Monday, September 13, 2010

Elk, Ghosts, and Goodbye to the Rockies

See all the photos from this trip on Flickr.

This was it - our last day in Estes Park. We started at the Estes Park Visitors Center to get advice on where to rent bikes for a ride around Lake Estes. From there, we walked to the marina to pick up our bikes.

Along the way we encountered a large herd of elk who came down from some high rocks next to the lake trail, crossed the trail, and went out into the lake. The huge bull elk with his enormous rack of antlers came last at a majestic pace, looking left and right to make sure that no one was nearby to bother his herd before he crossed the path .

After our bike ride we went to the historic Stanley Hotel, built in the early 1900s by F.O. Stanley , the inventor of the Stanley Steamer automobile, to house his friends when they visited Estes Park. The hotel is reported to be haunted by the happy ghosts of former guests, some of them children. It was also Stephen King's inspiration for the hotel in his horror novel The Shining, although, contrary to popular belief, the movie was not filmed here. (The exterior of the Timberline Lodge at Mt. Hood was actually used for the film.) Our tour guide gave us an interesting and enthusiastic overview of the history of the hotel and the Stanley family and we enjoyed a nice lunch out on the patio in the warm sunshine.

Tomorrow we'll have breakfast and drive back to Denver to fly home. This has been a great trip. We're glad to add Rocky Mountain National Park to the growing list of national parks that we have visited.

See all our photos from this trip on Flickr.

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