Estes Park and a Close Encounter With Elk

A gateway city to Rocky Mountain National Park, we love the resort town of Estes Park.

Estes Park, Colorado

It was overcast with car headlights on the rock.   We liked the shadows on the stone.  Fall River flows from Rocky Mountain National Park into Estes Park.

Water wheel in river by park

We love the water wheel in the river by this small park.   Elkhorn Avenue is the main street in Estes Park.

Elkhorn Avenue

We usually walk from one end to the other, stopping in various shops and often a restaurant.   One of our standard stops is The Taffy Shop.

The Taffy Shop

There are several taffy shops, but we have been coming to this one since mom moved to Colorado in 1975.   The taffy is made right here and it is delicious.  Try the Texas Pecan.   Another regular stop is Laura’s Fudge Shop.

Laura’s Fudge Shop

A few years ago, Laura’s expanded but the shop is always crowded with locals and tourists.   That really says the fudge and more is excellent.  We enjoy Turtle Fudge and Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge.  And the toffee, and the caramel apples.   Yum!   We did our shopping, crossed the road, followed the river and got in our car.

River flows under main street near parking area

This is fall, the rut, or mating season of the elk.   This time of year, we hear the male, or bull elk, calling his mates, sounding like a bugle.   The female may answer with a rather shrill squeal.   The elk often leave Rocky Mountain National Park and wander in and around Estes Park.

Elk herd leaving lawn of Aspire Residence at Stanley Hotel

This herd is behind the Aspire Residences, part of the Stanley Hotel.   There were several humans sitting on balconies enjoying the elk herd.   As you can tell, the herd is gradually moving to another area.   But some are not in a hurry.

Baby elk nursing

This young elk is hungry and trying to nurse, but mom doesn’t stand still very long.   They have moved, crossed a major street, and are now in the golf course.

Elk herd on golf course

The lone male watches the females.

Bull running to keep females together

He tries to keep them together.   This bull does a lot of running, or sprinting, to keep the girls where he wants them.   Oh, a second herd is arriving.

Second herd approaching golf course

They will join the first herd on the golf course.   How will this end?

Two bulls calmly passing

The two bull elk, one from each herd, pass each other, without incident.   But, we don’t think the elk can read.

Tee time?

Only golfers on the golf course.

Elk on the Golf Course

Well, is it tee time ladies?  The elk and humans mingle well.   If the elk want to move, the humans scatter to allow the elk freedom to go wherever they wish.  Further along, a herd is around Lake Estes.

A bull elk in Lake Estes

This bull is cooling off and probably drinking in Lake Estes.   The sun has set.

The Stanley Hotel at sunset

The Stanley Hotel is illuminated by the glow of the setting sun behind the Rocky Mountains.   A beautiful end to a beautiful day.

Advertisements

Zeb and Soapy Smith Duck Stay at the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado

Our moms said we would come back and stay at this hotel.   And we did.   Here we are at the famous Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado.   Many say this hotel is haunted.   Movies have been made here.   And we love it here.  Come on humans.   We ducks climbed the stairs and are waiting for you on the porch.

Let's go humans

Let’s go humans

It is time to register for the night.

Checking in

Checking in

We walked up one flight of stairs to our room.   This area at the top of the stairs is very light.   We loved the mirrors, the chandelier, and the beautiful window.

Looking out from our floor

Looking out from our floor

The sitting or reading area is also very pleasant.   We admired this lamp standing on an old pump.

Great lamp pole

Great lamp pole

The humans had appointments with Madame Vera.

Visiting Madame Vera

Visiting Madame Vera

We liked this psychic.   However, the humans won’t tell what she told them.    Isn’t this a calm feeling area?

View of conversation area from our room

View of conversation area from our room

This small conversation area can be seen from our room and is just outside the back door of our wing.   We think plants and fire pits are comfortable and soothing.   We think it is time for lunch.   Here is our table.

Outside dining area

Outside dining area

The weather was so nice and sunny, outside seating was our preference.   The view of this fountain was nice.

View of waterfall during lunch

View of waterfall during lunch

We love the sound of cascading water.  Stevie, Soapy Smith Duck’s dog, is with us.   Stevie knows that the container contains lunch treats for her.

