It would not be fall for us without a day trip to Estes Park, Colorado.
Estes Park is the eastern entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park. There are a lot of elk in the park, and all over this area of Colorado. In the fall, mating season brings the elk out of the mountains, and many spend time in the parks and golf courses of Estes Park. We love to see them. As we enter Estes Park we stop for a photo by the city sign. The mountain views from this lookout are beautiful.
We continue into town, park, and walk along the river to the shops.
Having spent a lot of time in this small park, we can say it is a great place. Of course, we love the water wheel.
And the shops beside it. Last year we purchased singing bowls from the Himalayan store. That is the last store by the water wheel. They still sing and we still smile when we listen. Walking along Elkhorn Boulevard, we purchased a couple pair of very soft slippers. Then our normal stops at Laura’s Fudge Shop. The sign says they have been spoiling dinner since 1970. Moms have been coming here since the early 1970’s. So, it really is delicious. Fudge, toffee, candy, caramel apples, popcorn, ice cream and more. Yum. Then to The Taffy Shop. Moms have been coming here just as long. But, let’s find the real stars of today’s trip. Often we see many elk on the lawn of The Stanley Hotel.
The Stanley Hotel was the inspiration for Stephen King’s book, The Shining. Driving a couple miles toward the entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park, we see more young animals.
They seem to be looking the wrong direction. In town, often a herd is in the park near Lake Estes.
Aren’t they magnificent? Today we found this bull elk on the golf course.
And a few more elk lounging on the golf course.
These elk are wild and very large, but they are rather accustomed to humans. However, we do not get too close. They are wild animals, it is mating season, and they can be startled. So humans and ducks watch and admire the elk, but do give them a lot of space. Today we are going home through Big Thompson Canyon. This is a beautiful canyon with many private cabins, many rental cabins, bed and breakfast, lodge, shops and year round residents. Parts of the canyon are rather wide to accommodate small settlements, and parts are rather narrow with steep mountain sides. Often mountain goats are on the side of the mountains. But today we stop for cherry treats.
Colorado Cherry Company is a favorite. We ducks relax on the chairs and pose for a photo.
Inside mom tries a couple bites of pie. She settles on a cherry rhubarb slice of pie. It is delicious. Her favorite jam is dark cherry jam, so that comes home, too.
I bet we have this slice of pie for dinner dessert tonight. I hope so. We went for the elk, but did come home with extra things also. We, Zeb and Soapy Smith Duck, love these day trips. We hope you enjoy day trips in your area.