Saturday, April 4, 2015

Day 2....The Surprise Weekend Adventure Continues

Day 2:
Sunday morning, bright and early, we left Denver heading north. I was promised that there were more adventures to, I thought, this is it. We are heading to Wyoming. A couple of hours drive and we're there. But then what? We would drive a couple of hours and arrive at the beginning of the bike tour and then what? So, once again, this scenario didn't make sense. So I caved and asked Whitney, who was sitting in the backseat with me, where we were going. She told me Estes Park and then I knew......we would see snow, today. Now, it's making sense.

The drive to Estes Park was beautiful. We saw ranches and farms and old barns. I didn't get pictures of them because it's difficult taking pictures from a moving car. Once we arrived at Estes Park, there was whispering going on and I started wondering what in the world are they up to. They were trying to figure out how to get to this particular address. And once we arrived, I saw that it was a ski, bike, snowshoe rental place. So naturally I thought that we were going bike riding.



Yipee! I've never been snowshoeing. I got excited about seeing snow and shoeing through it. We picked up the shoes, got directions to a trail and we were off to The Rocky Mountain National Park.

Man, I never get tired of this view! That's the Rockies, y'all!

On the drive up to the trail, we saw this beauty....

(I stand someone who knows......this is an elk not a moose.)
A female elk! If this had been a moose like I originally thought, it would have made my day. Heck, my day was already made....who am I kidding! Ha!

I think Jason told me this was mule deer.
I remember he said their ears were much bigger than a deer's.

I had to do a google search to find out what this bird was. It is a Steller's Jay. It's related to our blue jays, but lives in the west. Isn't it a beauty?

Whitney and Cliff

Whitney and Jason

Jason tried his best to climb up the mountain, but kept bogging down to his knees.

And, we are ready to go. 

And that's me....I'm the only one that used poles. After falling into the creek yesterday, I decided poles might not be a bad idea....seeing how we were going to be on a mountain and all. Not even a close call today, thank goodness.

Now Cliff is the one that's always talking someone else into doing something crazy. He told Jason to run as fast as he could so he could video him. Poor Jason, I know he burned 12,000 calories on that sprint.

I'm just still in awe of the beauty of this land.

And, just one more view before we leave.

And here's your Christmas tree.

Elk, I think. This was on the way back down to Estes Park.

Now, if you thought we were finished....we weren't. There was one more attraction to see, before leaving Estes Park. We had been talking about it all day. Does the picture below ring a bell? 
It is said to be haunted. Cliff and Jason were trying their best to get Whitney and me to spend the night there. Now, although I don't believe in ghosts, I didn't want to take any chances considering the reason this hotel is so famous.  Still don't know?

It sure is pretty. The red and white just pop against the backdrop of the Rockies.

Since we were not guests, we couldn't go past the lobby. And because there were so many people walking around, it was difficult to get pictures. But I did take a few of things that interested me. I love this fireplace mantel and mirror. And although I don't care for wallpaper, this one is pretty.

Look at this old elevator and what would you call that.....a floor indicator? Ha! Anyway, does Room 237 ring a bell?

A picture of the hotel and grounds.

Another old mirror in the gift shop. I love the wood molding in here.

Another view of the hotel. Obviously, this critter is not afraid to dine on the grounds. Does RedRum ring a bell? Ok, I've made you guess long enough. This is the Stanley Hotel, the one that the movie The Shining was filmed in. Everything happened in room 237. And RedRum is murder spelled backwards. Now, do you see why Whitney and I couldn't be paid to stay there? Ha! It was definitely pretty though. I would love to go back some time and take a tour.  But, I'll be long gone before dark.

Day 3:

We ran another trail. This one was near Whitney's apartment. It was called The Bluffs. I think the view from this trail was much prettier than at Red Rocks.

See what I mean? You can see 180 degree views of the Rockies.
This is Denver between the mountains and the trail.

Pretty still.....

......from atop this hill.

Wrapping up this Colorado trip....I loved the anticipation of where Cliff was taking me. It was so fun trying to guess where we were going and what we would be doing. I loved our adventure and it was even better that we got to do it with Whitney and Jason. I packed light and took warm clothes as instructed, but next time I think I'll question a little more. It was very warm in Denver, this week. Thank goodness I had the forethought to take a short sleeve shirt. Jeans were fine. I'm learning how to dress on these adventures. Layering makes it easy. You can dress warm and shed the layers when you warm up. In Denver, though, always take a jacket. It can be warm one minute and cool the next. Now, the next Colorado adventure, I hope is in the fall. I have seen those Aspens and they are gorgeous! I just can't get enough of them.

I was going to post more details about the wedding, but I'm running out of time. This is going to be a very busy week and I'm not sure I'll have time to blog. I'm sure I will write about the wedding and post pictures as soon as I rest up and gather my thoughts. We are so excited! Til then......... 

Happy Easter, y'all!
And remember, He Lives!



  1. What a great surprise for a trip...I know how much you love it there. Heading back home in a few months, and can't wait...even have tickets for a concert at Red Rocks the last night! LOVE the Stanley - such a pretty town, Estes Park is. I actually got a photo of a Jack Nicholson impersonator (complete with ax), last time, in front of the hotel. What a hoot! Happy Easter, Laurie...P.S. the animal in the first two photos that you tagged as a female moose are actually a female elk. But, the deer are indeed "Mulies" (Mule Deer). Stouter and heartier than the delicate white tails of the Midwest.

    1. Oh my goodness, thanks for letting me know about the elk, Tanya. We couldn't decide. I really thought moose were much bigger though. It would thrill me to death to see a moose! And yes, I do love Colorado. There's so much more I want to see and do. It would be great, if we could get together sometime and go exploring together.

  2. PPS...I DID see a moose last summer, heading into Estes, from the Nederland side. Huge and completely dark brown - the elk have a lighter coloring to them, coupled with that huge white rump. I guess I haven't lost the "Colorado Girl" inside. ;-) XOXO

  3. I have never been to Estes Park, but I have heard that it is beautiful.

    What a fun surprise vacation!

    Happy Easter

    1. Happy Easter, Carol. Estes Park is very beautiful. It is gorgeous in every direction. Hope you're doing well. I think about you often.

  4. I knew that hotel immediately! I really do want to stay there one day...maybe on Halloween...hehe! I've been to Estes park and although I'm not fond of mountains..heights and was beautiful and having a snowball fight in July was a blast. Any time you need a snow fix, come on up...this year we had plenty to spare! How fun to have a surprise like that!

    1. Oh girl, you are brave! I don't believe in ghosts, but I had the chills just walking through. Next year, if I need a snow fix, I'll be knocking on your door. Ha!

  5. We visited RMNP once and loved it. Lucky you! And so adventurous to get up an go again even after falling in the creek.

    1. It is such a beautiful part of the US. But then again, I know there are so many more beautiful places that I have not visited yet. I am an adventurous soul. I love a good challenge and I love the outdoors. So getting up and going biggy.

  6. oh Laurie what a great second day and yes the rockies are so beautiful. Your mini vacation turned out so wonderful and you got to snow shoe good for you,

    1. It sure was fun! I think I need to try snowmobiling next. HaHa!

  7. such beautiful country and wildlife! i've never been snowshoeing. i think it would be fun (and i'd probably be too sore to move the following day.) :)

    1. Thank you! It was lots of fun and surprisingly it did not make me sore. The biggest obstacle was trying not to overlap the shoes and even that wasn't too bad.

  8. Wow, wow, wow. Seeing that view must have been awesome.

    1. Yes it was....jaw dropping for sure!