October 29, 2012 –Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park, CO

Leaving Brighton this morning, our drive took us through Colorado wheat country where the alternating bands result from those sections of the fields which were currently under cultivation and those laying fallow for the year.

Then, turning west, the Front Range of the Rockies rose up abruptly from a generally level, mile-high plain.  The snow-capped peaks of the higher elevations standing out against the blue sky.

After driving through Loveland,

we began to enter a series of narrow, winding canyons , paralleling the Big Thompson River.

Along the way, we passed a totem pole

And a “dam” store (actually named for the Big Thompson Dam).

Arriving in the mountain town of Estes Park, our main stop was The Stanley Hotel

built by F.O. Stanley who was forced to move west for health reasons.  Arriving in Estes Park in 1903 with two of his famous [Stanley] Steamers


Model EX

he discovered the town lacking in amenities and set out to change the local economy.  On the 160 acres he purchased from Lord Dunraven, Stanley first built the main building of the hotel, one of 11 buildings in the original complex.




Lobby Lounge and Fireplace

The Stanley Hotel, known for its architecture, magnificent setting, and famous visitors, may possibly be best known today for its inspirational role in the Stephen King’s novel, “The Shining“, although it was not actually used in Stanley Kubrick’s movie.  This Colorado hotel has been featured as one of America’s most haunted hotels and with the numerous stories from visitors and staff, The Stanley Hotel continues to “shine” today, as it did in 1909 when first opened.

Inside there were many relics from the early 20th century

beside which were scored of pages on which was typed …

while outside, there were several sculptures of local wildlife.

Leaving Estes Park, we had to share the road with a large, bull elk which had lost most of its left rack.

Our next destination was the eastern section of Rocky Mountain National Park (as much of the high country had been closed due to snow conditions at higher elevations).

Utterly spectacular!

Before leaving the park, we were again graced by several elk grazing

and sleeping

close to the road.

This entry was posted in Rocky Mountain National Park, CO, Stanley Hotel, Estes Park, CO. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *