracker, and two moose eating grass in a pond. They seemed mostly oblivious to the crowd that had gathered to watch. We also walked through one of the only tundras, in North America. I was really irritated because there were signs, all over the place, mentioning to stay on the walkways and walking on these delicate plants can cause damage that will take 500-1000 years to repair. A lot of people have no respect for what they are viewing in a national park. A lot of the original tundra has already been lost to people not following the rules. It’s a free for all with kids and adults running all over the place, even jumping fences saying ‘closed’. I can understand that some tourists can’t read English, even though most stopped and read the signs along the trek to the top. I was even more disgusted with the Americans. I witnessed more than a few that stopped to read the signs (out loud to their children) describing this one of a kind environment and how fragile it is and then turn and walk right off the path for hundreds of yards. I ended up talking to a park ranger who knew of the problem and was as just as disgusted as I was. She encouraged me to fill out a comment sheet at a visitor center. I ended up writing a page and a half. What is lost is lost. Hopefully, things will change quickly so this fragile landscape will be around for future generations. By two o’clock we had finished Rocky Mountain National Park. We still have a six hour drive past Denver to Manitou Springs for a trip up Pikes Peak tomorrow.