Stevie is hoping for leftovers.

Stevie is hoping for leftovers.

The Stanley Hotel was the inspiration for Stephen King’s novel, The Shining.  Although the original movie was not filmed at The Stanley, Stephen King later produced a mini series of The Shining, that was filmed here at this hotel.   This is the doll house that was used in the TV mini series.

Doll House from The Shining mini series

Doll House from The Shining mini series

Many movies have been filmed here, including the comedy, Dumb and Dumber.   As you can see, the natural setting of this hotel is film worthy and the hotel itself, rumored to be haunted, is also beautiful and photogenic.   In the lobby we liked this 1910 Stanley Steamer, Model 60.

1910 Stanley Steamer

1910 Stanley Steamer

Freelan Oscar Stanley (F.O. Stanley) and his twin brother, Francis Edgar Stanley owned Stanley Dry Plate Company which produced plates for photography and later the owned Stanley Motor Carriage Company which produced the Stanley Steamer.    This is the bar of the Stanley Hotel, which has been in films, including Dumb and Dumber.

Bar at Stanley Hotel

Bar at Stanley Hotel

On previous visits we have enjoyed lunch here at these tables.

Eating area in bar

Eating area in bar

This hotel opened in 1909 as a guest house for F.O. Stanley’s wealthy friends from the eastern part of the United States.   F.O. Stanley was diagnosed with tuberculous in 1903.   The recommended treatment at that time was relaxation and clean air.   Like many with TB, F.O. Stanley spent summers in the Colorado mountains.   The public restrooms have old elegance.

Public ladies room has old fashioned elegance

Public ladies room has old fashioned elegance

When the Stanley Hotel opened in 1909, it featured a hydraulic elevator, dual electric and gas lighting and was the first hotel in the west to have telephones in every room.  In the evening we enjoyed a performance by Aiden Sinclair of Illusions of the Passed.

Waiting for Illusionist, Aiden Sinclair

Waiting for Illusionist, Aiden Sinclair

We did not take photos during the performance.   The show was very good.   If it was magic, is appeared very real.   Ghosts of the past were called and answered by causing bells to ring.   If you visit The Stanley, we recommend this show.   However, on our next visit we will take the evening ghost tour.    Many believe the hotel is haunted and say they have seen ghosts.   Primarily ghosts of happy children on the fourth floor.   Soapy and his mom took the tour a few years ago, but will all hope to go again.   We ate a leisurely breakfast on the front porch while enjoying this view.

View from terrace while eating breakfast at Stanley Hotel

View from terrace while eating breakfast at Stanley Hotel

Later we walked around the hotel grounds and saw this bronze elk.

Colorado Traveling Ducks on bronze elk

Colorado Traveling Ducks on bronze elk

It did make us smile.   October, 2014 we were here and the lawn of The Stanley was a temporary home to a herd of elk.

Elk herd on the Stanley lawn in 2014

Elk herd on the Stanley lawn in 2014

In the fall, the elk often roam all over town and then return to the nearby Rocky National Park.   Before leaving for Denver, we took one more photo, showing Lake Estes and the fabulous Colorado Rocky Mountains.

From Stanley Hotel view of Lake Estes and Colorado's Rocky Mountains

From Stanley Hotel view of Lake Estes and Colorado’s Rocky Mountains

We hope you visit here soon and also enjoy the spectacular views.

 

Chapel on a Rock and Rocky Mountain National Park with the Colorado Traveling Ducks

Today I, Zeb the Duck, and Soapy Smith Duck, are going with our moms toward Estes Park.   We all love Estes Park.   It is a great mountain resort town near Rocky Mountain National Park, about 90 minutes from home.   Chapel on a Rock, or Saint Catherine of Siena Chapel is our first stop.

Saint Catherine of Siena Chapel

Saint Catherine of Siena Chapel

In 1916 Monsignor Joseph Bosetti was on a quest to find the impact site of a falling star when he found this rock formation.   Remembering the Bible verse Matthew 16:18, upon this rock I will build my church, the Monsignor wanted to build a church here.   But he had no funds.   For 20 years he prayed and struggled with the Colorado Highway Department to keep his Rock intact.   The land was purchased and then donated by Mr. and Mrs. Oscar Malo.  In 1936, twenty years after first seeing the rock, the chapel was completed.   The statue is very prominent, also.

