Sunday, May 12th – Monday, May 13th, 2013
We woke up with legs intact after parking in a shady area overnight in the small town of Nederland, CO. We got coffee at “Happy Trails Bike Shop & Coffee” and watched one of the arriving baristas doing her best Kramer impression as she entered the building. We roamed around the skate park, lake, and then back to the shops that were now open.
During our ride back, we saw a lot of rock climbers on the mountains above us. Once we got back to Boulder, we grabbed some coffee and checked out some of the shops around Pennsylvania Avenue before going back towards Pearl Street, which was especially busy since it was Mother’s Day. It was so congested that we had to park really far away in a residential neighborhood, but no worries, we like to walk.
We took US-36 North to Estes Park, CO where the mountains were immense! Of course, we had to visit the famous Stanley Hotel while we were there. It was much smaller than I anticipated. In case you aren’t familiar with the Stanley Hotel, it was where the author Stephen King stayed which inspired him to write “The Shining.” The movie version was not filmed there (although Mr. King wanted it to be), but they did film the TV series of the same name there as well as a few scenes from the movie, “Dumb and Dumber.” The hotel is supposedly haunted, and an older woman at the gift shop said she had had some spooky experiences while working there.
We left there without any ghost sightings, but we did get to see a whole rack of elk relaxing in the field nearby, and later blocking traffic at the intersection as we were leaving.
Our next stop was Rocky Mountain National Park. The Beaver Meadow Visitor’s Center was unfortunately closed, but the ranger by the entrance told us where we could find the BLM land. We got lost trying to navigate through the park and I started laughing hysterically over the fact that almost all areas of the park were closed and blocked off. I think I wasn’t getting enough sleep. We passed a sign for “Deer Mountain Trailhead” which sounded to me like the start of a formal letter.
“Deer Mountain Trailhead,
Why are you and all the other trailheads closed? I want so desperately to walk on top of you…”
We drove next to a wild turkey and his lady friend, and just like at Capitol Reef, Trevor conversed with him. The turkey would lob his neck forward like a baby arm as he gobbled back at him.
We saw more elk as we approached the Aspenglen campground, which was full (surprisingly), so we left in search of the BLM land off of Route 7, passing even more elk and Mule deer on the way. We would see so many elk (something we don’t have in Maryland), that the fascination for them would die a fast and sudden death.
After no success in finding a nice place to park for the night out in nature, we returned to town. We did some window shopping during the night and the cops on the beat stared at us suspiciously. We drove around for a while, then found a quiet street to park at, and hoped we wouldn’t have to answer to the law overnight.
After stocking up at the grocery store, we grabbed some much needed caffeine and breakfast sandwiches at “Kind Coffee.” We bought a few gifts for the folks at home then ate elk burgers for lunch at “Penelope’s World Famous Burgers” (I’ve never heard of ’em). We returned to Beaver Creek Visitor Center and asked the same ranger about the BLM land since we weren’t able to locate it. He told us we hadn’t gone far enough.
We went for round two in our search and entered Roosevelt National Forest where we passed by several cabins before we found what we were looking for. Unfortunately the road was all uphill and got really gnarly, not a good combo for our van which would likely get stuck if we tried to beast it up to the top.
We returned to Estes Park, found a place that offered showers in the laundromat, then took a walk around Estes Lake.
We parked our van back in the same spot on the street, and later snuck back inside hoping the people smoking cigarettes down the road didn’t see us and wouldn’t report us.
Jump Back to Part 29: Pata-Gucci, Tulips & A Frozen Dead Guy
Jump Ahead to Part 31: Aggravating Women & The Land of Painted Pianos
Start Over at Part 01: The Blue Bubble, Freebies & A Rude Awakening