Estes Park and Rocky Mtn Nat’l Park – 7/7/13 to 7/9/13

Elk in Rocky Mountain National Park

Elk in Rocky Mountain National Park

Colorado continues to impress us with its breathtaking scenery, cool towns and friendly people! The weather here is wild. We could go from hot sun to rain, hail, thunder & lightning back to sun in 15 min’s. Kind of cool, especially for weather boy, Mike. His Intellicast app is definitely getting a workout! It is nice though as we know any bad weather will soon pass, unlike Seattle, where the rain pretty much stays all day once it arrives.

IMG_0273We said goodbye to the Arreola’s in Broomfield after being treated to 3 nights of luxury at their house, and headed north to Estes Park. This is a very cool town in the mountains, surrounded by snowy peaks, lakes and rivers at the entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park. Our home for the next 3 nights was Estes Park campground at Mary’s Lake. A great spot and Mike finally had a chance to fish! He caught one small trout, but not worth keeping, so threw him back in.

We explored the town of Estes Park which consists of lots of shops, galleries, restaurants, bars, a winery and brewery. We headed up to one of the main attractions here, The Stanley Hotel. This is the hotel that Stephen King based the Shining on. But, better yet, it is also where many scenes from the movie Dumb & Dumber were filmed. This is one of Mike’s favorite movies and I love anything Hollywood-ish, so we had to go! We had a drink in the bar and took some pics. See if you recognize any of them from the movie.

The Stanley House - In the movie, they drive up to the hotel in their sports car

The Stanley House – In the movie, they drive up to the hotel in their sports car

This is the staircase they race up

This is the staircase they race up

This is where the bar scene took place

This is where the bar scene took place

View from deck of Mary's Lake Lodge

View from deck of Mary’s Lake Lodge

After exploring town, we headed back toward our campsite and detoured to Mary’s Lake Lodge. Sat on the deck, had dinner and enjoyed the incredible view. Doesn’t get much better than this. I would recommend this area to anyone coming to Estes Park as it feels out of the hustle bustle of town, but still close and provided great access to the National Park too.

The next day, we planned to head into the National Park. Mike was gung-ho to do some more fishing, so we planned our hike out to a lake and he packed his gear. When we arrived in the park, we learned there was road construction in the area we wanted to go. We weren’t allowed to drive our car, so had to rely on their shuttle system. They could certainly take a few pointers from Zion, but it all worked out. About a mile into our hike, we arrived at a cool waterfall. We got caught in a huge hail/rainstorm which we weren’t prepared for. I wasn’t feeling that great, so we decided to turn back. So much for the hike to the lake. We made our way back through the shuttle ordeal to our car and decided to take a scenic drive to another part of the park – a gravel switchback road to the Alpine Visitor Center at 11,796 ft elevation. The rain followed us though and unfortunately, we couldn’t appreciate the view as much as we would have liked. Headed back to the MoHo where Mike did some more fishing at the lake and we had a delicious taco dinner!

Driving through Rocky Mountain National Park on our way to Steamboat

Driving through Rocky Mountain National Park on our way to Steamboat Springs

This morning, we did a major cleaning in/out of the MoHo before departing at 10am on our way to our final destination in CO, Steamboat Springs. We had to drive back through Rocky Mountain National Park (this time with the MoHo and toad). A little dicey with the hairpin turns and steep grades up and down, but Mike is a pro! I however have huge anxiety, so had to settle my nerves with a Sofia Coppola mini. The weather was much better today, so the Rocky Mountain views were outstanding and we even saw a few groupings of elk. That’s it for now. Thanks for reading!

3 thoughts on “Estes Park and Rocky Mtn Nat’l Park – 7/7/13 to 7/9/13

  1. Sunny Cameron

    Great updates! Looking forward to seeing you in two weeks! Sunny Cameron 509-961-4339 []

  2. Felton McAfee

    That motor home should feel right at home with the places you are visiting. We spent quite a bit of time in Colorado the past two years at Estes Park, Ouray, Silverton, Colorado Springs etc.. I hope you played golf at the Estes Park course. It is beautiful and each evening large herds of Elk are on the course grazing away. They have to repair the course daily from the previous evening Elk activities. Even if you don’t play, you can go out to the driving range at the course in the evening and be treated to mama’s and their babies along with some large bulls grazing. Enjoy yourselves. There is a lot to see in this beautiful world. Celia and I have taken two cruises since we last saw you and have another planned in September from London to NYC, and then in October from Rome to Ft. Lauderdale. We are especially looking forward to the October cruise. One of the stops is Agadir, Morocco. We were stationed in Morocco for 2 years back in the 70’s and are anxious to see that amazing country once again.
    Felton McAfee

    1. Mike

      Thanks Felton. Unfortunately we didn’t get to golf at Estes Park, but we really did love the area. We saw our fair share of elk and other animals in Grand Teton and Yellowstone. Glad you guys are cruising so much!


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