Statue near chapel

Statue near chapel

This chapel is beautiful with Mount Meeker as a backdrop.   The sanctuary is very nice.

Sanctuary

Sanctuary

Here are some stairs.

Let's go up the stairs

Let’s go up the stairs

The stairs lead to the loft.   This view is also nice.

View from loft

View from loft

The official name of this chapel is Saint Catherine of Siena Chapel.   This Franz Mayer stained glass window, depicts  Saint Catherine holding the body of Christ on the cross.

View of loft and window

View of loft and window

The statue of soft wood was made in Giacomo Mussner Studios in Bolzano, Italy.

Statue from Bolzano, Italy

Statue from Bolzano, Italy

The chapel was part of the Camp Saint Malo Catholic Retreat, Conference and Spiritual Center. The main building burned in 2011, but the chapel was not damaged.   In 2013 during the floods, debris from a mountain slide destroyed much of the trails and other buildings, but again, the chapel was not damaged.   The chapel is open to the public and available for weddings and other occasions.  In 1993 Pope John Paul II visited this chapel and hiked some of the mountain trails.    Next we visited Rocky Mountain National Park.

We love Rocky Mountain National Park

We love Rocky Mountain National Park

This is a favorite place for us.   Today we drove to Bear Lake.

Bear Lake

Bear Lake

There is a half mile trail around the lake.

Hiking trail

Hiking trail

This is our favorite short hike in Rocky Mountain National Park.

Bear Lake

Bear Lake

Soon it started to rain, so we went into Estes Park and had lunch at the Stanley Hotel.

The Stanley Hotel

The Stanley Hotel

Our moms said we could come back here soon and spend the night at the famous Stanley Hotel.   When we do, we will tell you about this hotel and if we see any ghosts.

Elk Fest 2014 in Estes Park, Colorado

It is Elk Fest time.  I, Zeb the Duck, and Soapy Smith Duck with our moms and Soapy’s dog Steve, went to Estes Park, Colorado.

We love Estes Park, Colorado

We love Estes Park, Colorado

Elk Fest is a great time in Estes Park.  The elk often come right into town.  It is also mating season for elk, so sometimes we hear elk bugling.   Estes Park has a couple entrances to Rocky Mountain National Park, so the setting is gorgeous and the wildlife plentiful.

Estes Park is also home to the Stanley Hotel, featured in the movie The Shining.

The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado

The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado

The hotel is very nice, but why so many cars here today?

Elk herd at the Stanley

Elk herd at the Stanley

Now we know.  The elk herd is lounging and grazing at the grounds of the Stanley.  This one huge bull elk guards the many cows, or girl elk.

This bull is in charge of the herd.  Busy guy!

This bull is in charge of the herd. Busy guy!

As you can see, Colorado Division of Wildlife has tagged some of the elk.

Elk are being monitored

Elk are being monitored

We loved seeing so many elk in town today.

During Elk Fest there are booths and entertainment.   These Indians were entertaining today.

Dancing and singing today

Dancing and singing today

This is a sample of beadwork for sale.

Nice beadwork!

Nice beadwork!

We expected to see elk and other animals, but this…

We loved this cow!  Was near booths and entertainment.

We loved this cow! Was near booths and entertainment.

We spotted the remains of a stone building on a hill, but this was at the beginning of the trail.

Must always be alert in mountains

Must always be alert in mountains

With Steve on a leash, 2 ducks and 2 humans started up the mountain trail.

Over the bridge and up the mountain trail

Over the bridge and up the mountain trail

The ruins were nice to see.

Very picturesque.  Love the fireplace

Very picturesque. Love the fireplace

The hike was fun.

Beautiful area

Beautiful area

Several other humans and dogs were visiting the area also.   Heading back to the car to leave, Steve stops to look at the river.

Stevie is such a good girl!

Stevie is such a good girl!

Even though Elk Fest was last weekend, the elk still come into Estes Park and many shops are open.  If you can, visit Estes Park soon.  The elk will probably be in town and the scenery is spectacular.

Plenty of wild elk in the area.  Come see them soon.

Plenty of wild elk in the area. Come see them soon.