After we left our hotel this morning, we decided to check out the Stanley Hotel which happened to be only a few blocks from where we were. It was a lovely hotel – not at all like the one in the Shining which was disappointing in ways, but it was still beautiful. We didn’t not go on the ghost tour – we didn’t want to wait that long.
From there we drove to Rocky Mountain National Park. We stopped at the Visitor’s Center and the clerk in the gift shop was quite wonderful!! She gave us directions and information about a great hike to a waterfall. We walked around Bear Lake first then headed down a VERY steep trail to the falls some 1.5 miles away – at least. It was so fantastic and we met a few people along the way that shared their stories with us as we walked. We even had one lady who knew someone who lived in Iowa City that my sister also knew…talk about a small world!!!
The falls were great – had to lean way over a cliff to get a good picture which gave us both vertigo – thank goodness neither of us fell because it would have been quite a fall. We finished out the walk going to the head of another trail to take a shuttle back up the mountain we had just hiked down. On the way to the bus, my knees went weak and I felt dizzy. Made it to the trailhead though and eventually got back up to our car. I tried to go into the outhouse to go the bathroom but ended up gagging so badly I couldn’t stay in there – it was so gross, I want to gag now thinking about it.
From there we went up the road that wound up into the mountains where I promptly went a little crazy. The drop off was so…well…disturbingly steep that I was getting ill from it. I hated the whole time we didn’t have a guard rail and there was no shoulder, only the drop off. Once we got where there was ground on my side, I was fine. Man, it was gorgeous.
It took us hours to get through the park – we saw a moose and it’s baby which I loaded the pictures on FB. A ranger started yelling at us for “pausing” on the roadway when everyone else was pausing too – we ignored her so I could get the pictures.
We decided to head west and got about 50 miles before deciding to go back to Denver instead. At lunch we had checked out the sites and our available time left and decided we didn’t have time to go to the western side of the state. We took a scenic route that dropped us off at I75 in Silvertone…or Silverworth…or Silver something.
As we accelerated up the on ramp into interstate traffic, the car started to act up. It wouldn’t go above 50 mph plus the engine was roaring. We pulled off. After consulting with Rick, my sister’s husband, we decided to let it cool off a bit. While we were sitting there, a tow truck driver came by and explained to us that the problem was we had tried to accelerate up a 5% grade which had caused the car’s engine to shift into safety switch mode. It wouldn’t let the car go up over 2nd gear. After it cooled off and we knew to downshift on grades that high, the car was fine. We were elated until we got out of the tunnel…
We had 37 miles to Denver – it was bumper to bumper traffic the entire way until the last couple miles. It took us hours to go that far – talk about irritating! We all know I’m not patient when it comes to traffic jams and this wasn’t an exception. We both had to go to the bathroom – we both were dehydrated from our hike – and we both wanted to get to Denver as soon as possible.
We FINALLY made it – went to find the zoo and then checked into the Ramada Inn about a mile away. Now we have eaten and it is about time for bed. I am exhausted – my feet are killing me.
We were stupid in that we didn’t take our hats or put on our hiking boots for our hike which ended up taking us about 2 hours. We are sunburnt, tired and still a bit dehydrated. We will not do that again. The hike was labeled as Medium Difficult – which required hiking boots, water, energy bars, and hats.
The trail road was way too long – we couldn’t wait to get out of there way before it was time to do so because the twisting and turning was giving us both motion sickness. Plus we didn’t have any water or anything to drink and we were both hungry.
While I would consider day a great time and the hike was phenomenal – I do think tomorrow will be even better.
My last complaint for the day is that our hotel room’s a/c is broken and the window doesn’t have a screen so we can’t even open it for air. Yes, we could go downstairs and complain but we won’t as we already have all our crap in this one. Argh.