Bird’s eye view of Rocky Mountain NP protest

There was a demonstration this morning in Estes Park, Colo. to protest the closure of Rocky Mountain National Park. And as much as I wanted to be there, I couldn’t manage a second trip up there this week. The cloudy morning matched my mood.

Then, just before the demonstration/march was scheduled to begin, it struck me — I could watch on the controllable Tram Cam* webcam. It was a long, fuzzy, bird’s eye view, but it was in real time. What fun! (Apologies to Eric Caulkins for monopolizing his camera for almost an hour.)

The march was scheduled to begin at 10 am, and I was watching the area by 9:45. (I’m one of those people who’s so concerned about being on time that I always end up arriving early.) Normal people, of course, show up at the stated time or later. I was starting to think no one at all was going to show up, but right at 10 o’clock, people started arriving.

The main road in these screenshots is Moraine Avenue / Park Entrance Road. Running parallel to it on the right is High Drive. Mills Drive comes in from the top. The activities, whatever they are, are taking place right in the middle, behind those trees. I can’t tell if that’s the location of the entrance sign I photographed on Monday, but it was apparent no one was going beyond that point.

At 10:02, cars are beginning to park along Moraine Ave. A few park on High Drive.
At 10:05, more cars have arrived.
10:09 am
10:09. Is that a school bus arriving? Great idea! A civics lesson for the kids.
10:14. Here come some marchers, walking — not driving — to the event. Good for them!
10:15. The marchers approach the line of parked cars.
10:16. The incoming marchers are met by some who were already gathered behind the trees.
10:27 As nearly as I can tell, everyone is gathered on the road behind those trees.
10:28 A wider view. Is that a police car on High Drive, at the right edge of the picture?
10:30 Two cars parked side by side like that … gotta be police. Yes?

I kept panning back and forth, looking up and down the road toward and past the visitor center, hoping to see the marchers moving beyond the trees. But it never happened. I’m wondering if they were met by park officials or police and forbidden to proceed. Regardless, it mattered that they were there.

10:40 The orange vehicle turns around to leave. Too small for a school bus. More like one of those little vans used by retirement centers.
10:49 Another larger vehicle turns around to leave. Hadn’t noticed it before.

An hour later I heard on the news that some states that asked permission to reopen their national parks because of financial hardships have received permission to do so. I’m assuming that includes Colorado and Rocky Mountain National Park. Our Congressional delegation — some of them, anyway — and Governor Hickenlooper have been working hard to get it done, and it sounds like they succeeded.

Congratulations, everyone! And thank you. Estes Park and the people of Colorado needed and deserved this.

Denver’s 9News reported on the demonstration during its 5 pm broadcast:

*The Tram Cam requires a 64-bit browser and Java. It won’t work with Chrome.


8 thoughts on “Bird’s eye view of Rocky Mountain NP protest

  1. What a great idea to use the webcams!
    Little steps, but results look promising.
    Supposed to be a big protest Sat in Smokey MTS Sat. and CA has multiple protest, too.
    This isn’t about recreation and hiking – it’s about jobs that feed families – and that promise to help CO flood areas.
    March on. Those are OUR parks – not the Federal Government’s or the NPS.
    Great job governors!

    1. Yes, it’s absolutely about jobs and economic well-being. In Colorado, especially, there are a jillion places for recreation, hiking, and tourism outside of national parks.

  2. Yes, the protest culminated at the RMNP sign, about 1/2 mile before Beaver Meadows entrance to the park. Here is a link to a video that I filmed of the event:

    1. Darrell, thanks so much for sharing this!! I was hoping someone who was there might find this blog and provide some more information, but I never expected a video. This is wonderful.

... and that's my two cents