This was our first long term stop in “The West”. It was at Rocky Top Campground that we settled in and had our first “stay” experience that was not friends nor family related since starting our journey. An internet search discovered the RV Park and a phone call sealed the deal. This was our new home, for the month of May. The folks that run in were really nice and always a friendly wave or “Hello!”. The park is basic, clean and well run. It sits right next to US 24 about 20 minutes “up” from Manitou Springs via The Ute Pass. Woodland Park is the next City, about 20 minutes farther down US24.
Many “firsts” happened at Rocky Top RV Park.
- Cooking – It was our first experience with living (and cooking) at 9000 feet. It stared with morning coffee tasting really bad and having no idea why. It’s different up there.
- Our first introduction to the phrase “Altitude comes with Attitude” or as it was put to us by the Camp host “It’s 9000 feet, anything can happen!” and she was right.
- The sky is a different color when you go higher. The RV Park is nestled between two parallel mountain ranges that form the Waldo Canyon. The views of the valley are incredible. In the morning, you can watch as the misty puffs of fog rise up from deep in the valley to merge into the clouds in the Oh So Amazing blue skies.
- The sun rises later as it takes a bit longer to rise over the mountain peaks. This is an amazing thing to watch as the sun peeks over the mountain and the rays of sunlight cast bright, moving patterns on the ground, from the shapes of the mountain peaks and crags. You can watch the ground squirrels coming out to sun themselves in the warm light. Their eyes closing for the briefest moment of peaceful enjoyment before becoming quickly back to being ever vigilant and aware.
- Ground squirrels. Just as industrious as regular squirrels but they live in the ground and dig extensive tunnel systems. Everywhere.
- First wild elk sighting. Granted it was really far away but first none the less. A local herd of elk make cameo appearances in the fields directly around the Park.
- Hummingbirds live in the mountains! They were every where! I had no idea they were so territorial either. They may be small but there is no fear when it comes to protecting what they see as theirs. They will buzz past you making the most amazing (and loud) noise. Even when they are not vocalizing their wings make a noise as well. It is quite the thing to see and hear! Our daily walks took us past a camp that had several feeders out. On a good night there would be 20-30 hummingbirds around the feeders.
- The stars are closer. The night sky was just as incredible as the clouds being born during the day. The stars jump from the black.
- The full moon is closer and over powering in it’s size and intensity.
- The first realization that I would probably never go back to living in a bricks and sticks home.
We enjoyed our stay here and would recommend it to others. Its location is unique but is close to Manitou Springs, Garden of the Gods, Woodland Park and Green Mountain Falls. Green Mountain Falls is the home of The Pantry, a must do breakfast stop in Colorado. Rocky Top Campground is a nice, well kept place. Though the buildings are a bit dated the Park and surrounding area remain timeless. Woodland Park has the closest grocery store, a City Market. Woodland Park is also the jump off point for many adventures to be had in Florissant National Monument, Mueller State Park, Cripple Creek, Divide and other incredible Colorado destinations.
If You Go:
http://www.rockytopco.com/ Here is their website.