The Stanley

(133:  The Stanley Hotel.  Estes Park, Colorado.  Photo © 2009 by Robin)

I think Stevo will like this one.

I’ve seen better photos (scarier photos) of the Stanley Hotel but this was the best I could do since we did a quick drive-by and didn’t find the time to go back later during our trip (also, I’m not all that handy-dandy with Photoshop so I did the best I could).  I’d like to take a tour of the Stanley the next time we visit Estes Park.  The historic ghost tour sounds like lots of fun.

(Without the special effects of Photoshop)

The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park was built in 1909.  One of the things that interests a lot of people is that the Stanley is where Stephen King began work on his novel “The Shining” (in room #217).

Standing near the bottom of the hill and looking up at it, with the mountains looming in the background, I can see how it might inspire King (sorry, my pictures just don’t capture it well).  And since the theme this month is haunted, I tried to work with that in the first photo but, to be honest, it was a gorgeous day (no dark and gloomy sky to go with the looming mountains) and the hotel looked quite beautiful and welcoming to me.

Then again, I suppose if it was an evil hotel, it would want to appear beautiful and welcoming, wouldn’t it?  Just to lure people in…

I’m not sure I could afford a night at the Stanley.  It might be worth saving up for as it looks like a gorgeous hotel and it would be fun to wander around the building and the grounds, and to get to know more about the history of the place.

In other news…

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Last day

(Interesting skies.)

It’s our last day in Estes Park.  We’ll take one more short hike tomorrow morning before we head back to Boulder to spend the night with M the Younger and Mere.  Early Tuesday morning we head home.

The past two days have been full and have included some long hikes with lots of elevation changes.  Believe it or not, I actually find going up easier than coming down but that’s due to having acquired my own injury on this trip, one that involves my hip and leg.  I’ve kept moving up until today.  Other than two short hikes (with a total mileage of about 2 miles or so), I’ve been resting.  We started with an early morning hike with the newlyweds, who left us shortly after the hike to return to their home.  M and I set up picnic camp at Endovalley picnic grounds in the Rocky Mountain National Park and hung out there for a while, having lunch and then taking a short hike to try to find a waterfall that M had read about.  We didn’t find the one we set out to find but did find another.

(On the Gem Lake Trail.  From this morning.)

I’ll be kind of sad to leave this area.  It’s incredibly beautiful and I have no problem visualizing myself living here for the rest of my life.  I’d certainly end up in great shape if we lived here.

The weather has been wonderful.  Today was the first day we had any rain or storms.  I took the above “Interesting Skies” photo a couple hours ago.  We sat in the Moraine Park area of RMNP and watched as the storms rolled in.  We saw a few bolts of lightning and heard plenty of thunder rumbling behind the mountains.

As soon as I finish messing about here on the computer we’re going out for drinks and dinner.  Then I guess we’ll come back and start packing.  If I have time, I’ll come back and update with a few more photos.


On top of the world

I’m too tired tonight to describe our day.  We started out before 9:00am and got back to the hotel around 5:00pm.  We went up to what, for me so far, is the top of the world.  We were up beyond 12,000 feet.  It’s hard to breathe up there.

We saw plenty of mountains and some wildlife including chipmunks, various squirrels, marmots, pikas, and elk.  The wildflowers are still blooming and adding a lovely touch of color.

(From the Alpine Visitor’s Center on Trail Ridge Road.)

We did some hiking, a little here and there.  Grand total was maybe 3-4 miles.  Mostly we traveled by car along the Old Fall River Road and Trail Ridge Road.  It gave us a great overview (literally!) of this part of Rocky Mountain National Park.

(Too lazy exhausted to find my notebook & look up where this was.)

All the exercise we’ve had at higher altitudes than the Bogs has changed me considerably.  The dry air has added to those changes.  I’ll show you:

(Ha!)

Dinner tonight sucked.  I’ll deal with that at TripAdvisor when I get home.  If anyone has any recommendations for decent food in Estes Park, Colorado, I’d appreciate it if you’d leave me a note about it.  So far, it hasn’t been good.

And on that note, I’m off to bed.  ‘Night!