I finally figured out that "Rocky Mountain high" is altitude sickness. Everyone staggers around like drunks once you get to about 12000 ft. It's hilarious. You can tell who the most devout Muslims and Mormons are because they don't have a clue how to look sober up here.
About 12500 ft up and a few miles into the park is the Alpine Visitors' Center. While I was there enjoying the view, an Irish family beelined to me to ask me to take their photo. They've been from NYC to Montana to Utah and now the top o' the Rockies with us, and about 30 elk and 3 marmots. Just so happens I was in Dublin this very time last year. More, I had just given the cafeteria cashier an Irish 20c piece I happened to have in my pocket.
This trip has given me some reason not to go to Kilimanjaro. I had several days of painful migraines, and spent the hours after the 4th of July fireworks in so much pain I nearly begged hubby to take me to the hospital. The thing about a migraine like that is, there really isn't much they can do except shoot you up with painkillers and steroids. if the triptans aren't working, you just have to hang on and try not to beg for sweet sweet death, until the searing pain and nausea decide to let you live. And that was at 7500 feet. Our 3rd night, I was over 8500 ft, and felt like I had asthma. We were following the "hike up, sleep down" technique but it took a lot longer for me to adjust to each level than I had hoped.
I was fine by day 4, up to 14000 ft. If this were Kili, I'd still have a mile to go. Straight up. I'm not sure I can take it. Maybe if we moved to Colorado...