This morning we woke up in downtown Denver. When I woke up I was so thirsty… sure I drank a bunch of beer last night, but this was different. I was THIRSTY!! I knew this elevation thing was gonna make me this way, and I thought I had prepared for it the day before by drinking lots of water… but I guess I didn’t drink enough. I grabbed a can of Red Bull out of the mini bar and took a huge slug. OMG! Big mistake… I seriously felt like I had just taken a huge drink of a molotov cocktail. I was so desperate for relief that I ran to the bathroom and drank as much tap water as I could get down. I am pretty sure I had a touch of altitude sickness. Mental note to always carry bottles of water around with me during the rest of the trip.
The whole reason for coming to Colorado is because JP has to be here for work. What I probably haven’t told you is that when I travel with him it only costs me $2.50 per airport that we land in. He travels so much that he has an elite status and I am listed as his companion. As his companion I only have to pay the airport fee. Pretty sweet deal, right? I love that he spends the first day of these trips rolling around town with me, but I also like my time alone to explore new places. On this trip he is actually working in Fort Collins which is about an hour north but we thought it would be nice to stay in Denver for the first night. So after we checked out of the hotel we headed for Fort Collins. We got there a little faster than planned and had about an hour to kill before I had to drop him off. I checked my roadsideamerica app and we headed over to the Colorado State University to check out the giant Campbell’s Soup Can.
When JP was taking my picture I noticed that it was signed by Andy Warhol. Pretty cool, right?
This ate up a little time and then it was time to drop off JP and head out on my own. I had so many places I wanted to see so I decided to start at the furthest place and then work my way back to Fort Collins. The first thing I wanted to see was in Estes Park, CO which was about 50 miles away. 50 miles sounds like a quick trip right? Well what my map didn’t tell me or what I didn’t even consider was that the last 20 miles is through a canyon at the base of the Rocky Mountains. The canyon is super curvy and the speed limit is 35 mph. I would say that I went more like 25 mph though. It looked something like this (OK I admit I snapped this picture on the way back down the canyon).
It seemed to take forever but I finally made it to Estes Park. The reason I wanted to go to Estes Park was to see The Stanley Hotel.
This is the hotel where Stephen King got the idea for The Shining after staying in Room 217. While this isn’t the hotel in the movie The Shining it is the hotel in the made for tv miniseries The Shining. I found out during this trip the hotel from the movie is actually on Mount Hood in Oregon… not in Colorado.
I found this on one of the walls in the basement part of the hotel.
As I was leaving the hotel driveway I saw a ton of elk. They didn’t care that there are people around at all.
I actually had to stop the car and wait for one of them to get out of my way!
As I was leaving I saw a sign telling me that the Rocky Mountain National Park was only 5 miles away. I estimated that I had about 2 or 3 hours until I had to turn back toward Fort Collins so I said what the heck.
It was cold inside the park. Check out the temperature.
I stopped at a few of the lookout points… the views were amazing!
But before I had a chance to snap a really good picture of the snow covered peaks it started snowing and the snow just makes the mountains look like they are covered in fog. My camera does this park no justice. I totally want to come back in the summer months!
I can handle a little snow but as soon as it starts sticking to the roads I am done. I decided to leave the park instead of drive around in the snow. After I left I headed to the downtown area for a quick lunch. When in Colorado you gotta eat like a local, right? Yup you guess it! Buffalo Burger!
Once I made it back down the mountain I stopped for a little bit at Devil’s Backbone but I wasn’t dressed for hiking so I didn’t go up. It looks really cool though, right?
I stopped to see this adirondack chair on the side of the road in Loveland, CO. If there ever was a picture that I wanted to be in it was this one. You can’t really tell but this chair is actually HUGE! Click here to link to a picture of someone sitting in it. Maybe next time that can be me!
With about an hour to spare I was back in Fort Collins. I ventured to the downtown area and found Annie The Railroad Dog sitting in front of the library. Click here for her story.
I also found this cool statue standing across the sidewalk from Annie but I forgot what the plaque says.
I had a little more time to kill so I headed over to Swetsville Zoo. I think this place deserves a post of its own though so I am gonna leave it off of here.
Afterward it was time to get JP from the office.