Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Escape to Estes Park

A couple of days ago, Nate and I visited Estes Park on an overnight trip. Nate had been there before, but it was my first time visiting the quaint town of Estes Park. A few times I felt like I was "home", because of the touristy nature of Estes Park. We passed multiple ice cream and candy shops. Not to mention, the town felt like an escape from the hustle and bustle of busy city (suburban) life. It was what I expected of a mountain town, and we would both love to return again soon.

Our time in Estes Park was a nice escape from our everyday lives. We spent some time walking the main street that runs through town, and we discovered an operating watermill in the river at the end of town. The running water masked what little bit of noise we heard, making the atmosphere rather peaceful. Beautiful! Multiple times on our walk through town we inhaled deep breathes of the freshest air we had breathed in a while. The town, all of the people walking the streets, the clean air, and the wildlife were all a breath of fresh air to us both.

While visiting Estes Park, we experienced some things we don't usually see back home. We spotted quite a few deer and elk while on a drive up to the entrance of Rocky Mountain National Park. The entrance fee was a little more than we wanted to spend this trip, so we're hoping to visit again some other time and drive into the park when we have more time to explore. Not to mention, the weather was a bit "crisp". And by crisp, I mean it snowed while we were there. I don't consider snow to be the best hiking weather, and we didn't bring our snow shoes (we actually don't own any, but I wouldn't mind having some). Since we weren't exactly prepared for snow, we decided to visit the Stanley Hotel and stay inside for the day. The hotel is on the National Register of Historic Places, so we got our dose of history on our trip to Estes Park too.

Nate and I both loved our visit to the Stanley Hotel. On our drive into the parking lot at the hotel, we saw a group of people obviously on a tour of the property. We both decided, hands down, that we wanted to take the tour too. The earlier tours had filled by the time we got there, so we signed up for a tour about two hours later. We spent some time walking around on our own, and we also enjoyed a little time in the bar next to the lobby of the hotel. I obviously had to drink the "Redrum Punch" and Nate drank a "Shining-inspired" beer brewed by the Estes Park Brewery. The hotel, as we discovered during the tour, has a very rich and interesting history. Not only did the hotel inspire Stephen King to write his book, The Shining, but some scenes from the movie Dumb & Dumber were filmed there too. (If you're a D&D fan, you might recognize the staircase below as the one where Lloyd grabs Mary's ankle and trips her up while they raced up the stairs.) The tour of the Stanley Hotel proved very informative and exciting!

Most importantly, the Stanley Hotel is haunted. We learned quite a bit about the history and hauntings of the hotel on our tour, and we even had a few interesting things occur during the tour....
... more on that tomorrow.
All in all, our trip to Estes Park was everything I had imagined. Nate and I had a relaxing time, but enjoyed ourselves and had fun along the way.

1 comment:

  1. I have never been to CO (awful, I know), but it is on my to do list for sometime in the next few years. It looks SO beautiful there! :)