We are very fortunate to live just a little over an hour from Estes Park. Estes Park is the closest we have to Switzerland...it doesn't have cows with bells around their necks, nor does it have enormous farms with villages using vintage scythes to cut the hay, but it does have the grandeur of enormous mountains with jagged peaks, delicate wildflowers, and rather charming mountain goats! It also has something very unique: herds upon herds of elk. There are also deer, antelope, moose, mountain lion, and other creatures, but elk roam free throughout the town. They are in the parking lots of the shops, they walk up to the drive-up window of the bank teller, and they eat the lawns and plants of everyone who lives there. In our search for 'what to do next,' there is also, 'where do we do it?' Estes Park is on the list because of its close proximity to family and that it does have a draw of tourists from around the world to take in its beauty and to hike and camp in Rocky Mountain National Park. This is also its downfall, by the way. Crowds of people in the summertime.....
I love reading the blogs of others who live in places other than Colorado because I can sit in my jammies or jeans and be taken there through the eyes of dear friends who lovingly capture the beauty of their homes, their shops, their villages, and their surroundings. Thank you for that....I'm inspired each and every day!
|The road to Estes Park---you can see the Rocky Mountains up ahead|
|still easy to graze when there is not much snow on the ground|
|This is a great place for picnics, walks, and family outings|
|The vistas are different in every direction|
|the black marks are where elk have eaten the bark|
|I took this right out the car front window|
|I wanted you to be able to see how unafraid the elk are. Here, a few walk through neighborhoods and graze on the common areas so close to the humans who hunt them.|
|this young male notices me and 'poses' for the picture!|
|a bit of a snow burst!|
|This family had two Bernese Mountain dogs....my favorite breed and what my beloved Moose was!!|
How I miss that boy!!
|you can see how the village of Estes Park sits at the base of these mountains all around it|
|The famous Stanley Hotel....made more famous in Stephen King's The Shining|
Many famous people have stayed here, from John Philip Sousa, to the Emperor and Empress of Japan, and Theodore Roosevelt. Mr. Stanley suffered from tuberculosis and his doctor had advised him to spend summers in the mountains. His health had improved so much that he decided to build a home, then a lodge....and so on and so on. They had lived in Maine and his wife wanted a home like the one she had left back East.... thus, the 138 room Georgian style hotel was fashioned to please here. It stands today on the National Register of Historic Places and many many weddings are still held there today. My youngest daughter's wedding was in Estes Park at a different location, just up the road from the Stanley. It is definitely worth a visit!!
|a snowy road in the mountains|
|This big guy is just keeping a watch on me, but doesn't seem to care!|
Well, if you'd like to see a video I made of a REALLY CLOSE ELK....honestly, I could have reached out the car window and touched him....click here:
Have a great week everyone!!!! I need some positive energy my way to help me in my decisions!! xx