Estes is the bestez
Last Thursday Rima and I decided to go on an adventure I've been wanting to go on for quite some time, Estes Park and Rocky National Park! Now for those of you who may not know (but will now) Estes park is where the famous Stanley Hotel is located. The one from the Shinning. To be accurate the inside of the Hotel in the movie is the Stanley Hotel. The outside of the Hotel was shot in Vermont. Rima and I have a slight (healthy) obsession with the movie. Particularly the "red rum, red rum" and Tony parts. If you have not seen this amazing cinematic experience please do so and promptly, for your own sake.
Rima has been to both Estes Park and Rocky National Park before, shocking I know. She always seems to have a leg up on me with our day trips. Try telling this girl to slow down or the words "no, I don't think we should" and you will have to observe a side glance death stare that may only be appropriate for an inmate of Orange is the New Black. I try to bite my tongue on times like these unless I know her immediate health is on the line or she will have to pay the consequences shortly after. For example driving up to 12,000 feet in elevation. One can only strongly suggest/offer to drive until getting the same "no" response but at a higher and more annoyed octave follows. Pick your battles has never been so true than now.
The drive to Estes park or the way we decided to take is quite scenic. You drive through Boulder and then Lyons a sleepy but picturesque mountain town. We will definitely be going back there specifically to explore and wonder. Estes Park is stunning, tucked in the arms and folds of the mountains. It surprised me how busy and populated it was. In my mind it was going to me more of a town and a bit more rural. This was almost mountain city like. A very busy and popular main street or streets area. Multiple shopping areas and centers. They for sure get amazon prime out here! The Stanley Hotel was also not what I expected. Again in my imagination it was on top of a hill secluded from the rest of the town, nope! There is a Safeway at the end of the street that leads up to the large white complex of buildings. Yes, on a slight hill but nothing like in my imagination. I think I'll stick with what I made up in my head.
We wanted to go and walk around the hotel grounds for a little and possibly ask one of the concierges if Danny or Tony were in. Sadly our plan was abruptly squashed when we arrived to a gate with a man who informed us it would be $10 to park on the grounds. If we did not want to pay we could park at the Safeway at the end of the hill and walk up. Ah, sir...two issues. Numero Uno, I'm not paying $10 to park a car for 15 minutes or less, do we look like complete suckers to you? Numero dos, the young lady in the drives seat is wearing oxygen, I don't think walking up this hill is in the cards for her, at least not today. So we departed in protest, not sure if it had any effect on their park policy or not, we might revisit this issue next time.
With our hearts slightly squished at the prospect of not being able to run down a hall yelling "Danny.....Danny?!?" we embarked on our adventure to Rocky National Park. Rima, believe it or not was "ants in her pants" excited about going to the park. The park is about a 5-10 minute drive from the center of Estes. Boy are the locals lucky to have this place so close to them. This park is HUGE! There is a part of it called the Rocky Mountain Loop that takes about 4 hours to complete by car, not sure how long by bike. Boy, those bikes are dedicated/insane. This park is located in the mountains, so there are a lot of inclines to maneuver around especially tight up hill turns with no guard rails. You could not pay me to take a bike up those mountains. My blood pressure barley made it in a automobile with airbags. Yes, I have a "slight" fear of heights, trying to work on it, Colorado might be making it worse or better, the jury is still out on that.
This place is gorgeous, stunningly gorgeous. I can't wait to see it in the fall with the yellow tipped Aspen trees. There are so many pull offs and photos ops, too many to count. As luck would have it, the one day we decide grace our presence at the park, is the same day a bike race has descended on the mountain, oh bully! As we were drove up we passed biker after biker, after biker speeding down the twists and turns on the landscape. I really felt bad for the cars coming down that were now stuck in between hundreds of daredevil bikers. The higher we ascended, snow became a part of the natural landscape. For Rima this meant one things, the possible sighting of wildlife. Take note please, she is the driver. Try driving up a curvy mountain with bikers and not guard rails while your conductor is scoping out for animals from the sides of her eyes. I'm surprised I didn't bite my nails off. Again let me reiterate, I offered/strongly suggested to drive, but I'm smart enough to know when to sit down and shut up.
When we basically got to the top of one of the many mountains Rima's dreams came true. We turned a snowy sided corner and a shriek of surprised delight came from Rima's vocal cords. She quickly and safely pulled over to a turn off point and jabbed at the direction of where her eyes were staring. I would guess about a hundred feet away three big horned sheep were grazing at literally the fall off point of the mountain side. Dreams do come true and seeing them become a reality for Rima was quite entertaining. She got multiple photos in, not the best since iPhones still don't have the best zoom in features, something I personally think they should address and fix before releasing the 7 or what ever creative name they decided to call it, 7.1?
Finally I was able to talk some sense into El Captain and take over the helm of the vehicle. My argument might have been that I was a horrible animal scout and she would be much better at locating them if she was the passenger. Reason won and my blood pressure went down to it semi normal level, what ever that maybe. We lucked out and missed the race descending the mountains, timing was on our side after all. We drove back to Estes park to find some much needed nourishment, at least for me. In the last few years "hangry" has be come apart of my vocabulary. Rima, bless her soul has not decapitated me in these "out of my control times". We found a cute restaurant for a late lunch and enjoyed a ladies luncheon on their patio. Close by was a free local concert so we got to people watch, lots of tie-dye shirts in these parts. Post lunch we walked around the main drag of shops for a little and window shopped, I may or may have not succumbed to purchasing a "tourist" shirt.
On our drive back home we decided that we would eventually have a compound in the outskirts of Estes Park where we would have a main house and then multiple cabins for family and friends to stay. We will have a lake, inground pool , zipline, fire pits and a bar. No, the altitude was not getting to us. Invitations pending till we brake ground on the outdoor theater.