National Park Hop: Day Five | Rocky Mountain

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Before heading to the Rockies we ventured into Boulder for a quick coffee and discovered Boxcar Coffee Roasters. We were introduced to their "Boilermakr" process - a method that the owner invented as a way of dealing with the high altitude in Colorado. Basically, after a short bloom the coffee grounds are boiled in a glass flat bottom flask, briefly iced, filtered, and served. It was the most exciting cup of coffee we've watched being made, with all the anticipation of a science experiment unfolding. The result was sweet, smooth, and pure. We were believers on the spot.

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Once we were fully caffeinated, we made our way up and into Rocky Mountain National Park, the last National Park on our trip. We landed a campsite with the above view, took in the fresh mountain air, pitched our tent, and drove around to discover the park.

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Blue skies turned dark and stormy, pockets of snow began to appear, and lush forests became sparse as we went further up the mountain and entered the Alpine Tundra.

We could have stopped every mile to take photos, the views were so magical.

We stopped at the Alpine Visitor Center and found the Alpine Ridge Trail, which is mostly a steep rock staircase. Luke took off running while Kate took her time up to the 12,005 feet lookout point.

The rocks camouflaged that marmot pretty well, but not enough to keep us from spotting him!

We could tell a storm was near so we quickly made our way down the mountain back to our campsite. We jimmy-rigged a rain cover over our tent to make up for a rip we discovered earlier on the trip. Good thing we did since it poured that night.