Tuesday, January 5, 2016

New Years with a throwback and some ghosts

"I've been there once, many years ago when I lived in Boulder.  And it was just for a day hike.  I'm not even sure of where we were"

Such was my answer when Magnum asked if I'd ever been to Estes Park, Colorado.  He'd been there once even longer ago than me, as a kid with his family.  So we said, "Yeah, Estes Park!  Let's go!"

 He found us a 2 BR 1BA cabin, with kitchen facilities, gas fire place, and the all important wi-fi.

Cross-country skiing was the activity of choice, and there was a shop in town where we could rent just about ANYthing:  skis, snowboards, snowshoes, skates.  They even rented hiking boots, jackets, snowpants, gloves, goggles... Seriously, with them around, there is no excuse to not get outside!

All we needed, however, were skis, boots, and poles, and we were readily taken care of by a typical ski house dude.  He did disappear for a few minutes, but was back with an explanation

"Oh, sorry, I got sidetracked with some other stuff, plus I'm really hungover..."

Oh yeah, New Years.

Anyway, the skiing was great, so we spent two days frolicking about.  Ski House Dude gave us a couple of location recommendations, and we ended up going to one the first day, and the other the second.

Trail Ridge Road is just a road that is closed every winter, so it's a nice wide open area to ski.  Most of it was nicely snow packed, with just this one area of asphalt showing.

Next up was Wild Basin Trail in Rocky Mountain National Park.  A lovely area near the foot of Longs Peak.
We skied to the Upper Falls where we stopped for a bit before making the return trip to the trailhead before dark.

Despite the hangover, Ski House Dude did us right!

As we were at Wild Basin, I was thinking the place looked a bit familiar, maybe?  Was that where I was nearly 30 years prior?  With What's-His-Face?

After we got home, I went through my prodigious archives (some old ratty photo albums), and lo and behold, there I was as a young 80's hippie chick. At Wild Basin.  Yay, I'm not senile! (yet)

As alluded to in my earlier post, we also visited the Stanley Hotel *ooooooo WEEEEEE ooooooo* of The Shining fame.  The hotel is beautiful as it sits on a hill overlooking Estes Park.  No, we didn't $$tay there, but were glad to find out they offer guided tours for guests and non-guests alike.

I remember reading The Shining back in high school, and subsequently seeing the movie.  There are differences between the two, but I enjoyed being scared by both!

Our tour was about an hour and a half and very entertaining as well as educational.  Scary Mary was our guide and did a great job.  

We were allowed to take pictures, so...

This is a hallway on the 4th floor where much paranormal activity has allegedly taken place. The 4th floor was originally wide open space where nannies and kids stayed while the adults were down whooping it  up in the ballroom and such.

When Stephen King stayed at The Stanley and got inspired all those years ago, this floor was still mostly open, and he pictured the scenes with the kid riding his Big Wheel.

Apparently, most of that paranormal activity on this floor has involved ghost/kids, which I find very creepy!

In fact, Chaco shot the above while I took one with my cell phone, and look!  Creepy ghost kid images!

.... Okay, so  maybe they were just a couple of kids on the tour with us that I blurred up a bit.  Had ya going there, didn't I!  Or not...

The hotel didn't have heat until some time in the 80s, so it used to be closed during the winter months - Remember?  The Shining?  Remember?!

We went on the general tour, but there are others that get more in depth into the history of the hotel, or into the paranormal investigative stuff.  They also offer "night ghost tours" where you can go a-hunting for several hours overnight.  We all enjoyed the tour, and I highly recommend going on one if you're ever in the area.

EEK!  A ghost!

Well, no... that's just Scary Mary in motion...

But it coulda been!



Tee said...

That sounds like a phenomenal winter getaway! Makes even me feel willing to get out into the cold for some outdoor fun. And I would totally go on a tour of the hotel. I don't do scary movies, but I DO love The Shining. (Or maybe it's just that I really appreciate Jack Nicholson.) Thanks for sharing some glimpses of your adventures!

Larz said...

I was in Rocky Mountain National Park on Sunday. What fun. I enjoy Estes a lot in the off-season.

Abby said...

It's hard to imagine The Shining with someone other than Jack Nicholson in that role.

Abby said...

Hey, we just missed each other! I don't know why I took so long to go back. And there were quite a lot of people around considering it was the off-season, maybe because of the holiday.

ShadowRun300 said...

My mom has visited Estes Park a few times. I could probably be convinced to visit as well, and maybe even tour the hotel. So long as your pics really aren't real.
But first, The Incline.
Your weekend looks and sounds like it was great fun! Hooray for hungover ski house dude!
That flashback pic of you could totally have been me. Same hairdo, same smile, same style. You're in better shape though. :)

Abby said...

Good for Mom! The hotel tour was really interesting, you'd probably like it. Just plug your ears when she talks about the ghostly stuff.
I just looked to the west.
Yup, Incline's still there :)

Ramzu Zahini said...

I read Stephen King when I was younger. The Shining was a miss... I never seen the movie too.
I might give them a try soon.

Abby said...

I've only read a few of his books. The Shining is a fave.

Riot Kitty said...

I haven't read or seen The Shining...Mr. RK and brother RK say I would be too scared.