Day 1
Denver - Ft. Collins - Horsetooth Heights - 
North Big Thompson Fork - Estes Park

Pat and Judy arrived in Denver for a week of riding Harleys in the Rockies.  Judy and I picked them up at the new Denver airport which, near as I can figure, is closer to Kansas City than Denver.  We took I-25 north to Ft. Collins' Thunder Mountain Harley-Davidson where Pat had arranged a "Fly-And-Ride" rental.  While Pat completed the paperwork, I bailed my bike out of service and the girls checked out Thunder Mountain's large stock of Harley accessories.  Since Estes Park had experienced an inch of snow on the prior Saturday, we were expecting some cooler weather.  I purchased a pair of leather chaps just in case.

With Judy and Judy following in the Honda CR-V, Pat and I rode the Harleys from Ft. Collins back to Estes Park.  But first we got lost trying out a new route.  After making a couple of circles around Loveland we finally gave up and asked directions.  Only problem was, the person we asked didn't know where he was, much less where the road to Horsetooth Heights was.  Through trial and error and a little help from the two Judy's, we finally found the narrow two-lane road leading up into the mountains and down to Colorado Highway 34 and the Dam Store.  The ride made getting lost worth the effort.
We made a rest stop at the Dam Store, named for its location near a dam in Big Thompson River.  The restrooms were down stairs and through a narrow hallway.  At the end of the hallway was a door with a sign that said "restrooms".  Going through the door led to a narrow walk-bridge over a stream to a door which also said "restrooms".  Only problem was, there was nothing on the other side of the door!!  Just a door blocking the bridge.  Needless to say, the two Judy's weren't impressed with Pat's directions!
After leaving the Dam Store, we were stopped by a deputy sheriff blocking the road.  A loaded propane truck had toppled into Big Thompson River and no traffic was being allowed up Colorado 34 to Estes Park.  We were directed to a narrow, winding road that followed North Big Thompson River to Estes Park.  What a find!  Curves galore, and the scenery was magnificent.  As we topped a hill just outside Estes Park, the snow-capped Rocky Mountains came into full view.  What a sight!
After Pat and Judy unpacked and repacked for the bikes, we headed downtown to Mama Rose's Italian Restaurant for an evening meal of pasta.  Pasta is supposed to help you become acclimated to the high altitude.  Pat and Judy were having trouble adjusting to the altitude after coming from sea-level Orlando to 7,500 foot Estes Park.  We don't know whether the carbohydrates helped, but the meal was delicious.  
After dinner we strolled along the Big Thompson River which runs through the downtown area and down main street checking out shops as we went.  Pat decided not to purchase this "Hoss Cartwright" hat.  A smart decision.


Even smarter was the decision not to purchase the aviator cap.
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