There are a few things you can count on: death, taxes, and the Gloor sisters leaving their mark on wherever they visit.
This time it was Estes Park, Colorado.
We have been visiting this mountain community since we were in dirndls and Mary Janes, and know it like the backs of our hands. Even so, we find ways to dig up new adventures.
Jen, who still has to deal with that nasty distraction called a job, didn’t arrive until Friday evening, so Bec and I had an afternoon to kill. The weather was overcast, but we took a quick drive into Rocky Mountain National Park anyway so that I could try out my shiny new Senior Parks Pass — the single good thing about turning 62. Ten bucks for a lifetime national parks pass. Smokin’ deal.
Bec mentioned she had never been inside the Stanley Hotel — the haunted hotel made famous by the 1980 movie The Shining. I, on the other hand, had spent one long night many years ago during a work-related three-day meeting. I’m not proud to admit that I was so terrified after one night that I requested permission to sleep in another hotel the next two nights! Upon hearing my story, Bec asked “What was it that scared you?” “Someone walking down the hallway at 3 in the morning,” I told her. When I realized how dumb that sounded, I quickly added, “and some rattling chains.” You had to be there.
Anyhow, we went to the Stanley and had an It’s-5-O’clock-Somewhere martini at the very cool Cascade Whiskey Bar off the lobby. No twins chanting redrum, I’m happy to say, and the martini was cold (and not from ghostly drafts).
We grilled enormous rib eye steaks that night after Jen arrived and finished the day with Fireball whiskey
shots after a toast to our absent brother.
We woke up Saturday morning to more overcast skies, but took a stab at finding a precious parking spot at Bear Lake in RMNP. The angels were smiling upon us and we pulled up just as a car left, so we got the opportunity to walk around Bear Lake in homage to our mother. Mom was not a hiker, but she loved the mountains and this particular walk was one of her favorites. And for good reason because the terrain is flat and the scenery is spectacular. Cheers, Mom…
We spent a quiet rest of the day watching hummingbirds battle for what they don’t seem to realize is an endless supply of nectar as provide by the Deer Crest Lodge’s
staff. Another nod to Mom, because she loved hummingbirds. I, on the other hand, do not. A bit too darty for me. We ended the day with Italian food and Fireball shiskey shots around the fire pit which we shared with others also enjoying the fire, with a toast to our absent brother.
Jen left after church and breakfast, and Bec and I took a drive to nearby Allenspark to visit a Native American jewelry shop we learned about from our friends around the previous night’s campfire, told to us in appreciation for sharing our Fireball. But before we reached the shop, we stopped at Lilly Lake and walked the perimeter. There are few things we haven’t seen in the Estes Park area and this was one. It was beautiful….
Bec and I concluded our last full day in Estes by visiting the Alluvial Fan, a rocky waterfall resulting from the 1982 Lawn Lake Flood of Rocky Mountain National Park and Estes Park. The trail, we recalled, was short — a mere .3 miles up to the waterfall. We don’t need no stinking closed-toed shoes.
For the most part, we didn’t. But right at the end of the short trail, it gets quite rocky and a bit vertical. We were okay, but certainly the flip-flops we were wearing wouldn’t have been the shoe of choice for real hikers. We got up to the top. As we enjoyed the view, a young couple came down from their close-up view of the waterfall. The young man jokingly said to us, “Which rock up there are you going to walk to?” We laughed accommodatingly, and pointed to a rock way up above us. His friend, a young woman, looked down at our flip-flop-clad feet and said, “Hmmm, looks like you wore your hiking shoes too….” Touche…..
At least this time there were no rattlesnakes.
Bye, Estes. See you in the fall during bugling season!