I’ve been following the 2011 opening of Rocky Mountain National Park’s Trail Ridge Road with armchair enthusiasm this May and June, and I have to say, it’s been epic.
Last year, I went up to the park for their media day, which gives nosy reporters like me access to the road just before it’s open to the public. It was rad. And super impressive. I blogged about it here.
This year, the media day was delayed. The park tries to get the road open every year in time for Memorial Day weekend. By the sound of it, they weren’t even close this year.
Kyle Patterson, RMNP’s spokeswoman, reported in a May 17 release:
“Plow operators encountered 22 feet of snow east of Forest Canyon Overlook,
23 feet of snow when plowing through Rock Cut, 15 feet of snow at Lava
Cliffs and 16 feet of snow at Gore Range. These range from average to
above average. Snow measurements near Farview Curve on the west side of
the park are some of the deepest that have been seen.”
The park sent out a notice in late April that they were hoping to host the media day soon. After canceling their first attempt at a media day, in mid-May, they sent a link to photos (from May 13, 2011) that summed up what the park’s plow operators were facing up there.
When the road finally opened on Monday (May 6), there had to be much elation in Kyle’s office. Yay, I thought, it’s finally over. Then another email landed in my inbox, subject line:
“Employees shovel for eight days to open Rocky Mountain NP store”
“After a winter of near-record snowfall,” the release goes on, “the Trail Ridge Gift Store and Cafe…have finally opened for the season.”
Happy summer, mountainites.