Colorado Trip Part 4. Day 5 began with another beautiful sunrise. Our plans today were to make the two-hour trek to Estes Park. Estes Park, Colorado is the home of the Stanley Hotel. The idea to visit the Stanley Hotel was given to me by my sister. She is a big Stephen King fan.
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Our Trip To Colorado Part 4
The Stanley Hotel inspired King to write his book, The Shining. He stayed in room 217 while writing the book. I’m not much of a Stephen King fan, but I knew of the Stanley from watching shows about the paranormal. The Stanley is supposed to be one of the most haunted places in America.
Once again, we were provided with a route among the backroads to get to Estes Park. The drive was stunning as we were driving through a gorge with walls of rock on either side of the road. Arriving in the town of Blackhawk, I was surprised by the many casinos. It is a mini Las Vegas in Colorado.
Looking For Ghosts
As we pulled into Estes Park, we saw the hotel on our left. It was huge. It is a beautiful, all-white building with a red roof. We pulled up to the gate, paid our parking fee, and parked at the bottom of the hill. Walking up the steps to the lobby, we kept our eyes open for ghostly apparitions. I can confidently say that we didn’t see any.
Because the Stanley Hotel is a working hotel and a tourist destination, only guests are allowed above the first floor. I overheard the employee behind the front desk say that all the room keys on the wall were fake except for room 217. That was the original key. We proceeded downstairs to a little café where we drank hot chocolate, and I had a piece of cherry pie.
A Great Historical Tour
I had booked a historical tour of the hotel, which is well worth the money. During the tour, we were told that the founder F. O. Stanley had grown up in a lower to middle-income family. During that time in history, people had to sit still for 45 minutes to an hour to get their picture taken. Stanley figured out a way to reduce the time down to 45 seconds to a minute. He noticed a pain point and figured out a solution. This made him very wealthy.
Within a few months, he was making over $100,000 a month. Today that would be equal to $3 million a month. Stanley’s home is just down the road from the hotel. He built the hotel to house his wealthy friends when they came to visit him. His friends were named Vanderbilt, Rockefeller, Carnegie, all the wealthiest people of the day.
Did Jim Carrey See A Ghost?
During the tour, we were told various stories of people having paranormal events while staying at the hotel. One of the stories was of Jim Carrey. Carrey was supposed to stay in room 217 while filming the movie, Dumb and Dumber. He only lasted three hours when he ran downstairs in his boxers, demanding to be moved. He refused to stay in any building on the grounds, instead opting for the Holiday Inn down the street.
After our tour, we ate at the hotel restaurant and whiskey bar. The food was tasty, and I chose a rare Japanese whiskey which was very smooth. The bar was used in the film, Dumb and Dumber and even has the New York Times article about the first moon landing hanging on the wall (not the original, it was stolen).
The Blue Owl
After purchasing some items at the gift shop, we began our drive back to the B&B. This time we went through the city of Boulder and then stopped at the town of Nederland. We were told about the Blue Owl bookstore/ice cream/coffee shop. On our way to Estes Park, it had been closed. Luckily for us, it was open, and we enjoyed a nice cone. It was a great way to end the day.
Day 6 was spent in the ski resort town of Breckenridge. Breckenridge is a beautiful town, but a little too touristy for my taste. We traveled there with Sofia’s friends and saw bison on the way. We ate at a busy restaurant, and I enjoyed a bison burger. It is very lean meat and tasty. Afterward, we boarded a gondola which took us to the top of the mountain. We looked up at the ski slopes, which would soon be covered in snow. Today though, they are covered in grass, and people traverse them on mountain bikes.
Our last full day in Colorado ended with us pulling into our friend’s neighborhood and being greeted by 40-50 elk. They were all over her neighborhood grazing. What a sight! Colorado is a different place to live. To be continued.