i was feeling pretty fresh at this point and now that i had my hat i wasn’t worried about the cold weather at the top so much.

i left the visitor center and about one half a mile up the road is the park entrance. i rolled up to the gate so i can pay my 10 dollars, and give the old guy my credit card. he doesn’t even look at the card and right away asks to see my drivers license. i didn’t think i would need that, so i didn’t bring it. he said, “how can i take money off this if i don’t know it’s yours?” well, he had a point, but there is a certain amount of trust that must exist in society for it to be a civilized place. granted i don’t want someone riding around the country spending my money. however i don’t think that someone that would ride his bike some great distance to climb a mountain, is going to be using stolen money.

i didn’t want to get mad at the guy, because he could make my life even more difficult… so i went back down the hill to the visitor center. i tried to get some guy to let me buy his stuff for him with my credit card, and he could pay me cash.. but he only had credit as well. drats! i started talking to the ranger lady behind the counter and she made a call to one of the supervisors and they said that it should be ok, because the card is signed. i had a feeling that even though this was obvious logic, the old guy at the gate was not going to be convinced unless he was told by someone else. i asked if she could tell the guys at the gate, because they needed to be told. she did, and said it would be ok. i wasn’t feeling too comfortable about this but i had no other choice…. or did i….

i remembered the guy downstairs who rang me up for my hat. he was a young guy, with hardly any customers at his register. [no i’m not thinking about robbing him!!]. i went down to ask him if i could buy something for around ten dollars and then return it, and get cash back. i also told him my whole sad story and he agreed to do it. right on! i found this wooden oven mit holder that read “rocky mountain national park” for eleven dollars. he scanned my card and then paused and said that he could not give me cash back after all. some weird story about how i got a discount for buying with a credit card and …. i didn’t understand the rest but he looked like he was telling me the truth. my first thought was, “i don’t still have to buy this, do i?” the last thing i wanted to do was carry an oven mit holder up the mountain.

well no more back up plan. i had to go back up to the park entrance and talk to the guard. i decided to go back to the same guy because i didn’t want to step on his toes and really piss him off. i explained what the park lady told me about the signature… and he still didn’t believe me, but his supervisor was there and kind of eased him though it. i was still trying to be as nice as i could, but this old guy was acting like he was signing his house over to me or something. i pretended like he really was going out of his way to let me into the park, just to kind of make it easier….. but he still was pissed at me.

oh well at least i got in:

armedguards.jpg

at least i thought it was good to be in

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