Elk Lodge

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, Bill and I spent the weekend in Estes Park to celebrate our 28th anniversary. I have posted a blog about Estes Park so many times that the Chamber of Commerce should give me an award for tourism promotion. But despite how many times I’ve written about our adventures, I have to write at least one more E.P. post.

We approached this trip with a bit of uncertainty given COVID-19. Bill and I always stay at the same place — the Deer Crest Resort. We love this particular resort out of the probably hundreds of other lovely lodges, and have come here for years. The worst thing about the Deer Crest is that it is adults only. The best thing about the Deer Crest is that it is adults only.

Now, you know I love kids. I love the sounds of kids — the laughter, the excitement, the energy. And I’m always sad that I can’t bring my grandkids to the Deer Crest because of the adults-only rule. But on the other hand, the grounds are immaculately kept, there isn’t a noisy swimming pool, and the fire pit is limited to adults sitting around with their glasses of wine or cordials after dinner. It’s very relaxing…..

This visit, we didn’t even make it into downtown. Some argue that the downtown area is too commercialized, and I can hardly argue that fact. Taffy shops, souvenir shops, and candy shops galore. Still, who doesn’t love a good caramel apple? But the number of people walking the streets seemed a bit excessive for my comfort level, masks or not.

So we limited our visit to nature. Jen drove up on Sunday to spend the day with us. She and I drove into the park. We had to have a timed reservation in order to be allowed to enter. We drove to Bear Lake, anticipating that the limited numbers of people would result in only a few folks at this always-popular spot. We were wrong, as the parking lot was entirely full. We were thankful to have a handicapped placard (which Jen got when she had her knee surgery) because it allowed us to get past the park rangers. We had a lovely walk around Bear Lake, and reminisced about Mom, who loved that walk…..

When we got back to the Deer Crest, we talked Bill into driving into town to see the new Estes Park Resort. The new resort is gorgeous, sitting right on Lake Estes, with spectacular views of the mountains and the lake.

These two tourists were taking proper precautions.

We were excited to learn that our old favorite restaurant — the Dunraven Inn — has moved from its rather dark and crowded original environs to the new resort…..

We didn’t have the chance to eat there, but we will certainly do so very soon. Look at that view!

But our real excitement came when we returned home to the Deer Crest, and were greeted by this fellow right in our parking lot…..

And it wasn’t just a drop-in visit. This 12-point buck spent the entire evening at the resort, munching on the trees and trying to munch on the beautiful flowers until the proprietor gave a firm no-go…..

Eventually he was joined by a younger friend….

That evening after we ate our steaks, we sat at the fire pit and watched the Elk Show. The big one was no more than 50 feet away from us, and not a bit worried about it.

By the way, about 10 minutes after Jen left yesterday morning to return to her home, my phone rang. “I’m in a traffic jam,” she said. I couldn’t imagine such a traffic jam, especially at 7:30 in the morning. “Oh, it’s not people,” she said. “It’s a herd of elk blocking the intersection!”

And that, folks, is why I love Estes Park, Colorado.

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